Godzilla is a worldwide pop icon both in the monster’s image and in name. Since its first appearance in the 1954 version of “Godzilla”, the raging king of reptiles has graced theaters around the world in almost thirty different films as well as in numerous other appearances across nearly every form of entertainment.
The legendary Japanese franchise first received an American adaptation in 1998, directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. While the special effects and intense battle scenes blew audiences away, the movie was heavily criticized for its poorly developed plot, bad casting choices, and scientific implausibility, even for a science-fiction movie about a giant lizard. In addition to fairly harsh reviews from critics, fans of the franchise were extremely disappointed. The American adaptation drastically redesigned the image of the classic Godzilla, venturing far from Tomoyuki Tanaka’s original source materials. The movie won multiple Raspberry Awards including “Worst Remake or Sequel” and “Worst Supporting Actress” and was nominated in multiple other categories.
The western media will get another crack at reimaging the timeless and terrifying image of Godzilla. A trailer was released for the movie in Dec. of last year, bringing about the beginnings of hype. Luckily for Godzilla fans, Yahoo movies has recently released a new poster for the upcoming film that contains a release date. This poster shows an ominous monster more reminiscent of the classic Japanese Godzilla, raising havoc in only the way Godzilla knows how. What is really startling about this poster is the immense size of the King. Destroying San Francisco in this adaptation, the monster stands nearly 100-stories high in all of his fury.
This is not the only source of excitement for this upcoming movie. Unlike the previous adaptation, May 15 will give us a Godzilla movie with a truly phenomenal cast. Names include “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson of “Kick- Ass” fame, Ken Watanabe from “Inception” and “The Last Samurai”, Elizabeth Olsen, best known for her role in “Martha Marcy May Marlene”, and Juliette Binoche. With such an experienced and diverse cast, there is at least one aspect of this reboot that should be of no concern.
It seems, at least, from the poster that this Godzilla will be much more akin to the Godzilla of years past. The monster was designed originally to be an analogy for the horrors of nuclear war that Japan faced at the end of World War II. Godzilla has since been construed as a metaphor for the failings of man’s ambition, the dangers of technology, and multiple other calamities. It seems that this reboot will be more of a throwback to the force of unstoppable fury and carnage that had graced television sets, theatres, and videogame systems for longer than nearly any other pop culture icon.
There are practically no other monsters as recognizable as the king of them all. Godzilla has destroyed countless cityscapes and caused uncountable sums of damage. The terror of society that comes forth from the ocean’s depths will get another, well deserved, chance to have a successful American adaptation. Head out to your local theaters May 15, throw on those 3-D glasses, and prepare for terror.