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We just can’t get enough of Godzilla. Over the last few months we’ve been completely absorbing every single tiny bit of footage that has arrived online, and it has only served to make us more excited for the upcoming blockbusters, which should prove to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. Even though the movie is now less than a month away from release – set to hit theaters domestically on May 16th – we still can’t get enough of hearing about the movie, which is why we were so thrilled that director Gareth Edwards took part in a special Godzilla panel earlier today at WonderCon.
As part of a morning studio presentation from the folks at Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, Edwards sat down in front of a massive crowd gathered inside the Anaheim Convention Center arena and revealed some fascinating new details about just what went into the making of the new Godzilla. He had a great amount to say about the movie and provided some great insight to the production, and I’ve picked out five of the best anecdotes that he had to share. Read on to find out what he had to say!
They Found A Whole New Way To Create Godzilla’s RoarAs Edwards explained, the original Godzilla created the monster’s iconic roar with the use of a double bass, and a leather glove covered in resin (the sound was created rubbing the glove up and down the strings). The team behind the reboot attempted this method for the new movie, but wound up failing and needing to find a new way to try and create the monstrous call.
So what did they do? For now, that’s a very closely guarded secret. According to Edwards, the film’s sound designer created the roar himself, and weirdly enough refused to tell the director his method immediately out of fear that it would ruin the sound for him. Eventually Edwards did find out for himself, and while he wouldn’t share the solution with the WonderCon audience, he did say that it was created with the use of high speed microphones. Hopefully after the movie actually comes out next month the filmmakers will finally reveal the source of the mystery noise.
The Hardest Part Of Making Godzilla Was Literally Making GodzillaThere’s a hell of a lot of work that goes into the creation of a blockbuster on the scale of Godzilla. There has to be a script worthy of the devoted fanbase supporting the movie, there are hundreds of crew people who need to be recruited for very specific roles, and a collection of massive sets to not only build, but also completely destroy. This was nothing compared to what turned out to be the greatest challenge, however: actually deciding what Godzilla looks like.
Going into the project, Edwards thought that figuring out the look of the King of the Monsters would be an easy step, because everyone knows and has an opinion of what he looks like. It turned out those reasons were what actually made the design process such an obstacle. Ultimately, the director and his team decided that the best way to figure out what the new version of Godzilla would look like would be to construct an ideal silhouette of the beast, change a few things, rotate it, and then figure out the best appearance from all angles.
Making A Brand New MonsterMaking a new CGI version of Godzilla for the 21st century proved to be an extreme challenge for Gareth Edwards and the members of the crew behind the movie, but ranking not too far under that challenge was the need to design an entirely new creature. While the production team could look at previous incarnations of the eponymous monster, they didn’t have that luxury while creating the creature known as Muto, who was just reveled in toy from earlier this week.
Edwards didn’t want to say too much about the look and origin of the new monster – as he said doing so would pretty much ruin the film – but he did talk about the specific challenges that went into his appearance. The key to it all was creating something that didn’t just look generic and forgettable, but unfortunately that’s a task as challenging as "finding the last parking spot at Disneyland." Helping this process was looking back at the history of Toho, the Japanese studio that created Godzilla, and the many ridiculous monsters they created over the years. Complete with giant wings, eight insect-like eggs and a very bad attitude, Muto should provide an interesting challenge for Godzilla in his summer’s blockbuster.
The Cast Was Told To Treat The Movie Like A Personal Passion ProjectAmong many actors in Hollywood, there is a well-used strategy to ensure success in the movie industry: you do one project for "them" (a.k.a. the studio system that is mostly lacking in real artistic credibility) and then you do one project for yourself (a.k.a. an arty piece that may not draw audiences but will spark the creative juices). It’s not hard to see why many performers would see a movie like Godzilla fall into the former category, as it’s a multi-million studio action movie created to make bank at the box office, but Edwards refused to let his actors think that way on set.
Talking about assembling Godzilla’s excellent ensemble cast, complete with names like Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, David Straithairn and many more, Edwards revealed that he stressed each of his actors to look at the movie as more of a personal film than a commercial movie, hoping that the attitude will translate to better performances. We’ll just have to see if that strategy actually pays off when the movie hits theaters next month.
Malcolm In The Middle Caused A Moment Of Awkwardness Between Bryan Cranston And Gareth EdwardsBefore he was starring in the Godzilla reboot or even cooking blue crystal meth on Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston was really best known for his comedic work, specifically on the long-running television series Malcolm In The Middle. On the show the star played Hal, a hapless father of five prone to some severe emotional outburst. The role earned Cranston quite a bit of acclaim, but his performance also fostered an incorrect assumption in Gareth Edwards.
During the panel, the director admitted that prior to working with Cranston on Godzilla he was under the impression that Hal from Malcolm In The Middle was actually a closeted homosexual hiding his real identity from his family. Edwards apparently spent years describing the show to friends with this detail included, and it wasn’t until he brought it up to Cranston that he discovered his false reading of the character. The actor explained that he was just approaching the character with a softer energy to counter the extreme-ness in the performance by Jane Kaczmarek, who played his wife. Did this actually have any effect on the production of Godzilla? Not at all. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a funny story.