Godzilla 2014 is taking massive steps toward movie reality. After months of no-news, the last seven days have produced an explosion of information, including news that the Godzilla 2014 cast and crew are currently filming on location in Vancouver, an effort that reportedly started last week.
But before we look at that, here’s the information that was posted at Legendary Picture’s Facebook Page:
BURBANK, CA, March 18, 2013 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today the final principal cast for the upcoming tent pole “Godzilla.” Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Juliette Binoche are starring in the film, with David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.
The companies also announced that principal photography began today on location in Vancouver.
Gareth Edwards is directing the film from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont and Dave Callaham. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Alex Garcia and Patricia Whitcher are serving as executive producers alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.
A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, “Godzilla” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd. Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.
Slated to open on May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D.
Note that “Brian Rogers” is in bold. He’s the same person I interviewed at the Variety 3D Summit in 2010, and long before any other media paid any attention to the point of realizing that Mr. Rogers was part of a panel there, and ready and willing to talk about Godzilla. Thus, while other media weren’t paying him any attention, he talked to me for this video:
From Godzilla 2012 to Godzilla 2014
A number of events came together to push the Godzilla start date back from 2012 to its current place at May 16th, 2014:
1) The script had not been settled, and five people have worked on it before a final document served as the basis for production. In order, they were: David Callaham, David S. Goyer (hired to tinker with Callaham’s work), Max Borenstein (hired to tinker with Goyer’s work), Drew Pearce (hired to “polish” Borenstein’s work), and then Frank Darabont of The Walking Dead fame, who was brought in to spruce up that script.
2) Gareth Edwards, who directed the 2010 movie Monsters, wasn’t selected until January of 2011. When Edwards came to Godzilla, he said “this will definitely have a very different feel than the most recent US film, and our biggest concern is making sure we get it right for the fans because we know their concerns. It must be brilliant in every category because I’m a fan as well.” Edwards stressed that the Godzilla movie would be approached as if it really happened. His entry into the movie’s development process, coupled with the script changes, dictated that the opening date be moved back from 2012 – it was adjusted to May 16th, 2014, in September 2012.
The Godzilla Producer Lawsuit Issue
Another controversy that looked as if it might hamper Godzilla 2014 development, but did not, was Dan Lin and Roy Lee departing the effort, and claiming that they were being pushed out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
…the producers claim that not only did they generate the opportunity to remake Godzilla by negotiating with Japanese rights-holder Toho, they brought the project amid a rights bidding war to Legendary, which promised in e-mails that they would be producers on the movie. The producers say Legendary orally agreed to a $25,000 developmental fee, fixed compensation of $1.3 million and 3 percent of the first-dollar gross receipts of the film.
Lin, Lee and Davison say that after they reached the material terms of an agreement that they would serve as producers of Godzilla and receive a specific fixed and backend compensation, they went forward and developed the property. A draft longform agreement was sent in 2011 but was never signed. Nevertheless, the producers say they continued to work on the project, relying on the parties’ earlier oral agreement.
The script changed, an additional executive producer was brought in, and Legendary — according to the cross-claims — went back to them and tried to get them to lower their fees. They refused.
What’s interesting in this is Mr. Rogers didn’t mention either Dan Lin or Roy Lee in the video above.
March 18th 2013: Godzilla 2014 Production Begins
This Vancouver TV news video uploaded March 22, 2013, shows the establishment of a military scene for Godzilla 2014 and the appearance of a prop that some think is a kind of nuclear warhead:
And this video, from the same Nanaimo, BC land set, shows a prop of a destroyed helicopter and a charred car:
And judging by the look of this video, the Army’s looking at the results of Godzilla’s use of his atomic breath:
And Mr. Edwards surprised all with this video announcing the start of production:
Stay tuned for more information on Godzilla 2014!