Gareth Edwards, who wow-ed audiences with his low-budget indie sci-fi film Monsters, is finalizing a deal with Legendary Pictures to direct their planned attempt at launching a new, English-language Godzilla franchise. Edwards will join an as-yet-not hired writer in developing the project.
Legendary unveiled their plans to bring the famous Japanese monster back to American shores last March, announcing that the film would be co-financed, co-produced and distributed by Warner Brothers as part of their ongoing production agreement.
Previously, Godzilla stormed US shores in Sony’s 1998 eponymously-named film from disaster maestros Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. While it isn’t a bad monster movie per se, it wasn’t a good Godzilla film. The design of the monster deviated a bit too far from tradition for many of the monster’s fans. On a more thematic note, there was no sense that Devlin and Emmerich really understood the allegorical nature of the monster or tried to bring that to the big screen, opting instead for a rather empty roller-coaster ride.
The Japanese didn’t think too much of the Americanization of Godzilla either. In 2001′s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack there was a sly slam against the movie. In response to the news about a possible attack by Godzilla on the United States, a soldier comments, “The Americans said it was Godzilla, but all the Japanese scientists denied it.” Still, feelings about that version of the monster must have mellowed a bit across the Pacific by 2004 enough to allow a version of the monster to appear in Godzilla: Final Wars, even if he does get beaten down by the true Godzilla fairly quickly.