So, we here at Giant Freakin’ Robot are still pretty depressed about the domestic box office returns that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim has brought in, despite it doing fairly well overseas. And while much of the public opinion was positive, one person whose opinion wasn’t highly publicized was that of Gareth Edwards, the director of the next year’s monsteriffic Godzilla reboot. It turns out he loved the flick, and was quick to point out that, even though both movies feature gigantic scaly things, they’re definitely of different cloths. Speaking to the Comic-Con crowd on Saturday, Gareth spoke enthusiastically about del Toro and his work.
“I think it’s great!” he said. “I love Guillermo, and he was very supportive of this movie, because obviously throughout the process we did a lot of ‘What are you doing?’ ‘What are you doing?’ He had nothing but crazy support for us, but Godzilla is a very different movie.” Since both films were announced around the same time back in 2010, it seems natural that the two filmmakers would have spoken. But we all know that isn’t always the case in Hollywood, where movies that are far more similar get made simultaneously with no regard for how alike they end up being.
For everyone who had a problem with Pacific Rim‘s lack of character depth, Edwards promises that Godzilla is first and foremost a character-driven film…that just happens to have an enormous lizard destroying shit. “It’s got an epic spectacle to it, yet — and I have to be careful which words I use — but it’s got somber moments as well,” he said. “It’s quite haunting and quite moving. We tried to make a blockbuster that harks back to the pace and style of the early ’80s and late ’70s action movies.”
Perhaps distancing himself even more from the disbelief that comes from Charlie Hunnam leading a blockbuster film, Edwards says the trick to making his film work is in constantly considering the dramatic reality of Godzilla threatening people’s lives, rather than just worrying about how good Godzilla looks on screen. He continued:
What was so refreshing was that we would shoot scenes that sometimes had the creature in it and sometimes didn’t, but we would desperately try to make it work from an emotional point of view. Then in the evenings I would go to review things with the [visual] effects companies who are starting to put the visual effects in, and you’re like, ‘I completely forgot there’s a whole other layer to this!’
If you’d like to see some of the “Godzilla Encounter” footage from Comic-Con, you can do so below. But don’t blame us if you can’t sleep with your windows open tonight. Get a bigger bug zapper. Godzilla