Everyone’s favorite car-stomping atomic reptile, Godzilla has been smashing around modern buildings and countrysides for as long as I’ve been alive. He’s a big ol’ prehistoric monster, and yet film has failed to capture him through the lens of prehistory. That could all change if director of the upcoming (and very cool looking) Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Michael Dougherty has his way. In a recent interview with SFX Magazine, he talked about what he would want from Godzilla coming face-to-face with early man.
“I like the idea of going back in time and telling creatures’ stories from different eras. Skull Island was set in the 70’s, but personally I’d like to do Godzilla B.C., go back to ancient times and really see the Ray Harryhausen-esque world where primitive humans had to try to survive with these creatures. Maybe we’d get to see the first time mankind truly encountered Godzilla, and get to see how that relationship was christened,” he said.
That all sounds great to me. Most Godzilla films are slowed by missiles, jets, tanks, and way too much human drama. The 2014 Godzilla was a painful slog of love, familial secrets, and the militaristic duty to protect and serve, punctuated by just a few scenes of kick-ass fire-breathing monster-on-monster wrestling. Winding this formula back in time before language and melodrama were invented would give us a chance to focus on the visual splendor that is Godzilla destroying shit and battling other prehistoric creatures. This isn’t to mention the ridiculousness that you could delve into. Set the scene with a giant meteor striking Earth and causing the mass extinction and ice age that led to the birth of early man. But as the ice finally melts we focus in on that thawing meteorite and, oh shit, that’s not a meteorite at all. That’s Godzilla! Throw up a title card, and you got yourself a movie going.
Dougherty has a good track record with 2015’s super neat Krampus under his belt, so I’d like to see him have the freedom to make whatever Godzilla film his heart desires, though chances of someone throwing $100 million at Apocalypto but with Godzilla seem slim. Crazier things have happened, mind you, and if this leads to more weird settings for the iconic monster to plunder, then I’m all for it.
My personal favorite Godzilla story was a spare and surreal comic run that saw the kaiju wander through Hell facing the horrors in the stoic and unfazed fashion usual to the leviathan. He destroys the rock that reads, “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Very rad. Maybe if that becomes a movie, then we’ll undoubtedly need to follow the path of Jason Voorhees and take Godzilla to space. I can just seem him flying around, eating nuclear-powered space crafts to gain energy and breathing a fiery blast into a star which causes a supernova and turns him into some intergalactic ultra-Godzilla. Absolutely nothing can go wrong with that.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters smashes theaters on May 31, 2019.