**Update: Deadline’s now running a followup piece that isn’t painting as rosy a picture. Producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee seem to be in something of a battle with Legendary/Warner as the producers refuse to reduce their fees they original signed for. The issue as it appears is that WB would now like to cut them out of any of that sweet backend money – ie where a picture like Godzilla makes serious bones. What first appeared amicable is now about to get ugly, as the Line’s Mike Flemming indicates resolution could conceivably come from the courts.
Better news comes in the form of Frank Darabont, who the studio’s hired to do a final draft polish before production rolls into the shooting phase. Darabont may have taken some hits on the whole Walking Dead fiasco, but this is the driving force behind Shawshank Redemption and The Mist coming in for a crack at Godzilla, indicating just how serious WB and Legendary are about giving new life to the nuclear-breathing lizard creature.
We’re going on nine years since a proper Godzilla film. 2004’s Final Wars was a decent if bipolar sendoff for the character, one that ended an era and allowed for the giant green lizard’s almost decade-long slumber. Now, as Legendary gears up to deliver Gareth Edwards take on the character, it would appear the hibernation is coming to an end.
Drew McWeeny of Hitflix is reporting Edwards recently did a show-and-tell for Warner Bros., giving his full rundown on his vision for the project. That meeting looks to be the crux of Warner’s resolve to get Godzilla in motion for a March 2013 start date.
But not all is well in Kaiju-ville, as producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee appear to have left the project to tend to other films with in the studio. Not a terribly bad sign when you’re as busy as Lin or Lee right now. Lin is overseeing Lego and Justice League while Lee has Poltergeist and that Spike Lee Oldboy remake on his plate.
McWeeny also spoke to a WB insider who voices little concern over the studio releasing two giant monster movies in such close proximity, as they’re approaching the genre from entirely different philosophies. Pacific Rim will have Guillermo Del Toro building an alternate-history of his own while Edward’s Godzilla take looks to be grounded firmly in reality. Until a giant green lizard levels an entire city anyway. I have to imagine the tone of these films will be wildly in contrast as well. A look at the Pacific Rim footage indicates a serious yet playfully inventive atmosphere. I don’t get that vibe from Godzilla. What little Edwards has spoken on the subject indicates he’s taking a tonally intense and sober approach.
Sidenote, that March start date keeps Godzilla on a warpath for release in 2014. So the sooner we get this started the better. I’m ready to see giant monsters knocking shit over.