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Godzilla is a mess. Every time I try to sit down and write this up, something else pops up in front of me and I have to start over again. Hopefully this will be a somewhat complete rundown of all of the current news and rumors that broke today.
Because you can’t hear enough about Godzilla in a single day, and because we apparently can never get enough of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Legendary Pictures reportedly offered the Looper star (and others) the lead in their upcoming reboot of everyone’s favorite giant, city-crushing mutant lizard. And if that isn’t big enough news for you, they’re also bringing in Frank Darabont to take a final pass at the script. Beyond that, the film dumped two producers, and picked up one more.
Sure, Gordon-Levitt regularly proves how versatile an actor he is, and he’s finally grown up enough that we can take him seriously in more adult roles, but this definitely feels like let’s-ask-everyone-and-see-if-anyone-says-yes kind of scenario. Are we at the point where we offer him the lead in every big studio movie, just in case? Because that’s what it seemed like when the Hollywood Reporter mentioned the casting hope in an article about the embattled picture. Key words in the report include the phrase “and others” when referencing the offer to Gordon-Levitt.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see him running around, doing battle with Gareth Edwards’ (Monsters) interpretation of Godzilla, there’s no doubt about that, Gordon-Levitt is also reported to be on the shortlist to play Peter Quill/Star-Lord in Marvel’s upcoming Guardian of the Galaxy adaptation.
Remember what I said a minute ago about the “and others” line? In the middle of the jumbled confusion, word broke that Gordon-Levitt had actually already passed on the role. Here, however, is the latest. Variety reports that Man of Steel star Henry Cavill sits atop the studio wish list to take the lead. The list is also said to include Scoot McNairy (which seems and odd choice to headline such an expensive film, except that he’s worked with Edwards before) and Caleb Landry Jones, though we saw how casting a relative unknown to front a huge movie like this worked out with John Carter.
At almost the same time we’re hearing all of this casting news, Deadline dropped the report that Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) is coming in to deliver a final draft of the screenplay. A number of other big writers, including David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), Dave Callaham (The Expendables), and Max Borenstein (The Seventh Son) have already taken a whack at the script. The studio announced that they want to begin filming in March, with an eye on a 2014 release, and bringing in a new writer this late in the game doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence that production will flow smoothly. We’ll see how all of this pans out.
But still, even with all of this tumult, we’re not done. Dan Lin and Roy Lee were part of the team that brought the Godzilla rights to Legendary back in 2010, but now the financier is dropping the Warner Bros.-based duo and bringing Pacific Rim producer Mary Parent on board.
This is a ton of upheaval for a movie that is supposed to begin filming only a few months from now. Edwards has gone on record saying that his Godzilla will be “a gritty, realistic actioner.” We’re not at all sure how a giant lizard stepping on buildings will be “realistic,” but we’re damn excited to find out.