Forget camp and cliches, Darabont to make GODZILLA terrifying

Teaser poster for Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA (2014)The more I hear about the seemingly serious Gareth Edwards reboot of GODZILLA, set to stomp into theaters in 2014, the more screenwriter Frank Darabont‘s comments make me look forward to this rewiring of a genre classic. Moviegoers may be sick of film franchise reboots in this decade, but if one brand name deserves a palate-cleansing overhaul after Roland Emmerich’s 1998 kaiju catastrophe, it’s Godzilla. Given how Darabont humanized THE WALKING DEAD with dramatic power to give the horror series’ battle against gory ghouls some meaning, the writer/director definitely seems like the man (and fan) for the job. Recently interviewed Darabont about the film and delivered this web tidbit to whet our appetites for a potential re-coronation as King of the Monsters, and here are a couple highlight quotes to sink your teeth into:

The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the shit out of your city, that was Godzilla. Filtered through the very fanciful imaginations of the Japanese perception. And then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in the subsequent films. He became the mascot of Japan, he became the protector of Japan. Another big ugly monster would show up and he would fight that monster to protect Japan. Which I never really quite understood, the shift.

On the tone in Darabont’s script and approach to a new GODZILLA for today’s generation:

What we’re trying to do with the new movie is not have it camp, not have it be campy. We’re kind of taking a cool new look at it. But with a lot of tradition in the first film. We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It’s not that cliched, thinly disguised romance or bromance, or whatever. It’s different, it’s a different set of circumstances than you’re used to seeing. And that’s tremendously exciting as a writer when you’re asked to do something else.

Frank, from your mouth to Godzilla’s ears. If he, director Edwards and the slew of writers who previously took cracks at this project can pull off a film that delivers on the promising goals above, GODZILLA could well be a worthwhile monster hit next year.  Until then, the question is will Guillermo del Toro‘s PACIFIC RIM steal Gojira’s thunder or only increase our hunger for epic kaiju cinema for the 21st century?

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