When it was first revealed that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had joined forces to reboot the Godzilla franchise, fan opinion was split. On the one hand, the idea that we might see new Godzilla movies is exciting news for any fan of the silver screen’s most famous scaly behemoth. On the other hand, the last time an American studio attempted to create a legitimate Godzilla movie, the result was a 1998 film starring Matthew Broderick that is widely reviled among both hardcore Godzilla fans, and those whose only exposure to the famous monster has been courtesy late-night programs like TNT’s phenomenally entertaining, dearly missed MonsterVision.
Unlike the 1998 movie however, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have stacked the deck in favor of their upcoming flick. The hope, it seems, is that this movie might spawn a new iteration of the nearly 60-year-old Godzilla franchise, and to further that goal the studios reached out to director Gareth Evans to helm the project. Though relatively new to the Hollywood scene, Evans has proven himself a more-than-competent director with his work on Indonesian action movies like 2009’s Merantau and 2011’s The Raid: Redemption. Likewise, this version of Godzilla has the full support of Japan’s Toho Company (the studio that created the character way back in 1954), and is written by the relatively unknown Max Borenstien, Dave Callaham (The Expendables series) and David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Rises). Roland Emmerich served as director on the 1998 Godzila (which he co-wrote with his long-time writing partner Dean Devlin), and while Emmerich/Devlin productions generally feature amazing explosions and clever CGI work, they tend to lack subtlety, and we expect the new Godzilla movie to be somewhat more nuanced than its most recent American predecessor.
However, none of the above is novel news. We’ve been hearing brief snippets of info about this movie for years, but we’ve spent that entire time unable to discern when we might see Godzilla’s return to the big screen. That all changed this morning though, as Warner Bros. officially unveiled a release date for the movie: May 16, 2014. Alongside the release date, the WB also mentioned that the film is now officially slated to be screened in 3D, though the studio fails to mention whether Godzilla was initially shot in three dimensions, or if the movie was originally in 2D and will be converted to 3D in post-processing.
Regardless, this should be great news for fans. As Deadline points out, Evans and the film’s producers offered attendees of the recent San Diego Comic Con an opportunity to watch the film’s first trailer, and the response was almost universally positive. Statistically speaking, the majority of you weren’t at Comic Con this year, so it seems that May 16 will be the first opportunity most of us have to see the rebooted Godzilla. Our only real concern now is how far Evans, Warner Bros., et alia may have gone in “rebooting” the character. Will this be a largely reimagined Godzilla, like the one seen in Emmerich’s 1998 film, or will Evans simply build on the classic Toho Godzilla films using all the benefits of modern CGI and movie-making techniques? Hopefully we’ll hear official word on that query shortly.