Development of Godzilla (2014)
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In 2007, film producer Brian Rogers met former Toho company director Yoshimitsu Banno who had the rights to make an IMAX 3D Godzilla film. Rogers then met Toho to arrange a license to produce a 3D Godzilla film. After securing the rights, Rogers approached several film companies and Legendary Pictures agreed to work with Rogers on the project. In August 2009, rumors surfaced that Legendary were in talks with Toho to produce a new American Godzilla film to be released in 2012.
On March 29, 2010, it was confirmed that Legendary had acquired the rights to Godzilla. They planned to reboot the franchise with Warner Bros. co-producing and co-financing. TriStar Pictures would not be involved in the production because their rights to the character expired in 2003. Legendary planned to make the new film closer in style to the original Japanese character than TriStar's iguana-like creature. According to Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures, "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop culturally relevant for as long as it has".
The film was formally announced at Comic-Con 2010 where an early concept art impression for the new Godzilla was revealed. Gareth Edwards, director of the movie Monsters was announced as the director. Mr. Edwards stated he knows the importance of getting the film right for the fans. In October 2010, David Callaham was named to write the first draft of the script. After Callaham, four more persons worked on the screenplay during the course film's development.
David Goyer (the story writer for The Dark Knight trilogy) was been announced as a writer for the movie. Many fans were excited about the this choice as they say David Goyer (along with Christopher Nolan) brought justice for the Batman movies using dark themes. However, Goyer only worked a few weeks on the script and did not get a screenwriter credit. In November 2011, Max Borenstein was hired to continue work on the script. In October 2012, Legendary announced that writer Drew Pearce would polish the final script, making the principal characters older to suit the actors that Legendary intends to cast. In January 2013, Frank Darabont (writer-director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Walking Dead), was officially added to work on the film script.
At the 3D Summit conference held in September 2010 at Universal Studios, producer Brian Rogers confirmed the planned date of 2012. The reboot will be a live-action project featuring a computer-generated Godzilla, and the King of the Monsters would fight at least one other monster, rather than the United States Army like in Roland Emmerich's film. It was also mentioned that Godzilla would use his atomic breath, the monster's trademark weapon omitted by Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin in the previous American film in favor of "power breath".
Frank Darabont, the screenwriter, described his plans for Godzilla as returning it to a "terrifying force of nature" in interviews. The film will add a "very compelling human drama" and that Godzilla would be tied to a "different contemporary issue" rather than the original atomic bomb testing. Director Gareth Edwards, at a promotional appearance in 2012, described the tone of the film. "We're just going to take it really seriously. I've wanted to see this movie this way all my life. Imagine if this really happened – as crazy as it sounds – what would it really be like?".
In January 2013, it was reported that Warner Brothers, in a meeting for advertisers, revealed that the film would contain two new monsters in addition to Godzilla, and the plot of the film would revolve around the story of a young U.S. Marine. David Goyer, who is also a screenwriter, stated that there were two other monsters in the script when he worked on it.
Elizabeth Olsen described the film as "definitely not lighthearted. It's kind of going back to its roots of the original Japanese film" and that "there's a strong theme of the importance of family, as well as the theme of trying to control nature, and how that backfires in the end". Cranston says that he plays a scientist called Joe Brody that "discovers an anomaly in some sonar, signalings, patterns, and is just starting an investigation when all hell breaks loose".
During Comic-Con 2012, director Gareth Edwards participated in a Godzilla panel, in which they screened a new teaser trailer, described as so, a destroyed city is seen, as Robert Oppenheimer's speech comes in, "I am become death, destroyer of worlds" as a huge dead centipede type creature is smoldering, and finally, a roar is heard, and the camera cuts to Godzilla, true to his Japanese origins, roaring. This same trailer was leaked a year later.
On September 13, 2012, the movie's release date of May 16th, 2014 was announced.
By October 3, 2012, the movie was set to be in production by the following March in Vancouver. Also, around this time, Drew Pearce, the screenwriter of Iron Man 3, was hired to perform rewrites of the script.
On December 18, 2012, a screenshot of what appeared to be, the Godzilla trailer was posted on the Tumblr of Jordane Menard, the modeler concept and texture artist for the film. Menard has said "I'm working on the Trailer of the next Godzilla here at MPC London as Modeler and Texture Artist. I've worked on the foreground on the building and the characters." Also, Drew Pearce was asked, on his Twitter, if there's going to be some scenes where Godzilla breathes fire, destroys buildings, taking out the military, done right and will be nothing like the 1998 film and his response was "There's a lot of of it in the current trailer... but new stuff coming very soon..."
On March 13, 2013, the film started production and began filming on Vancouver Island. Also, Jim Rygiel, visual effects supervisor of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, was hired to do the special effects for this film.
On March 18, 2013, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced the final principal cast for the film, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. Also, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Brothers while Toho will be distributing it in Japan, and the film will be in 3D.
On March 19, 2013, Gareth Edwards announced that they had finished filming the first scene. Also, reports of a burning helicopter and a nuclear missile being transported by a train have been cited at Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, all of this is rumored to be in the movie.
On March 21, 2013, Richard T. Jones joined the cast.
On April 5, 2013, Sally Hawkins joined the cast.
On April 17th, 2013, Brian Markinson joined the cast.
On April 20th, 2013, Yuki Morita joined the cast.
On April 23rd, 2013, it was revealed that Godzilla will continue filming for two months in Hawaii.
On April 25th, 2013, Legendary posted a picture in their wall showing a path of destruction Godzilla has left behind.
On May 2nd, 2013, Legendary posted a picture in their wall showing what seems to be a power plant.
On May 16th, 2013, a new photo about people being hospitalized in the FEMA stadium popped up and was confirmed by Gareth Edwards appearing in it in an update.
On May 18, 2013, Legendary posted a new picture in their Twitter. Other sources, like Lainey Gossip, PUNKD Images, Spoilertv, Clayton Perry Photography, and VancityFilming have put up additional pictures and videos.
On May 22, 2013, Legendary uploaded a new photo to their Facebook page. It shows top secret documents that do not reveal much, but it also reveals a map of Maintop and Maintop Bay (Farallon Islands), which used to have nuclear waste dumped into them in real life.
On May 24, Legendary began filming a scene with what seemed like a ship set.
On June 6, 2013, Legendary uploaded a new photo to their Facebook page.
On June 10, 2013, many pictures appeared on Comicbookmovie.com surrounding the filming of the film.
On June 6, 2013, many pictures featuring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston were uploaded in m.justjared.com.
On June 17, 2013, Variety.com released an article that says that Godzilla will have action figures, with Bandai America Incorporated as the film's master toy partner.
On June 18, 2013, Comingsoon.net released pictures of posters from Licensing Expo 2013, including Jurassic Park 4, Ninja Turtles, and Godzilla.
On June 19, 2013, Legendary posted a new photo on their Facebook showing a closed radioactive containment door.
On June 22, 2013, yvrshoots.com released pictures of Elizabeth Olsen on set.
On Saturday, July 20, 2013, sometime from 10:45 to 1:15 at Comic-Con, Legendary and Warner Bros. showed a preview for the film.
An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
— Warner Brothers' description for the film at Comic-Con 2013
On July 15, 2013, IGN.com released a teaser poster for the Legendary Godzilla.
On July 17, 2013, Deadline.com spotted and released an image of Godzilla from the Godzilla Encounter at SDCC 2013.
On July 17, 2013, Collider.com posted around 75 pictures of what was inside Legendary's Godzilla Encounter museum. Between the many pictures, two concept designs of the Legendary Godzilla can be seen.
On July 19, 2013, ShockTillYouDrop.com interviewed Gareth Edwards. They found out the following facts:
- The last day of filming was July 18, 2013.
- Godzilla will be a force of nature, not an antagonist or a hero, but an anti-hero. "He's the punishment we deserve".
- The theme is man versus nature, and Godzilla "is definitely on the nature side".
- There's a nuclear element in the movie, and the film will be "as realistic as possible".
- Toho was very involved in designing Godzilla. Edwards said "they feel we've stayed true to their roots. In the encyclopedias and books you read about Godzilla, there's these different groups - all of the Godzillas in one section and then there's the American film. I'd love ours to be considered as part of the Toho group."
On Comic-Con July 20, 2013, in an interview with IGN Edwards has confirmed that this will be the tallest Godzilla ever.
On Comic-Con July 20, 2013, another trailer was shown. Cosmicbooknews.com posted what happened in it:
"Starts off by showing a beach with atomic testing and mushroom cloud with ash falling from the sky with the Godzilla movie logo then shown. Now the footage that was shown at least year's Comic-Con is revealed, described as a "mood piece" (i.e. get the crowd excited). The footage of the destroyed city is shown with Oppenheimer's famous quote, "We knew the world would not be the same. Some people cried. Most people were silent." Gareth Edwards then steps on to the stage followed by Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston. Elizabeth Olsen says she plays a mother and a nurse in Godzilla. Cranston is next kidding that he is the old guy in the film, but loved the movie monster as a kid. Says he was nervous at first about being part of such an iconic character and film. Edwards then mentions that the human characters in the film are close to Godzilla, and then tells a funny story about getting stopped at the Canadian Border with Customs telling him not to F' up the movie when they realized who he was.
Soldiers are shown running through streets and a flooded city. Cranston's character takes off his radiation suit; Olsen is shown crying. The military is then show with paratroopers and soldiers loading missiles. The shot continues, revealing a massive, skinny, four-legged monster. It seemed to have smaller arms on its chest and looked as if it had wings as well.
The next shot is from inside the airport terminal and through the glass walls, we see a plane crashing in a ball of fire right in front of the structure as the monster approaches in the background. Godzilla’s foot lands in view as well.
Next shot is the most clear yet from the front as we see the beast seemingly opening its wingspan as Godzilla – clearly several times larger than the aggressor – rises from behind it, roaring, as if it's going to destroy the creature to protect the land. It cuts to the Godzilla logo. Godzilla's face was not shown."
On July 25, in an interview posted on io9.com, Gareth explains some of the symbolism behind the movie.
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, an image taken by a Brazilian Godzilla fan revealing the American Godzilla's final design was uploaded to Facebook.
On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, Omelete Entervista uploaded a video to YouTube that revealed about Bryan Cranston's character, called Joseph Brody, as well as Olsen's character and Aaron Taylor-Johnson's characters, named Elle Brody and Ford Brody, respectively. Cranston also said "We think you'll be able to wipe the memory of the old Godzilla 12 years ago or whatever that was, completely out of your system. This Godzilla is very different. Very much a character-driven monster movie, if that makes sense. To combine those types of elements of filmmaking together, and I say 'Why not? It's long overdue'. Instead of just having a monster, if you invest in these characters, and feel for them, care for them, you're going to appreciate and have a better experience when the monster arrives, than when you're like 'Oh it's a person, I don't know who it is that was just crushed, oh okay whatever.', and that's what this Godzilla 2014 does."
On Friday, October 4, 2013, the first teaser trailer for Godzilla was finally leaked. It appears to be the first Comic-Con trailer. On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, a second trailer for Godzilla was leaked.
On November 11, 2013, Moviepilot.com posted an interview with Gareth Edwards, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston.
On December 8, 2013, the film's viral marketing campaign finally started with the MUTO Research website being launched.
On Monday, December 9, 2013, USAToday posted a few pictures from the trailer and two other pictures from the movie.
On Monday, December 9, 2013, TotalFilm posted a picture which is part of the viral marketing campaign showing Turkmenistan's infamous burning "Door to Hell", which might have something to do with MUTO
Visitors to the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con received a t-shirt with an image of the new Godzilla design. The image is credited to comics and manga publisher UDON Entertainment. Gonzalo Ordóñez Arias worked with Legendary and Toho for the painting. Visitors to the Legendary Pictures booth at the convention could view an animation of the new Godzilla breathing his atomic breath superimposed over their image captured via a webcam. The augmented reality promotion was designed by Talking Dog Studios of Saskatchewan, Canada.
In the summer, Legendary opened the Godzilla Encounter, a museum where Godzilla props and merchandise can be seen, in summer. They also released a Godzilla Encounter application for iOS, and opened a Godzilla Encounter website.
On December 8, 2013, the film's viral marketing campaign started with the release of the MUTO Research website.
On Tuesday, December 10, 2013, Legendary finally released the official teaser trailer as well as a new poster and a new official site.
On December 11, the Japanese version of the Godzilla trailer was released and the Japanese Godzilla movie site was launched. The trailer was mostly the same, although it contains two brief new shots. TV spots have also started appearing in Japan. It has since been removed.
On January 2014's issue of Total Film, a few details of the film were revealed, such as Godzilla's height, the film's budget, and what fighting style Godzilla's was inspired by.
On February 25, 2014, Legendary released the main trailer for the film.
On February 27, 2014, Snickers made a commercial to promote the film.
On March 17, Godzilla: Smash3 was revealed and the Godzilla 2014 toy embargo was lifted.
On March 18, 2014, Warner Bros. released the international trailer for the film. This trailer was mostly the same as the main trailer, but contained several new scenes and dialogue.
On April 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 18th, and May 7th, 17th, and 19th, 2014, Legendary Pictures released nine TV spots for the film, each titled, in order: It Can't Be Stopped, I Can't Believe This Is Happening, Whatever It Takes, Courage, Extended Look, Nature Has An Order, You're Hiding Something, Calling, and Awaken.
On April 20, 2014, footage of Godzilla was shown at WonderCon Anaheim.
On April 21, 2014, advance tickets for Godzilla began selling.
On April 28, 2014, Legendary released the Asian trailer for the film.
On May 3, 2014, a FIAT® commercial was made to promote the film.
On May 16, 2014, Godzilla was released to American theaters. Most of its marketing from dates near the release was based on showing the film's good reviews.
For a limited time, Godzilla cup tops were available in late May in Japan. In early June, Toho put up a Godzilla display in the JR Hakata Station in Fukuoka, Japan. They also had a Godzilla mural created on one of the walls of Toho Studios.
In Japan, Toho made a pure gold, 24 centimeter, 15 kilogram statue of Godzilla 1989 valued at 150,000,000 yen and released pictures of it on July 14, 2014.
In Japan, a 6.6 meter Godzilla statue based on the GareGoji Godzilla design is to be unveiled in a park in Tokyo. Legendary released one official picture on Facebook on the 16th of July. On July 21, the statue was unveiled officially.
On mid-July of 2014, the Godzilla-movie.jp site was completely redesigned and updated.
On July 16, 2014, Toho released a fourth TV spot for Godzilla, and is the only TV spot that shows Godzilla using his atomic breath.
On July 21, 2014, Toho staged a talk event with 100 young women who weren't interested in seeing Godzilla at the Tokyo Midtown shopping and entertainment complex. Godzilla actor Shiro Sano, Godzilla voice actress Haru, and film commentator LiLiCo were there, and by the end of the event got many of the girls interested. They all then took a picture with the Godzilla statue.
On August 18, 2014, Toho uploaded two more TV spots to their YouTube channel. Both spots featured the MUTOs more so than any previous trailer or TV spot.
$61.8 million were spent to advertise Godzilla through 5,115 airings of TV ads in the United States.
Godzilla made its pay cable debut on January 16, 2015 through Cinemax.
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