10 Cool Godzilla Stories We Just Learned From Director Gareth Edwards

Godzilla 2014

In 2014, director Gareth Edwards helped usher in a whole new era for one of cinema’s longest lasting franchises. Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse was born with the release of Godzilla, and the movie instantly attracted a fanbase that loves to watch horrifying kaiju do battle and wreak havoc across the Earth. Recently the director of the film provided fans with an enhanced way of revisiting it, hosting a special watch party on social media, and what came of the online event was multiple fun behind-the-scenes stories and confessions about the making of the blockbuster.

The Twitter-based director’s commentary provided multiple cool insights about the experience creating Godzilla, but below we’ve highlighted the 10 most interesting bits for your reading pleasure:

Godzilla 2014 Juliette Binoche

The Film’s Nuclear Plant Was Actually A Sewage Facility, And It Stunk Horribly

Location scouting is a tricky business. Professionals in the job do their best to satisfy all of the needs of a production… but sometimes the perfect spots come with their own special downsides. This was a lesson learned in a pretty gross way by Gareth Edwards in the making of Godzilla. Early in the film there is a major sequence set in the Janjira Nuclear Power Plant, which is the place where Joe and Sandra Brody (Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche) are employed, and it looks pretty damn authentic. What the building actually is, however, is a sewage facility, and according to Edwards it “smelt like shit the whole time.”

Godzilla 2014 cranston and taylor-johnson

There Were Briefings About How Emergency Responders Would Act During A Godzilla Attack

Our world has seen some pretty devastating events occur in the long history of its existence, but one thing we can be thankful for is that we have not yet seen giant monsters rise out of the ocean and destroy cities. As of now, that scenario is entirely fictional. However, the filmmakers and actors had to pretend it was a reality in the making of Godzilla, and according to Gareth Edwards that included attending presentations delivered by real “emergency response people.” The director says it was a surreal experience watching Power Point slides about procedure during a kaiju attack.

Godzilla 2014

Godzilla’s Sound Designer Legitimately Scared Kids To Get Authentic Screaming Sounds

Sound designers have a wide variety of strange tricks up their sleeves in order to get the material they need to make a scene seem perfectly authentic. In the making of Godzilla, though, apparently Erik Aadahl went a more direct route when he needed screaming children for a particular sequence. According to Gareth Edwards, the sound designer decided his best course of action was to dress up as a monster, terrorize unsuspecting kids, and record the result.

Godzilla 2014

Gareth Edwards Admits That Godzilla’s Size Isn’t 100% Consistent

To put it bluntly, the size of Godzilla in Gareth Edward’s film is ridiculous. While the size of the monster in the original film in 1954 was roughly 164 feet tall, the 2014 incarnation stands at a whopping 355 feet… or at least that’s the statistic that exists on paper. The director took the recent watch party as an opportunity to make a confession: “I think we fudged the scale of Godzilla throughout the film.” He takes all of the blame for it personally, so if there are any moments in Godzilla when the kaiju looks shorter or taller than he did in a previous shot, you can direct all criticisms his way.

Godzilla 2014 aaron taylor johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Ford Is Named After Harrison Ford

When carving out a template for a protagonist in our modern cinematic landscape, “Young Harrison Ford” is a popular way to go. After all, today’s filmmakers are movie fans who grew up watching the adventures of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard, so Ford’s face has a tendency to pop up when conjuring the mental definition of “hero.” This directly translated into Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla via Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character – who you may remember is named Ford. This was evidently a move agreed upon by Edwards and screenwriter Max Borenstein when they were discussing the movie’s lead and agreed that “Young Harrison Ford” was the way to go.”

Godzilla 2014 MUTO

The Movie Only Finalized The Look Of The Muto At The Last Possible Second

Fans will remember that the primary antagonists in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla are the MUTO – which is a pretty strange name for a kind monster. This is because it’s not actually a name, but instead an acronym standing for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism. The movie doesn’t actually provide any official names for the kaiju in the film, which is actually kind of funny when you consider their history from a design perspective. Evidently it was a bit tricky behind the scenes making final decisions about the creatures, as Edwards revealed that the look of the male and female Muto was incredibly challenging, and that he and his team were messing with the design up until the last possible second.

Godzilla 2014 Juliette Binoche

There Is A Very Weird Outtake Featuring Bryan Cranston And Juliette Binoche

Godzilla doesn’t wait very long to hit audiences with an emotional gut punch, as the death of Juluenne Binoche’s Sandra Brody is quite sad. Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody sends her as part of a team to investigate a nuclear reactor following some strange seismic activity, and the end result is Joe delivering a tearful goodbye to her behind a metal door shortly before needing to abandon her to save his own life. It’s heartbreaking, but Cranston apparently found a way to liven the moment up on set – specifically by doing a take where Joe reveals he set the whole thing up as a birthday surprise gag for Sandra.

Godzilla 2014

A Scene With Dead Miners Had Some Super Gruesome Makeup

“Kill your darlings” is a commonly used expression in Hollywood – particularly in the editing process. Even if something looks super cool, or is awesome in some special way, it can’t make the final cut of a movie if it doesn’t add enough to the bigger picture and/or potentially makes it worse. As Gareth Edwards learned in the making of Godzilla, this very much includes gruesome special effects makeup. The filmmaker identified one of his favorite cut scenes from the blockbuster as an early bit featuring a collection of dead miners in the cave, and illustrated his point with a picture only real horror genre lovers will be able to appreciate.

Godzilla 2014 Ken Watanabe

The One Prop Gareth Edwards Took From Set: Serizawa's Watch

Stealing props from sets is frowned upon, as items that are created specifically for movies can be valued at thousands of dollars simply because of the number of man hours that went into their creation, but at the same time it’s hard to blame anyone involved with a crazy cool production from sneaking off with a memento. Gareth Edwards, for example, was not able to suppress the urge to nab something from the making of Godzilla: the pocket watch carried by Ken Watanabe’s Ishir? Serizawa. In the film, the item previously belonged to Serizawa’s father, who was a scientist who studied Godzilla as part of a secret government department.

Godzilla 2014 opening

Shots In The Opening Credits Were Originally Their Own Scene

The opening credits sequence of Godzilla is pretty badass, as the audience is given a surprisingly thorough look through the history of the titular monster’s time on Earth. According to Gareth Edwards, that wasn’t part of the plan for the project going into production. What turned into opening credits was originally going to be its own scene, featuring nuclear testing in the South Pacific, but the footage was repurposed for the final cut of the movie.

We here on CinemaBlend are following along with all of the various watch parties that have been happening in recent weeks, so stay tuned as we continue to highlight them and pull out the best bits to share with you. And for those of you now feeling the urge to watch Godzilla, the film is available for purchase or rental from digital retailers, and is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.