Today is a mega busy day for news on Gareth Edward’s highly anticipated Godzilla reboot. The film took over last years Comic Con after a short teaser trailer was shown. At that time the film wasn’t even in the production stages, but Edwards had been working on this teaser for two years, and when it was shown unexpectedly to fans at Comic Con, it became THE talking point of the festival.
Since then there have been small pieces of news trickling through, but today see’s the most news we have had on the film yet. Let’s get started shall we.
Firstly, Frank Darabont has been hired to rewrite some of the script. While it is not known exactly what parts he is working on, this is indeed very good news. Darabont has previously written and directed such classics as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and the superb horror The Mist. He also wrote and produced The Walking Dead season one and parts of season two, and even directed some episodes. Darabont is a great choice to bring onboard, and while there doesn’t appear to be an issue with the script, it seems he has simply been brought in to fine tune what has already been written.
Darabont is not the first person to come onboard to rewrite. The original draft was penned by David Callaham, David S. Goyer wrote the story and eventually Max Borenstein wrote the screenplay. Since then Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce has been hired for a small rewrite, and his job was to age up the characters so that they fit the prototype of the actors they would like to target. It was reported when Pearce was brought onboard that Legendary Pictures were more than happy with the script they already had.
However, there are some issues involved with the producers of Godzilla, and there are even reports of a possible legal battle ahead. Producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee are apparently being ousted by Legendary after refusing to take lower fees on the film. Legendary are exercising a pay-or-play cause, and are paying Lin and Lee upfront money to go away. Lin and Lee were there when the deal was first struck for the Godzilla reboot when it was in the hands of Warner Brothers, and they are not happy to be reducing the fees they signed on for when the deal was first made. There are also some reports about Lin mentioning the Godzilla reboot in interviews to fantasy film blogs, but that could just be rumours. For now though, Lin and Lee are out and not happy about it. Lin has worked with Warner Brothers for fifteen years, so it is hoped that Warners might try and sort this out before things get too out of hand.
With Lin and Lee out, this leaves Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, along with Brian Rogers, as producers. Today news broke that a new producer is about to finish a deal to come onboard the project, and that is Mary Parent. She has been working closely with Legendary on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, and her own Disruption banner is based at Paramount.
Finally we end on two bits of good news!!
Firstly, it has been reported that apart from the producers turmoil, all is well with Gareth Edward’s Godzilla, and the 3D film will begin production on March 14th. Godzilla will be filming in Vancouver and Hawaii under the working title Nautilus, and is expected to arrive in cinemas May 16th 2014.
There has also been some casting rumours today, and four names were initially announced as the possible lead actor. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper, The Dark Knight Rises), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, Immortals), Scott McNairy (Monsters, Argo) and Caleb Landry Jones (Antiviral, X-Men: First Class) have all been named as the front runners for the lead role. However, we can already remove Gordon-Levitt from that list as he is plenty busy right now with other projects, and just today a new film has been announced for the actor, and I will cover that in a later article.
It was reported that Gordon-Levitt and Cavill were “studio choices”, while McNairy and Landry Jones were “creative choices”. This means that Legendary are opting for the more commercially successful actors, and that Edwards is wanting to go with the lesser known actors. It is worth noting that McNairy came to fame after starring in Edwards’ debut feature film, Monsters.
We now play the waiting game to see what comes next.