Godzilla Returns For A Reboot By Legendary Pictures
Oh no! Here comes GODZILLA!
"Oh my goodness! Here comes.....GODZILLA!" For all you die hard Godzilla fanatics out there, it turns out Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures (the two studios responsible for such hit films like "The Dark Knight" and "Hangover") have just recently acquired the rights from Sony and Toho Studios. For those cringing at the thought of seeing Mathew Broderick reprising his role, to star along a westernized version of the character, then you'll be happy to know that this isn't going to have anything to do with that movie, that was directed by Roland Emmerich.
No, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures plans on rebooting the franchise completely. Although Toho Studios will be involved in the release over in Asia, WB will be handling the distribution over here in the U.S. while eying a 2012 release.
Personally, I've never been a huge Godzilla fan, nor have I seen too many of the films. However, the few I have seen are basically the same ripped off formula from the previous film. Either Godzilla is either wrecking the city, and some would be good monster like King Kong, Mothra, or even the military has to stop him. Or he has to stop some evil giant monster from destroying the city. That and the fight scenes are very poorly choreographed. But hey, what can you expect from a film franchise where it features guys fighting each other in ridiculous rubber suits?
Having said that though, I do have awful lot of respect for the character. Truly, I do. Even though I never liked most of the movies. I do understand his broad appeal. Sure, the stories are lame and predictable. Like "Dragon Ball Z", "Godzilla" has his own unique charm despite it's mediocre predictable story. It has heart, and the characters carry their own appeal that audiences can't help but want to follow. Who knew that the first film originally titled "Gojira" would spawn such an epic character? In "Gojira", it was essentially a film showing the tragic consequences of nuclear weapons and testing, while being disguised as a monster film. Which isn't that dissimilar to recently released "Cloverfield", a few years back, as that film represented the symbolic aftermath of the "9/11" tragedy disguised as a monster movie. Well, needless to say "Gojira" (later renamed "Godzilla") presented many people's fears, at the time, when the U.S.A. used to test H-Bombs in the Pacific, which contaminated a lot of Japanese fishermen when the bomb radiated a huge portion of the ocean. Sending out an anti-war subliminal message saying unless we stop nuclear testing, there would be more "Godzillas." Sadly, when it came to the U.S.A. version of that same film, they conveniently edited that part out, so Americans wouldn't look bad. However, that still didn't stop Godzilla's popularity from growing over time.
Of course, "Gojira (1954)" set box office records during it's initial release in Japan. Thus, spawning countless of sequels, spin-offs, cross overs (ala King Kong versus Godzilla), remakes, and rip-offs over the years. Indeed, no matter what anyone's opinion is on the character, there is no denying that "Godzilla" has had such a huge impact on not only Asian pop culture, but western pop culture as well. Which leads me to trying to review how well I think this reboot could potentially do. On the one hand, it could revitalize the franchise like last year's "Star Trek" movie did for it's dying series, or it could be a huge bust. It's hard to say since very little is known about the reboot at this point. However, lets look at the pros and cons on how this reboot could potentially either hit or miss with audiences around the world.
Pros, Cons, and Final Thoughts
Pros: On the plus side of things, it's a chance to get it right. The problem with the remake by Roland Emmerich was that it changed too much of the story. Not only did they change his entire history, his ethnicity, gender, but they had the audacity to turn it into a ripped off version of "Jurassic Park." Plus, if that wasn't bad enough, they even changed the iconic look of the character, to where the only thing that wasn't changed was the name. Which was completely the wrong way to go. After all, the whole idea of a remake is to essentially try to modernize and/or recapture magic of the original while using modern day special effects and story telling to introduce it to a new generation. Without resorting to completely reinventing the character.
It looks like this time, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures has a chance to do what Sony failed to do with Emmerich.....which is get it right. Although it'll be hard to imagine what they could possibly do with this franchise that hasn't already been exploited, there's always a possibly they could do what Peter Jackson did with "King Kong." Which is essentially go back and recapture the magic of the original film, and make it a period piece retelling original story. Setting it back to 1954 Japan where the story line belongs, while implementing modern CGI effects. If the studio feels that they need to westernize it in anyway, then they can just put like an American actor/actress in there if they like as the main character. However, the important thing to remember here is to keep it in 1954 Japan. That's where the story originated, and that's where it belongs embedded in Japanese culture. Why fix what isn't broken?
Cons: Sadly, I can see this film getting screwed up in a variety of ways. As it would be so easy for Warner Bros. to hire some hack(s) like Michael Bay, Stephen Sommers, or the Wachowski Brothers to screw it up. As all those film makers are primarily known for bad plots, but a helluva a lot of special effects detailed work. Then again, maybe Warner Bros. won't care about quality and only care about money. In which case, Michael Bay, Stephen Sommers, and the Wachowski Brothers would be perfect, as neither of those jerks care about quality anyway. Therefore, if that's the route they choose to take, then I wish the studio luck then. It'll just be sad as they could have done a whole lot better. However, that's just me.
Final Thoughts: This project could potentially go either way. However, I just hope that WB decides to keep this film true to it's Japanese roots. However, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Long live Godzilla!