You wonder what Roland Emmerich thinks of the new Godzilla movie, which is basically already a hit. Emmerich’s film made money, although given the HUGE advertising blitz Tri-Star put into it, not enough to inspire a sequel. This decision was probably made easier by the fact that pretty much nobody liked the movie.
That was Tri-Stars’ own fault, though. This goes back, like John Carter, to studios making massively-budgeted movie that they have no faith in the central idea of. Disney was afraid to market John Carter as taking place on Mars, but spent $250 million on a movie that, you know, takes place on Mars. (And was meant to kick off a recurring tent pole franchise that, you know, takes place on Mars.) Since the initial trailers were hellbent on avoiding the M-word–thus explaining why it’s not in the title, ala the rather more evocative John Carter of Mars–the trailer was more confusing and generic-seeming than it needed to be, which certainly didn’t help the box office.
Tri-Star paid Toho all this money for the rights to Godzilla–and the movie, made 16 years ago, cost nearly as much as the new one, and again spent a staggering amount on advertising–but then didn’t appear to think that audiences really cared if they got a Godzilla movie or not. I will never understand that sort of thinking. So rather than trying to get somebody who would make the best Godzilla movie possible, as the new people sought to do, they went the (supposedly) safe route and worked to hire people who had made successful movies before.
This despite the fact that Dean and Emmerich repeatedly turned down the assignment, and publicly talked about their disdain for the character’s “cheese factor.” This from the guys who made Independence Day. Eventually Tri-Star threw enough money at the guys that they took the job, and then basically had to leave them completely in charge.
And so the guys made a Godzilla movie that had basically nothing to do with the things that define Godzilla. Hell, they didn’t even want him to have any sort of atomic breath weapon, again presumably because it was ‘cheesy’. (Like Superman flying, I guess.) If you look close at the few times their ‘Godzilla’ shoots flames, he’s simply blowing stuff, and they overlaid flames later when they finally figured out that audiences actually expected and wanted to see ‘Godzilla’ use the thing that is most associated with Godzilla.
For all that, IF you didn’t call it Godzilla and then cut out the atrocious 40 minutes having to do with the
velociraptors baby godzillas, the movie would have been 90 minutes of passable fun. Although there still would have been major problems with it, such as sporting the single worst female lead performance ever in a major motion picture.
Emmerich will probably try to fob things off by saying Gareth Edwards had access to better special effects or something. But the fact is, Dean and Emmerich made a spectacularly misjudged and overall sort of shit movie, and Gareth Edwards didn’t.
Oh, and Edwards also made a Godzilla movie. So he had that going for him.