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Godzilla doesn’t even open for another two weeks—slightly less than that now, actually—but, like every big Hollywood blockbuster that people expect to rake in big bucks at the box office, that’s not going to stop anyone from talking about the future of the franchise. We know that the big guy isn’t the only monster in the new movie—there’s an entirely new addition to the canon named Muto who we’ve seen primarily in toy form. We’ve now heard that at least one fan favorite opponent isn’t in the film, but apparently could appear in the Godzilla 2, should such a thing come to pass.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have just started screening Godzilla for members of the press, beginning with New York and Los Angeles. While critics are still embargoed from reviewing the movie, that isn’t going to stop anyone from discussing it entirely. Director Gareth Edwards did a question and answer session after the LA screening. Badass Digest was present and says there’s an interesting Easter egg in the film that could provide a hint about future installments.
When Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character is a child, he has a terrarium. On the side is a piece of masking tape. Written on this masking tape is the word “Mothra.” When asked about this, Edwards obviously didn’t say anything concrete, noting that Legendary has an unofficial policy of not talking about sequels until the day after a movie opens, at the earliest. So May 17 they can start discussing Godzilla 2. What Edwards did say, however, is that they are all “passionate fans of the universe,” which means all of the iconic monsters in the family. Following this logic, it sounds like you can expect to see some familiar faces in potential follow-ups. With this hint, and the character’s popularity, it isn’t a huge stretch to think that Mothra could show up next time.
So many modern movies where large-scale destruction figures in the mix use imagery specifically designed to evoke memories of terrorist attacks, specifically September 11. Just look at the climax of Man of Steel if you need evidence. This move always feels cheap and easy and like emotional blackmail. It’s a tactic that always leaves a lingering bad taste in my mouth. During the Q & A, Edwards said he specifically tried to avoid doing this. He’s already compared Godzilla to a force of nature, and that seems to be the kind of chaos they’re going for.
While this is a refreshing move, especially for American audiences, you have to think that the footage we’ve seen of what looks very much like a tsunami—it’s prominently featured in almost every trailer and TV spot—is going to strike a similar chord, specifically with Japanese viewers (even if they think he’s too fat). The memory of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is still a fresh wound, and those clips are eerily reminiscent of the harrowing video we all saw of a wall of water decimating everything in its path. It may not be terrorism, but you can bet those scenes may be hard to watch for some viewers.
Godzilla opens everywhere May 16, and stars Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, and David Strathairn.