The weak and the wounded rest on slabs of broken concrete in the fading sun. Around them, others are sifting through the rubble while armed soldiers train their vigilant eyes on any signs of danger. Godzilla has been here and this writer has been tasked to track his movements, get a good look at the creature and report back with my findings.
This outdoor scene of carnage – a piece of smoldering, destroyed building littered with civilians and soldiers – speaks volumes about Godzilla’s strength. I’m told Godzilla is massive. Production designer Owen Paterson (of The Matrix trilogy) says he’s nearly 400 feet tall, bigger than any incarnation of Godzilla yet.
This is the juicy intel I’m looking for. To get it, I have to push away from this scene and move onward. After all, anticipation is high since Godzilla – a total reboot of the 1954 film from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures opening May 16th – has been a long time coming. It has been a genuine passion project for Gareth Edwards who took on the job shortly after impressing genre fans and those in Hollywood with his DIY creature feature Monsters.
On that 2010 indie effort, the UK filmmaker wore multiple hats: Director, writer, cinematographer, production designer and visual effects. And in his hands Monsters transcended expectations and was a tight, captivating character drama that just so happened to have towering squid-like monsters rampaging across Mexico’s landscape.
Edwards was a perfect fit to welcome Godzilla – the subject of over 25 films and a walking destroyer representing the grim aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – back onto American soil and perhaps represent old and new global fears.
Here in Vancouver, Canada, Edwards is using multiple stages and locations as Godzilla’s stomping ground. The aforementioned green screen stage is just a small fraction of the production’s presence here in the Great White North.