Just now at San Diego Comic-Con, we saw the first proper footage of the Godzilla movie — and the absolute main impression we came away with was: HOLY SHIT IS GODZILLA BIG AND POWERFUL.
There was tons of shots of disasters and people running and human characters, and more of that in a second. But the centerpiece of the footage was a sequence where a big monster is attacking an airport, shredding airplanes and trashing buildings. It looks sort of like the Cloverfield monster with a more of a beetle-like carapace and spindly insect legs. It looks massive and powerful.
Yesterday, director Gareth Edwards told us there would be other creatures in the film — and here's our first sight of one. It looks scary and huge.
And then Godzilla's foot comes down next to the creature. Godzilla's FOOT. Which is dwarfing this poor spindly little creature.
And then there's a massive hero shot of this previously big-looking creature looming over the airport, and then Godzilla rises up behind it, and it's like a skyscraper next to a hut. Godzilla is this ginormous dark scaly beast with a gaping maw and a mighty screaming roar, and the crowd basically lost its shit. Host Chris Hardwick made a joke about people having to change their pants, and this seemed totally accurate.
Apart from that, we saw soldiers running with flashlights, a flooded town with a nuclear hazard symbol prominently displayed, Bryan Cranston whipping off a gask mask, refugees huddling in a stadium, workers in hazmat suits, and a guy trapped behind glass in a hazmat suit, looking out at someone he can't reach. We saw soldiers parachuting into a warzone, Aaron Johnston in army fatigues looking freaked out. And terrified-looking workers. At one point, Cranston runs toward something that everybody in hardhats is running away from.
The main talking point of the actual panel discussion seemed to be: Monsters director Gareth Edwards is still making basically an indie movie here. He's bringing the intimacy and character focus of a small art film to a big huge Godzilla feature. Aaron Johnston said there's "a great deal of emotion" in this film and we go on a "journey with these characters."
And Edwards said it was important to him that the characters in this film be at the center of the Godzilla story, so their story would intersect with the story of the monster in a meaningful way.
Also, Edwards told us about going into Canada to start shooting the film, and having two separate Canadian immigration officials tell him: "Don't fuck it up." The Canadian government spent 20 minutes lecturing him about the essential elements that must be in a Godzilla movie.
Says Cranston: "Godzilla was my favorite monster when I was young, because he was unapologetic. King Kong was always 'mmmmm...' (Does an apologetic King Kong impression.) I wanted to see destruction." Cranston's impressions of King Kong and Godzilla were the major highlight of this panel. Other than the footage.
Godzilla fan art by Cheung Chung Tat.