Jan DeBont's Unproduced Godzilla

Discussion in 'Science Fiction + Fantasy' started by Kel E, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. Kel E

    Kel E Member

    You know that Godzilla is tall? This article is long.

    After breaking down the visual effects sequences in the screenplay, Boyd Shermis estimated that GODZILLA would need more than 500 computer-generated effects… triple the amount for any film to that date. When asked if there was any apprehension among the crew about being able to match De Bont’s vision with 1994 digital technology, Shermis replied with a simple “Yes.” But he quickly added that, “Most of the technology existed, but it was very cutting edge at that time. We would have needed to do some serious R&D [research and development] for things like the water, fire simulation, etc.”

    “It’s not so much that I left it,” De Bont clarified. “They basically let me go. They used the argument that ‘we want another director who can do it cheaper and faster’. These were the two arguments that were used, and none of them are true. I think they wanted a director that they could tell more what to do. And when you believe in a movie and you see that the studio is thinking something else, you have to fight for what you believe in. And more and more, the studios want a director that they can tell what to do. ‘Oh, you need a sidekick? I’ll put a sidekick in,’ without asking ever if that’s the right thing to do.”

    “It was so disappointing. I’ve worked for 50 years in this business and I love filmmaking, but you ultimately get disillusioned. Studios were always corporate entities, but now they want to dictate what should be in and what should be out. They were never good at that. And that talent that is running those studios; there’s very little creativity there. They are basically lawyers. They’re better at accommodating agents and directors than developing screenplays.”

    “So in other words, their main problems were with exactly the main identifying principles of Godzilla in the original movies and the new screenplay! Basically, he’s huge and he comes out of the sea and destroys buildings in a 2 hour orgy of destruction. I was shocked. To realize they had embarked on a screenplay entirely composed of problems, without anybody pointing this out, seemed amazing to me. It still does — but, hey, that’s Hollywood…”

    That night, Tomiyama visited Godzilla co-creator Tomoyuki Tanaka, whose failing health had prevented him from attending the meeting, to bring him up to speed. Tomiyama wasn’t allowed to remove any design art or photos from the studio premises, and found himself at a loss when describing the Tatopoulos Godzilla to Tanaka. “I told him, ‘It’s similar to Carl Lewis, with long legs, and it runs fast.’

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