Okay, I have to say I’m not a fan of your interpretation of Godzilla. In fact, I really hated it. I’ve read that this is exactly the film you wanted to make. How do you defend Godzilla? ^ We made some decisions, and we went for it, and it is the version we went to make. Do I think we made some mistakes in this film? Yeah. I do think we made some mistakes in Godzilla, but I think the biggest mistake of all was not being able to screen test the film. You know, every other film we’ve made it goes through a process of screen testing. You learn about the movie, you learn what’s working, what isn’t working, and you make adjustments. To our own detriment, we wanted to make our release date so desperately that we didn’t screen test the film. Looking back on it, I think we would have made a lot of changes to the film. I think we would have made a better film.
What changes would you make to improve Godzilla? ^ Well I think there’s a couple things we did wrong. We had made a decision early on not to anthropomorphize the creature, not to give him human-like qualities. We wanted him to just simply be this large lizard, this thing that had grown up and was just trying to survive. Neither good nor bad, but its very existence was a threat to our existence. If we had decided early on that our Godzilla was going to be a sympathetic creature, I think our ending would have worked better. I think the audience would have known how to react to the scenes. You didn’t know if you were supposed to be scared of Godzilla, or root for him. On a technical level, there’s a phenomenal chase scene in the movie that really broke new ground special effects-wise. These helicopters are chasing Godzilla through the city, and just on a technical level, it’s really a fantastic work. But emotionally when you watch it, it’s cold, because you don’t know if you’re rooting for Godzilla to get away, or if you’re scared that Godzilla’s going to kill these guys in the helicopter.
We don’t understand Godzilla‘s motivation. Whereas with King Kong, we understand why he’s grabbed Fay Wray and is scaling the Empire State Building– ^ That’s right. King Kong is a love story. A tragic love story, so you had a very clear way of telling the audience how you’re supposed to feel about what events that are going on around you. With Godzilla we were having so much fun with the joke of it that we really didn’t give you a rooting interest. I think that was by far the biggest mistake.
Read the whole story and get the scoop on “The Patriot,” guns in the American Revolution and Mel Gibson the merry prankster in INDEPENDENT VISION: A DEAN DEVLIN INTERVIEW (part 3)>>>
Posted on August 9, 2000 in Interviews by Chris Gore
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