Acclaimed director and screenwriter, Frank Darabont, recently hired by Legendary Pictures to pen the final draft of their Godzilla reboot. Best known for his work on The Shawshank Redemption and The Walking Dead, many are hopeful that Darabont’s input will keep this newest re-imagining of the “Big G” from descending into popcorn movie inanity–in the manner of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 atrocity.
Here’s what Darabont had to say at io9 about his take on the iconic kaiju pioneer:
“What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 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.
“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.”
As alluded to earlier, the last time an American studio attempted to translate this character for Western audiences, it was a disaster beyond even the mayhem Godzilla himself could cause. Here’s hoping Darabont’s talents will hope prevent a repeat of this travesty, and give us a Godzilla that’s loyal to the source material–yet original enough to attract non-fans.