I had the privilege of attending this exclusive question and answer session with Gareth Edwards, held at the May Fair Hotel screening rooms in London. The seats were filled and the stage set as we eagerly waited to see what was in store, exclusive content was to be shown.
Gareth Edwards stepped out, by his own admission a mixed bag of nerves and excitement, as he prepared to show his baby for the salivating audience. We were treated to his tale of his journey to get to this point, the years of work and sacrifice, stepping into the unknown as he was now in charge of a budget of millions, all culminating in the footage we were about to see.
Edwards explains how his talents were fortuitously noticed, having entered the 24 hour film festival in 2008, using his background in visual effects he won the competition and got started on his first feature ‘Monsters’. The success of ‘Monsters’ gave Edwards the keys, he was pegged to director a Godzilla reboot, going from a budget of a few hundred thousand to now commanding 150 million dollar budget!
It shows on the screen too, as we watched the clips, all the bells and whistles are there, big set pieces essential in a Hollywood disaster movie, looked phenomenal.
Edwards explained how he wanted to keep true to the origins of what Godzilla is about and pay homage to those roots in his film, all too often lost in Hollywood wanting to take franchises in a ‘new direction’ and lose the essence of what made the subject great in the beginning. It displays plenty of the Japanese influence, Edwards even remarking he had used Manga and Anime as a base for style and tone, particularly the post apocalyptic Akira, “when in doubt we would just think, what would Akira do?”.
The film displays the acting talents of Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ken Watanabe, all doing sterling work in the clips we were shown, Johnson a much more mature leading man than that of ‘Kick Ass’, to great effect.
Edwards tells us how the scale and look of his Godzilla was a difficult process taking almost a year to settle on the design, which to me harkens back to the original Godzilla of the 50’s, less dinosaur and more monster.
Standing at 350 feet tall in practical terms it is the biggest Godzilla to date, dwarfing many buildings, and leaving a path of destruction and devastation in his wake.
In Jaws fashion the Monster is sparingly hidden from what I could see, leading to a more exciting pay off when finally revealed and his scale becomes apparent.
We were treated to the trailer in full 3D, which should perform very well, the film being very visual effects heavy, as is to be expected, this lends to an exciting cinema experience with 3D glasses, one to watch in IMAX.
GODZILLA is released in cinemas May 16
By Christian Howard