- This article covers the 2014 Godzilla design. For the design introduced in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, see DougheGoji. For the Godzilla incarnation, see Godzilla (Monsterverse).
The GareGoji was primarily designed by Weta Workshop, who provided most of the creature effects for Peter Jackson's King Kong in 2005. Director Gareth Edwards has stated that there were over one hundred designs created for Godzilla. In one of the first conversions between Edwards and Weta, it was agreed that the concept of Godzilla was fundamentally impossible and unable to rationalize, meaning that the audience needed to rely on suspension of disbelief to take Godzilla seriously in the film. Gareth Edwards worked closely with Toho to make sure they approved of the design. According to Edwards, Toho was heavily involved in the design process. Edwards has also cited Weta Workshop concept artist Andrew Baker as the greatest creative influence on the GareGoji design. Overall, the designers took great care to make Godzilla recognizable. Edwards personally felt that it was important to him to have the GareGoji design feel like it was made by Toho.
Early designs were based on dinosaurs, depicting Godzilla with his torso positioned vertically rather than horizontally like a theropod dinosaur or the TriStar Godzilla from the previous American Godzilla movie. Gareth Edwards explained "You have to steal from nature. Nature had billions of years to design Godzilla; we had one year." However, the goal when designing the famous kaiju was to not create a monster or a Tyrannosaurus rex. Gareth Edwards even rejected one design he liked that was created by Greg Broadmore on the basis that he felt it "was too much like a T. rex." Several concepts also hearkened back to earlier Godzilla designs. The designers looked to the natural world for inspiration, including marine creatures such as marine iguanas and large oceanic mammals. Weta Workshop designers also worked on concepts for the tail, several of which were longer than the final version. One design by Christian Pearce notably featured what resembled older reconstructions of the thagomizer, the tail spikes that Stegosaurus had.
One aspect of Godzilla design that received many variations in the design process was his dorsal plates. The dinosaur-esque design created by Broadmore featured triangular-shaped plates like previous designs and his atomic breath was more electrical-based, similar to Frank Hong's early keyframe art. Gareth Edwards did not like this design, saying that the plates were "incredibly big" and added that "you didn't see that form anywhere else on his body." Edwards also felt that the lightning effect made it difficult to understand what the audience was looking at. Another potential design by Christian Pearce had the dorsal plates resemble the plates of Stegosaurus. At one point Godzilla had porcupine spines in place of his signature plates. Though Edwards admitted that he liked this design, saying that it made Godzilla aggressive, he rejected it explaining "The problem is it just isn't Godzilla." Two designs also featured a fish-like dorsal fin in place of Godzilla's signature plates. One design that Edwards thought would be the final option for the fins was a fish-like design. Christian Pearce and Andrew Baker, concept artists responsible for designing Godzilla who were also fans of the kaiju, were known to have arguments with Edwards to keep Godzilla's atomic breath and the shape of his dorsal plates. Eventually, Edwards agreed to keep the atomic breath, but he disagreed with the design of the plates and chose an angular, broken slate look with his reasoning being that this trait "made more sense, as if the fins growing out of [Godzilla] are brittle and break." However, the maple leaf-shaped dorsal plates seen in the majority of Godzilla's designs would later be incorporated into the GareGoji design by the time the 2012 Comic-Con teaser trailer was made.
Another feature that was heavily focused on was the face. The filmmakers preferred Godzilla to have an angular face, with Edwards believing that rounded facial features made Godzilla look too "cute." Edwards began to favor an angular look for Godzilla after his displeasure with a retro-style design created by Broadmore that exhibited a rounded face. A grizzly bear was initially considered as a basis for Godzilla's face, as its skull is angular, but Edwards felt that the eyes of the bear "didn't look right." Edwards then became inspired by the design of the vulture-like Skeksis from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, which Edwards has stated are his favorite images from film, as he even had a book containing a full page of their eyes. Liking this trait, Edwards then told the designers to look at birds of prey and vultures as references. Bears and dogs also influenced his facial structure. In the trend of using underwater life as a reference, Godzilla was given gills as well. Gareth Edwards said about the gills, "You might say, oh, he should have gills. He's underwater and he's got no lungs—how else does he breathe? It might make some fans turn in their graves to know that we did this, but if just one things comes from it, it's well worth it."
The design process of Godzilla continued further after the release of the 2012 Comic-Con teaser with Moving Picture Company concept artist Matt Allsopp. Allsopp created the finalized design of Godzilla's head and his plates. The GareGoji design received last-minute tweaks to his legs when his CG model was being animated, due to them being too thick.
The GareGoji model was reused almost a decade later for the television series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023-2024), where detail was added to its dorsal plates for extreme close-ups. During a flashback set in 1954, the design is noticeably slimmer.
For Godzilla's return to the big screen after a 10-year hiatus, the King of the Monsters was revamped and given a new design that didn't look radically different from Toho's established Godzilla designs like the TriStar Godzilla design from the 1998 film. The GareGoji design is completely computer generated and no practical effects whatsoever were used to portray it. Many aspects of the GareGoji's design have an overall highly angular and spiky appearance to them. The face is boxy with tiny, yellow, eagle-like eyes in sunken sockets and has a broad muzzle with thin, spread-out, reptilian nostrils as opposed to more mammalian, clustered looking nostrils of Toho's designs. The mouth is lipless, like a crocodile, and has numerous small, unevenly spaced, needle-like teeth. While this design has no true ears, it does have a pair of small scutes in the same general location that ears would be, that can give the impression of them when viewed from frontward angles. These pseudo-ears are the first in a series of small spikes running down the sides of the neck. Similar bumpy spikes can be found on the sides of the edges of the lower jaw, the shoulder area, and sides of the beginning of the thighs. The neck is also short and extremely muscular and each side has several leafy-looking gills and its underside is partially covered with a series of overlapping, spiky, dewlap-like plates. This design has long, muscular arms and large, partially webbed, alligator-like hands with small, black claws. The GareGoji design has long, pillar-like legs attached to enormous thighs and hips and stumpy, elephant or sauropod-like feet with dull claws. This design also has wide shoulders and a barrel-shaped torso with a pair of large scale patterns on the chest. The dorsal plates are somewhat flat and of moderate size and have a mildly jagged, slightly chipped-away appearance to them, and bear a partial resemblance to the ones found on the MireGoji suit. The tail is long and more whip-like, with a much thinner tip compared with previous designs, and the tail segments are thinner and more angular. The skin texture is much more reptilian and lifelike than the keloid scar or tree-bark like texture found on many of the Toho designs and appears to have many visual similarities with crocodilians and sea turtles. This design is uniformly colored, including the plates, a dull greyish-brown or green.
Legendary has released a multitude of physical statistics for their incarnation of Godzilla, including:
- His height is 355 feet.
- His tail is 550 feet, 4 inches long.
- He has a total of 89 dorsal plates running down his back and tail.
- The palms of his hands are 34 feet, 4 inches long.
- He has a volume of 89,724 cubic meters.
- He would weigh 90,000 tons if his volume was filled with water.
- His feet are 58 feet wide and 60 feet long.
- His canine teeth are 3.51 feet long and and 1.73 feet deep.
- His roar can be heard from three miles away.
Use in other media
- Godzilla: Strike Zone (2014) - Android, iOS, and browser
- Godzilla: Smash3 (2014) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla (2014) - Sony PlayStation 3 and 4
- Godzilla Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Pinball FX (2023) - PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Steam, Epic Games [still frame; target]
The original Godzilla 2014 art, done by Gonzalo Ordóñez Arias (GENZOMAN) on deviantART
Teaser art from Comic-Con 2010, by GENZOMAN
Godzilla in the Godzilla Encounter
FIAT Brand "Godzilla" Commercial
S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014)
6" NECA Godzilla 2014
A GareGoji figure from the Godzilla: With Light and Sound! box kit by Running Press Miniature Editions
61cm GareGoji figure by Jakks Pacific
HG Series Godzilla 2014
Smash Strike Godzilla by Bandai America
Bandai 2014 Movie Monster Series Godzilla 2014
Godzilla Eggs Godzilla 2014
Godzilla 2-Inch Mini Figures by WizKids
NECA Scalers Godzilla
Playmates City Destruction Godzilla
Godzilla Origins ornament
Sideshow Collectibles 24" Godzilla 2014 Maquette
Battle Spirits BSC19 Godzilla 2014 card
Size Matters: How Godzilla Has Grown Over The Years
- Jim Rygiel has said that the GareGoji's fighting style was based on bears and Komodo dragons.
- Andy Serkis, who performed motion capture for King Kong in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake, was consulted to make the GareGoji and the MUTOs' computer-generated movement more realistic. Godzilla's movements were based on lizards (such as the Komodo dragon), bears, lions, and wolves.
This is a list of references for GareGoji. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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