Godzilla fans scanning the screening schedule at this year’s South By Southwest Film Festival had to realize that Tuesday had potential to deliver a double-feature of Kaiju goodies. The fest programmed a vintage screening of the 1954 Gojira -- the movie that started it all – for Tuesday. And reboot director Gareth Edwards was always scheduled to conduct a Q-and-A following the screening. How much would he reveal about this summer’s Godzilla film? And would he arrive in Austin with new footage tucked under his arm?
Can you guess what happened?
As we reported, Mondo created a special poster for Edwards’ SXSW presentation, which turned out to include a complete scene from his Godzilla reboot, with proper score accompaniment from composer Alexandre Desplat. Sadly, we left Austin before we could attend the SXSW Q-and-A, but reactions to the new Godzilla scene have been flooding the Web this morning. Drew McWeeny of HitFix attended the screening and said, of the new scene, that it "was a carefully chosen moment from a key sequence in the film that features what feels like the first full reveal of Godzilla in the film." He says that the sequence takes place in Hawaii, where the military has tracked a massive creature dubbed the Hokmuto that is "feeding on nuclear submarines." Ken Watanabe is part of the team tracking the monster as it swims near the USS Harry Truman. The scene also features Aaron Taylor Johnson’s character, Ford, riding a monorail from the airport. He notices the staggering amount of military presence… then spies a massive tsunami-sized wave caused by the Hokmuto approaching the shore.
The footage shown in Austin at the SXSW panel reportedly includes a lot of shots from the most recent trailer (shared below), and builds toward a moment when the Hokmuto is destroying the nearby airport, causing a power outage that threatens tourists and strands Taylor-Johnson on the decimated monorail. McWeeny says that the clip concludes with Godzilla’s massive feet stepping into frame, "finally revealing him in all his pissed-off glory," setting up a massive Kaiju battle before the scene fades to black.
Quint covered the same footage for AICN, and described it more as "very much in the vein of The Impossible… natural disaster feeling, not big monster feeling, if you know what I mean." If it’s anything like The Impossible, we are in:
Here’s that trailer:
Godzilla has a tough challenge, having to deliver massive monster thrills in the wake of Guillermo del Toro’s mind-blowing Pacific Rim, which unleashed massive Godzilla-like creatures on our society… then answered with skyscraper-sized robots constructed simply to fight such beasts. Pitting Godzilla against a series of similar monsters seems like a smart decision, so long as Edwards also gives us a human connection to draw us into this world. That falls to actors like Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen. We’ll see how they factor in to this new film when the Godzilla reboot opens on May 16.