Very little about the forthcoming Godzilla movie will be as important as the look of the title character. The ridiculous, steroid-addled iguana that appeared in Roland Emmerich’s disastrous 1998 version made a lousy movie a laughable embarrassment.
The problem is that the original 1954 Japanese design — which has undergone a number of revisions of its own — is so iconic that it is hard to imagine anything else being called “Godzilla.” So the new design has got to be something cool on it own, that fans can accept.
Director Gareth Edwards recently explained how he approached the problem of updating the big guy’s look for his 2014 movie:
“Imagine in 1954, that this creature really existed and someone saw him from Toho, the Japanese studio, and went running back to the studio and said, ‘I’ve seen this creature and it kind of looked like this.’ And they tried to draw it and they tried to make a suit and they did a very good job of it but then, when you saw the real creature, you go ‘Okay, I totally understand how you got that suit from that creature but now I see the real thing. Oh my God, I totally believe that it’s completely real.’ And that’s how we approached it. We went through hundreds of designs, and never stopped playing, really, until the last minute, and got to the point where it was like, ‘Is there anything else that we want to change about this design’? And I was like, personally no, I’m very happy with it. And Toho was very much a part of the approval process. So it’s a Toho-approved design as well.”
Roberts’ reimagining of the gargantuan atomic lizard is slated to hit U.S. theaters on May 16, 2014.