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Godzilla Adds Ken Watanabe As Production Begins

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Movie studios these days seem to be hiring indie directors with one breakthrough hit to helm summer blockbusters lately. Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man), Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic Park IV), and now Gareth Edwards are just a few indie directors taking a shot at big-time Hollywood moviemaking. Edwards is helming the Godzilla reboot for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros, and he’s keeping things classy by adding Japanese actor Ken Watanabe to the cast.

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According to the Warner Bros. press release, principal photography on Godzilla begins today in Vancouver, British Columbia. Watanabe is joining an already impressive cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston.

Watanabe was a well-established actor in Japan before crossing over to American audiences with his breakthrough Academy Award-nominated performance in 2003’s The Last Samurai. He famously portrayed super-villain Ra’s al Ghul’s decoy in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005. Watanabe also played the character of Saito in Christopher Nolan’s Inception in 2010.

The Godzilla reboot is said to be a more realistic take on the Japanese monster movie, and screenwriter Frank Darabont has also called the movie a “terrifying force of nature.” It will be Gareth Edwards’ follow-up to his acclaimed directorial debut, 2010’s low-budget sci-fi flick Monsters. Let’s just hope that the new Godzilla will be much better than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 version.

Godzilla will roar into theaters everywhere on May 14, 2014, in 3D.

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