People with even a cursory understanding of film history know about Godzilla. He’s the behemoth monster who terrorizes cities and is seemingly unstoppable. It’s a shame that his recent film endeavors haven’t seemed quite as imposing as the monster itself. We’ve just learned that the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla has just run into a serious snag behind the scenes.
According to a new report from Deadline, it appears that Gareth Edwards has dropped out of Godzilla 2, leaving the project without a director. The decision to depart from the film seems primarily based on his desire to take a step back from big-budget blockbusters and pursue his own smaller scale passion projects. Deadline’s report of the development emphasizes that Edwards’ departure from the project is in no way, shape, or form rooted in any sort of conflict behind the scenes. And Warner Bros. has simply begun the process of attempting to find someone to replace him following the announcement of the film's release date this past week.
We can’t exactly fault Gareth Edwards for wanting to slow his roll behind the camera of a major monster movie like Godzilla 2. After directing the first Godzilla film for Warner Bros. in 2014, he then went on to helm the upcoming Lucasfilm project Star Wars: Rogue One, which will hit theaters later this year. Directing big studio movies doesn’t always offer the most creative control to a filmmaker, so Edwards seemingly wanted to move to smaller production so he can flex his artistic muscles a bit without much oversight.
All that being said, he still has managed to make his big budget projects look distinctive and compelling. Just take a look at the trailer for Rogue One to see what I mean:
It remains to be seen whether or not this departure represents a smart career move for Gareth Edwards. The creature feature genre has experienced a major boom in recent years, due in no small part to his work on the first Godzilla reboot. Leaving Godzilla 2 could either be a smart decision (before the market for these films becomes saturated) or a missed opportunity to profit off a quickly reviving trend. We will just have to wait and see how this decision pans out over time.
Stay tuned for more details related to the upcoming production and director hunt for Godzilla 2. The sequel to the 2014 kaiju action-adventure is currently slated to hit theaters on March 22, 2019.