Godzilla (2014 film)
The world ends, Godzilla begins. (世界が終わる、ゴジラが目覚める。)
— Japanese Tagline
Godzilla (ＧＯＤＺＩＬＬＡ ゴジラ is a Gojira)2014 American giant monster film produced by Legendary Pictures, and the second American-made Godzilla film, as well as the first entry in the MonsterVerse. The film was released to American theaters on May 16, 2014, and to Japanese theaters on July 25, 2014.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Staff
- 3 Cast
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Production
- 6 Marketing
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Soundtrack
- 9 Theatrical Releases
- 10 Box Office
- 11 Reception
- 12 Awards
- 13 Video Releases
- 14 Sequels
- 15 Videos
- 16 Trivia
- 17 External Links
- 18 References
- 19 Comments
In 1999, Monarch representative Dr. Ishiro Serizawa is called to a mining site in the Philippines along with his assistant, doctor Vivienne Graham. With a small team, he finds a colossal fossilized skeleton and two spores in a large underground cave. One of the spores is found already hatched and a tunnel extends to the surface from its location, followed a large trail that, in turn, extends to the ocean; the other is still unhatched and is taken to Yucca Mountain in Nevada, United States, and placed in the nuclear waste repository.
Days later, near Tokyo, Japan, the nuclear power plant at Janjira starts to experience seismic activity. Nuclear physicist and plant supervisor Joseph Brody and his wife, Sandra Brody, make their way to the power plant. Sandra assembles a team to perform a damage check, under Joe's supervision. The power plant is soon breached by an explosion and radiation leak, killing Sandra and her team, leaving Joe and their son, Ford, alone, and bringing the entire area down to ruins. The event is attributed to a large earthquake, and the Janjira area is evacuated and subsequently quarantined.
15 years after the incident, Ford is now an explosive disposal officer for the United States Navy, and is living in San Francisco, California with his wife Elle and son Sam. After returning home, he finds out that Joe was arrested for trespassing in Janjira while looking for an explanation for the catastrophic event years ago. After Ford travels to Japan and bails him out, Joe convinces him to come with him to another trip to Janjira, for Sandra's sake. They soon discover it is not radioactive (as it was supposedly claimed) and, after recovering Joe's old data and finding their old home, they notice the power plant in the distance with its lights on, believing that the plant is being rebuilt. They are soon caught and arrested by security and taken to the power plant.
The power plant now houses a large laboratory for studying a mysterious and strange chrysalis, similar to the one discovered in the Philippines. It is revealed to be the hatchling from the previously-discovered spore and, after breaking out of the chrysalis, the creature wreaks havoc on the lab, killing and injuring many of the personnel. During the chaos, Joe receives critically heavy wounds. After the monster flies away, the military takes Serizawa to the USS Saratoga, who requests that Joe and Ford accompany him on the way, wanting to know what they knew about the situation. Joe later dies from his injuries in the helicopter while en route to the USS Saratoga.
On the Saratoga, Serizawa and Graham reveal to Ford that they work for Monarch. Serizawa reveals that they knew of the creature beforehand, and explains to Ford what the monster that attacked the plant, now referred to as a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), is, detailing its ancient origins and how it feeds on radiation and radioactive materials, moving underground and putting itself in a cryptobiotic state when Earth's radiation subsided. Serizawa also explains Godzilla's origins, the failed attempts to kill him with nuclear weaponry since the USS Nautilus inadvertently awakened him in 1954, and the subsequent cover-up stories. Ford informs Serizawa of what his father knew, explaining that Joe mentioned tracking a form of echolocation within Janjira, leading the team to think that the MUTO was communicating with something.
Ford is then taken to Honolulu, Hawaii to eventually return to San Francisco. In the midst of a dense forest in Honolulu, a U.S. Navy Special Forces team finds the wrecked remains of a Russian nuclear submarine that, earlier, reported an attack. The team eventually comes upon the winged MUTO, which is feeding on the submarine's nuclear warheads. After noticing the military it sends out an electromagnetic pulse which shuts down all electronics within miles. Meanwhile, Ford is boarding a tram at the Honolulu International Airport, where he witnesses a young boy named Akio being separated from his parents. Ford, holding Akio, assures his parents that he will return their son. After the EMP caused by the MUTO, the train comes to a standstill for a moment before the power returns, only for lights to reveal the MUTO approaching the train. Ford and Akio are almost killed by the MUTO, which bites into the tracks and causes the train to derail and hang. On a different side of the city, Godzilla's arrival creates a tsunami which destroys most of Waikiki. The MUTO's actions start a chain reaction that leads to mass destruction at the airport, where Godzilla arrives. After a brief fight, the MUTO flies off with Godzilla pursuing it, and the two monsters are no longer a secret as footage of the brawl airs on the news, which Elle and Sam witness.
Serizawa reports that Godzilla appeared because he heard an echolocation signal and is hunting the MUTO. They later question why the MUTO would send out a signal, and soon realize that the other spore is still active and later find out that it has hatched. The resulting hatchling, much larger in size than the first, is then found to have broken out of the repository and started attacking Las Vegas, Nevada. The team concludes that the larger MUTO is female whereas the winged one is a male and that they plan on nesting in San Francisco. Admiral William Stenz approves a plan that involves attracting the monsters to a nuclear warhead and detonating it in the ocean, hoping to destroy all three monsters. Serizawa disapproves, claiming that Godzilla could be the only thing that could stop the MUTOs.
Ford, now on the mainland, journeys on a military train with a group of soldiers to get Elle and Sam out of San Francisco. The train, containing two ICBMs which were hoped to be strong enough to kill the three monsters, is destroyed by the female eight-legged MUTO, who was resting on a nearby cliffside, and Ford is found the next morning, left as the only survivor. One of the warheads is consumed by the creature, while the other warhead is flown by helicopter to San Francisco. The male MUTO arrives in San Francisco shortly after and steals the warhead immediately after it is armed to detonate.
At this time, citizens in San Francisco are being evacuated on school buses. Elle leaves Sam with a trusted friend while she stays behind to help around in the hospital. The buses then make their way out of the city through the Golden Gate Bridge, where it is blocked off and is surrounded by the military. Godzilla resurfaces near the bridge, where the Navy opens fire in an attempt to prevent him from entering the city, despite the protests of the soldiers on the bridge due to the presence of civilians. The commotion caused by both the military and Godzilla results in the destruction of the bridge, killing and injuring many people and only leaving two buses intact. Realizing that Godzilla may be the only thing capable of stopping the MUTOs, the military allow him to proceed into the city.
The MUTOs meet in downtown San Francisco and start building their nest after a short mating ritual. The male MUTO is attacked by Godzilla and another conflict ensues. Ford volunteers to go on a HALO drop with a team in order to retrieve the warhead from the MUTO nest and turn it off so it does not detonate in the city's center. After parachuting into the city they quickly locate the nest. The female MUTO goes to assist the male against Godzilla, giving the team the perfect time to locate the warhead. After finding it and getting out of the nest, Ford stays and, using a damaged fuel truck, destroys the nest of eggs in a fiery explosion before the baby MUTOs could hatch. This attracts the female MUTO's attention, and inadvertently saves Godzilla, who was being overwhelmed by the MUTOs. The MUTOs leave Godzilla and rush to their nest. The female MUTO spots Ford, but before she can kill him, he is saved by Godzilla, who knocks the female MUTO back with two blasts of his atomic breath. Before Godzilla can finish her off, the male M.U.T.O tries to attack him again, but Godzilla manages to kill the male by using his tail to slam it into the 44 Montgomery building. The building then collapses, pinning Godzilla underneath a pile of rubble and dust.
The team gets to the bay and realizes they cannot disarm the warhead, and devise a plan to sail it out into the ocean, far enough to not endanger the population. While the team is loading the warhead onto a boat, the female MUTO recovers from her injuries, attacks the crew and kills all except Ford. Ford starts to drive the boat, but he is confronted by the female, whose EMP deactivates the boat. Wounded and exhausted, he attempts to hold her back with his sidearm. However, Godzilla returns and grabs the MUTO from behind by her neck. After a brief struggle, Godzilla directs a charged atomic ray into her throat, which causes her neck to explode, ultimately decapitating and killing her. Exhausted, Godzilla throws her head in the water and collapses on the city's shoreline. Ford drives the boat out to sea and is rescued by helicopter before the warhead detonates at a safe distance from the city.
The next day, during the aftermath of the chaos, Ford is reunited with Sam and Elle. Godzilla is presumed dead until he wakes up in the morning. The media acknowledges Godzilla's actions, hailing him as "King of the Monsters" and debating on his role as the city's possible "savior." Godzilla lets out a final roar before returning to the ocean to lay dormant once again.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Gareth Edwards
- Written by David Callaham, Max Borenstein and Frank Darabont
- Produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers
- Executive Producing by Patricia Whitcher, Alex Garcia, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira
- Music by Alexandre Desplat
- Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey
- Edited by Bob Ducsay
- Production Design by Owen Paterson
- Special Effects by Tosin Akinwoye
- Screenplay by Max Borenstein
- Director of Photography Seamus McGarvey
- Art Department Mark N Tompkins
- Special Effects Supervisor Jim Rygiel
- Costume Designer Sharen Davis
- Sound Designer Erik Aadahl
- Motion Capture Consultants Andy Serkis, Matt Cross, Lee Ross
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 film)/Development.
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 film)/Development#Marketing.
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 film)/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
View all posters for the film here.
- 3D (post-converted)
- IMAX 3D
- Dolby Atmos
Godzilla received the biggest opening day box office results of 2014 when it came out, scoring $38,525,000 on Friday, May 16. The was expected to gather $100 million by May 19, and ended up surpassing it slightly with $103 million. By next Friday, on May 24, Godzilla only received $8.8 million. By the end of the four-day weekend that started on May 25, the movie had collected $38.4 million due to strong marketing, and fell down to $3.3 million the rest of the week and to $12 million on the May-June weekend.
When Godzilla opened in China on June, it received $10.9 million for the biggest opening day of 2014.
Godzilla's opening weekend box office total for Japan was ¥1,657,853,474, or $16,283,798.
By August 3, 2014, Godzilla's worldwide earnings had surpassed half a billion dollars ($500,000,000).
By the end of its theatrical run, Godzilla had earned a grand total of $528,676,069 across all countries ($200,676,069 in the U.S. and $328,000,000 abroad).
Godzilla has received generally positive reviews by critics and fans alike. Mose Persico of CTV says it's "a film not to be missed," Scott Carty of ABC TV deems it "epic for all the right reasons," Shawn Edwards of FOX TV calls it "the most incredible movie of the year," and Nancy Jay of Daybreak USA says it's "an instant classic." IGN gave it 9.0 out of 10. Critics have praised Gareth Edwards' direction, the film's visual effects, cinematography, respect for the source material, creature designs, use of slow build-up, Alexandre Desplat's musical score, and Bryan Cranston's performance.
The movie has also received its fair share of criticism, however. Most of the complaints revolve around the fact that Godzilla received relatively little screen time, less screen time than the MUTOs in fact, and that the monster battles don't take up much of the movie's running time. Some critics also found the film's characters to be underdeveloped. In addition, many critics and audience members found Ford Brody to be a bland and generic protagonist, and criticized marketing for leading people to believe that Joe Brody was going to be the main character, though Bryan Cranston's performance has received almost universal praise.
On opening day in Japan, the film received 3.55 out of 5 stars on Yahoo! Eiga. Toho themselves reacted positively to the film, with Edwards saying they thought it was "fantastic". Shinji Higuchi, co-director of Shin Godzilla, later praised the film as a "masterpiece" in an interview with the Associated Press in July 2015.
The first award Godzilla received, or rather Legendary Pictures received for Godzilla, was the 'Japan Cool Content Contribution' award, or J3C, on September 13 at the Consulate General's residence. The award was crated to recognize creatives who popularize Japanese media for worldwide audiences, which the financially successful Godzilla did. Alex Garcia attended and accepted the award on Legendary's behalf.
Godzilla was a contender for an Oscar nomination for 'Sound Editing.' Though it ultimately did not receive a nomination, key grips David McIntosh, Steve Smith, Mike Branham, and Mike Kirilenko won a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy in 2016 for the inflatable green screen they invented for the film's Golden Gate Bridge sequence.
Godzilla was also nominated for 'Best Science Fiction Film Release' and 'Best Film Music' as part of the 41st annual Saturn Awards.
- Region: Various
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English, Spanish, Canadian French (Surround 5.1) [U.S. release - will vary depending on country]
- Special Features: Four behind-the-scenes featurettes on Godzilla (19 minutes), the MUTOs (7 minutes), on-set and digital scenes of destruction (8 minutes), and the filming of the H.A.L.O. jump (5 minutes); three featurettes told from an in-universe perspective (15 minutes total), Japanese trailers and TV spots (Toho release only)
- Notes: A single-disc version without special features can be found packaged with Pacific Rim. Reissued in 2019 with a new slipcover.
- Region: Various
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English (DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1, 5.1 Surround), Spanish, Canadian French (Surround 5.1) [U.S. release - will vary depending on country]
- Special Features: Four behind-the-scenes featurettes on Godzilla (19 minutes), the MUTOs (7 minutes), on-set and digital scenes of destruction (8 minutes), and the filming of the H.A.L.O. jump (5 minutes); three featurettes told from an in-universe perspective (15 minutes total); Godzilla: Rebirth of an Icon featurette (28 minutes, Target exclusive); Japanese trailers and TV spots (Toho release only)
- Notes: Reissued in 2017 and 2019 with new slipcases, and in 2018 with a new face plate.
- Region: Various
- Discs: 3
- Audio: English (DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1, 5.1 Surround), Spanish, Canadian French (Surround 5.1) [U.S. release - will vary depending on country]
- Special Features: Four behind-the-scenes featurettes on Godzilla (19 minutes), the MUTOs (7 minutes), on-set and digital scenes of destruction (8 minutes), and the filming of the H.A.L.O. jump (5 minutes); three featurettes told from an in-universe perspective (15 minutes total); Japanese trailers and TV spots (Toho release only)
Toho 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD (2015)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 5
- Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), Japanese (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
- Special Features: Four behind-the-scenes featurettes on Godzilla (19 minutes), the MUTOs (7 minutes), on-set and digital scenes of destruction (8 minutes), and the filming of the H.A.L.O. jump (5 minutes); three featurettes told from an in-universe perspective (15 minutes total); Japanese trailers and TV spots; documentary on the film's release in Japan; overview of Godzilla's designs; interviews of staff members throughout the Godzilla series; Godzilla 60 Anniversary Discussion featuring Akira Takarada; Yoshimitsu Banno interview; Monster Planet of Godzilla short film; poster gallery; movie program
- Notes: Limited production run of 8,000 copies. Comes with an exclusive "poster variant" of the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 figure.
For variations in packaging, refer to the Gallery page.
Gareth Edwards stated that he wanted Godzilla to work as a standalone film with a definitive ending, and opposed suggestions that the ending should leave the film open for a sequel. While Edwards wasn't against the possibility of future sequels, his main concern was delivering a satisfying experience with the current film; "I want a story that begins and ends, and you leave on a high. That's all we cared about when we were making this; just this film. If this film is good, the others can come, but let’s just pay attention to this and not get sidetracked by other things."
On May 18th, 2014, after its successful opening weekend, a sequel was officially given the green light from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. The sequel was known by the working title Godzilla 2 before receiving the official title Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Edwards was initially confirmed to be directing the sequel, but it was unknown if any of the previous cast would be returning. In a previous interview with Gareth Edwards, he said that if the film were to have a sequel that he would like to do a Destroy All Monsters-like film.
A piece of "Classified Monarch Footage," a teaser for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, was shown in Comic-Con 2014. According to eye-witnesses, it looked like it was put together in the 1960s, with audio of John F. Kennedy talking about threats and dangers. Text comes on the screen saying that there was one more secret: "There were others." A pterodactyl-like shadow and "CODENAME: RODAN." An extreme close-up of a giant moth creature and "CODENAME: MOTHRA." Then a silhouette and quick cuts around a dragon-like shape figure and "CODENAME: GHIDORAH." Finally, "THREAT ASSESSMENT: CONFLICT INEVITABLE," followed by "LET THEM FIGHT."
On October 14, 2015, Legendary Pictures confirmed the production of a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla titled Godzilla vs. Kong for a 2020 release. Legendary revealed its plans to create a shared cinematic universe, dubbed the MonsterVerse, featuring Godzilla and King Kong, with the upcoming film Kong: Skull Island serving as the next entry. Kong: Skull Island will be released in 2017, followed by Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019, and finally Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020. Gareth Edwards has since dropped out of Godzilla: King of the Monsters to work on other projects, and was replaced by Michael Dougherty, director of Trick 'r Treat and Krampus.
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 film)/Videos.
- This film would have been actor Akira Takarada's first appearance in a non-Japanese Godzilla film, as he filmed a cameo as a customs officer that would greet Ford Brody in Tokyo. However, his scene was cut from the final film, though Takarada was present at the film's Japanese premiere.
- Most of the producers for this film were also involved with Pacific Rim.
- When Ford and Joe are searching through the ruins of their former home in the quarantine zone, the words "Ford's Mothra" can be seen printed below a glass case. The "ra" is in a different font, apparently the font of the "Janjira" logo, suggesting two stickers or pieces of tape laid over each other.
- At 355 ft. tall, the Godzilla in this film was the largest yet in the film series. On March 31, 2015, it was confirmed that the Godzilla in Toho's Shin Godzilla would exceed the size of Legendary's Godzilla.
- This film appears to borrow some plot elements from the script of the unmade 1994 TriStar Godzilla film:
- In both, Godzilla is believed to be destined to save the Earth from monsters that are more of a threat to it than him (the Gryphon and the MUTOs, respectively).
- Both have Godzilla beheading the enemy monster.
- The military believes Godzilla to be the bigger threat in both until Godzilla defeats the main threat.
- The biggest difference is that while the Godzilla in this film does not deliberately cause destruction in any location and avoids conflict with the military, the Godzilla from the cancelled TriStar script actually does seem to deliberately attack human settlements, specifically the Japanese Kurila islands, and decimates the military's forces willingly when attacked.
- The film also shares a great deal of plot similarities with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe from 1995.
- Like Gamera who reemerges in the modern day to defeat his ancient enemy Gyaos, Godzilla reawakens to battle the MUTOs.
- Like Gyaos who is reawakened and empowered due to humanity's destruction to the environment, the MUTOs are reawakened by human activity and feed on manmade nuclear materials.
- The JSDF mistakenly believes Gamera to be the greater threat compared to Gyaos before finally deciding to "let them fight" in a major urban center in the film's climactic battle. In both cases, the heroic monster tries to stop his enemy from reproducing from its nest in the heart of the city.
- Gamera beheads Gyaos before returning back to the ocean triumphantly, exactly as Godzilla does to the female MUTO.
- In an interview with Kinema Junpo, Shusuke Kaneko, director of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, himself acknowledged these similarities and commented: "Gareth... of course he must have watched Gamera. It's alright though."
- This is the first film since Terror of Mechagodzilla where Godzilla does not intentionally cause destruction. A possible reason for this is that the director of the film, Gareth Edwards, was more familiar with the more lighthearted and heroic incarnations of the character, specifically the one from Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla animated series, when he was a boy growing up in Warwickshire in the center of England.
- One of the lines quickly "classified" in the opening credits reads: "Are these animals real? Can we prove they exist? Or are they merely men in rubber suits with costumes designed by tricksters?", referencing Godzilla's real-life origins.
- In one of the original drafts of the 2014 film, it was mentioned Godzilla was going to be 600 feet tall.
- Jolyon Yates, who was responsible for the drawing of the anatomy of several Gamera kaiju for the Shout! Factory DVD releases of the Showa Gamera films and who designed the filming crew's t-shirts for the 2014 Godzilla film, makes a cameo in the film itself as one of the workers escaping the Janjira power plant.
- This is the first Godzilla film released in 3D, with the exception of the short film Monster Planet of Godzilla created for a ride at Sanrio Purioland. Godzilla was not filmed in 3D, but post-converted.
- Official site in English
- Official site in Japanese
- Official international site
- Site for the Godzilla Encounter exhibit at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con
- MUTOResearch.net - viral marketing site
- GodzillaAlert.com - viral marketing site
- Licensed Product Guide from SciFi Japan
- Official Facebook page
- Official Twitter account
- List of firearms used in the film
- U.S. Department of Defense Production Assistance Agreement
- Toho Kingdom interview with Godzilla Encounter creator Barnaby Legg
- Time-lapse of Alexandre Desplat conducting the film's orchestra and choir
This is a list of references for Godzilla (2014 film). 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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