2010 was the year that both Godzilla and Pacific Rim were officially announced as monster movies in production, but as it turns out, Guillermo del Toro hit the finish line first this summer with his Jaegers-vs.-Kaiju epic. Meanwhile director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) still has 10 months before the world gets to see his rebooted version of Godzilla, slated for May 2014, but he’s not bitter that he’s coming up second.
At a press conference for Godzilla on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, Edwards was asked what he thought of Pacific Rim, and he was genuinely enthusiastic when he offered that he loved it.
“I think it’s great! I love Guillermo, and he was very supportive of this movie, because obviously throughout the process we did a lot of 'What are you doing?' ‘What are you doing?’ He had nothing but crazy support for us, but [Godzilla] is a very different movie. Ours is obviously set in modern, contemporary times. It’s very much a character-driven movie, which I think is a fair thing to say. It’s got an epic spectacle to it, yet – and I have to be careful which words I use - but it’s got somber moments as well. It’s quite haunting and quite moving. We tried to make a blockbuster that harks back to the pace and style of the early '80s and late '70s action movies.”
Edwards is also adamant that with his cast, featuring the likes of Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins, his focus has remained on the characters affected by Godzilla, not just the rampaging lizard stomping on buildings.
“I think the trick is not to think of the special effects, or effects and anything, and just think this is really happening and there are giant monsters,” Edwards explains about his focus on directing the epic. “Ask, 'What would be the best story to tell that always involves humans?' So I don’t separate the two in my mind. You just picture the movie. What was so refreshing was that we would shoot scenes that sometimes had the creature in it and sometimes didn’t, but we would desperately try to make it work from an emotional point of view. Then in the evenings I would go to review things with the [visual] effects companies who are starting to put the visual effects in, and you’re like, ‘I completely forgot there’s a whole other layer to this!’ We have been painstakingly worrying about the characters and their journey, and on top of that is this spectacle embedded in the whole film, and it makes you feel really good.”
Godzilla opens May 16, 2014.