Legendary pictures has picked up Godzilla and will be doing a new American version. This will be the first time the big guy has been on the screen since Final Wars from 2004. Final Wars is fantastic, by the way, you should watch it. Like now.
When making a Godzilla movie there are certain rules that must be followed, or you’ll get that big fish eating lizard movie with Matthew Broderick. I write this list for Legendary Pictures to keep nearby as they make this new movie.
The movie is about Godzilla. The people are setting or back up characters at the best. They are to be one dimensional and expendable. A love story is inappropriate for Godzilla movies. When composing a scene without a huge lizard in it, one should ask “Is this really important?” The answer is usually: no.
Speaking of humans, in no manner, shape or form can the humans kill Godzilla. Most of the efforts of the humans will simply bounce off of Godzilla. At best, the humans will only succeed in pissing him off more.
The other monster is the bad guy. Always. Yes, even Mothra (unless she is there to help Godzilla, see Final Wars). The other monster shows up and does its part, but in the end, Godzilla kicks its ass back to space/mountain/corporate America, where ever it came from.
Side note: if you have Mothra, you have to have those two tiny asian women who sing. Don’t argue, just do it.
In the end, Godzilla returns to the ocean. This is the best case scenario for all involved. He will return only after two things has happened: he has done a full and complete beat down on whatever other monster has encroached on his territory; he has destroyed some stuff as payment.
Godzilla does not need an origin story. He is, and that is all that is important. In fact your origin story sucks, I guarantee it. So just leave it out. Make it a prequel comic book if you must.
All of the following are perfectly acceptable without explaination: aliens; airplanes that defy physics; waiters that are smarter than scientists; politicians with secrets; top secret robots; psychics; a bad ass dude who stares down Godzilla and smokes a cigarette but then gets stomped. Godzilla can use his tail like a baseball bat, and his enemies like baseballs. Godzilla’s breath weapon will fuck up just about anything, but it is acceptable for him to miss.
As I’ve stated before, 90% of Godzilla’s roars can be translated to “Bitches!” This will be useful when making the sound effects.
Godzilla is not to be taken seriously. This is not a ‘realistic’ movie. You are not going for ‘dark and gritty’. Nor, however, are you going for ‘campy’. I suggest “Godzilla 2000” for a good example of how a good Godzilla movie should be. I would add that “dark and realistic” were done in “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah” and it is a good example on how not to make a Godzilla movie. We want big monsters fighting and see large portions of cityscape destroyed (after there has been an evacuation, that is).
I would argue that Godzilla is a dude in a rubber suit, not CGI… but I suspect that argument would fall on deaf ears. Follow the other rules and we’ll work with the CGI.
Yes, some of these rules have been broken in the ToHo movies. But like afore mentioned “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah”, it still resulted in a bad movie. In the case of “Godzilla versus Destroyah” it was done by someone who is much more experienced at making Godzilla movies. (another good one too)
Take these words to heart and you’ll come out with something worthy of the name Godzilla.