Frank Darabont talks about GODZILLA; Allegories, mascots and realism

Frank Darabont has a bit of a tall order in front of him. Specifically, an irradiated tall order that can fling an atomic fire breath and has an appetitie for Asian cities. With filming set to kick off soon on the latest Americanised Godzilla film, Darabont has little time left to rewrite and polish the script for the Gareth Edwards directed film.

And he’s aiming to make Godzilla a force to be reckoned with once again, instead of a family friendly kids cartoon mascot.

Speaking to io9, Darabont described his take on Godzilla as being a force of nature, albeit one born from the aftermath of nuclear war and fear. “What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, Darabont said.

And some of the atom bomb testing we were doing in the South Pacific in the subsequent years. 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.

And that’s something that director Gareth Edwards doesn’t want, as he’ll be taking the more reality-based approach to his film, something that Darabont agrees with when he talks about the building-sized nuclear-powered killer lizard that has the potential to destroy humanity ten times over;

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 clichéd, 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.

Darabont does have a nifty skill of combining the ludicrous with the real in his own movies, so hopefully that will shine through on this project. And double-hopefully, “realism” won’t translate to hiring cameramen who happen to suffer from random seizures during filming, as nothing is worse than that horrible trend in films today.

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