The most revered monster in cinematic history, since 1954, Godzilla scored a whopping $93.2 million on its opening weekend, far outpacing tracking guestimates! That is just domestic receipts.
The experts are enjoying a happy box office surprise, but Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, had confidence in director Gareth Edwards despite his age and was won over my his passion, persistence and intimate, self-taught knowledge of special effects married with old fashioned human emotional story structure.
It was Edwards' tiny cult hit "Monsters" which was the result of a mino, miniscule budget and a large measure of blood, sweat and tears, which captured the producing team.
Never in his wildest of wild dreams did he think that "Monsters" would get any attention in Hollywood circles or lead to an invitation to play in the big leagues.
Self-doubt. Director Gareth Edwards was riddled with self-doubt which we discussed at the press junket, held at a swanky NYC hotel, with a food spread that could be best described as "lush."
His crisp, British accent was delivered in a soft tone giving me the impression that he wasn't faking, Edwards' is modest. He is also sincerely sitting in the state of disbelief that his career, which could accurately be described as non-impressive two years ago, is about to rocket into the mega stratosphere.
If it wasn't for his failures and his lack of access to technology, paradoxically, Edwards would not be sitting at the winner’s seat.
Here are a few interesting tidbits that director Gareth Edwards shared with myNewYorkeye:
myNewYorkeye: Did you have a connection to Godzilla? Love, hate, indifference? Growing up in Europe did you have any awareness of the 1954 classic?
Gareth Edwards: Godzilla is 60 years old. Go around the world with a silhouette of a giant dinosaur looming over a City, everyone knows exactly who it is---I was so nervous that Thomas (Tull) would trust me with such a big opportunity.
I mean it's Godzilla!
I'm self-taught in the SFX world. My fascination started early, I read every book on the subject and then it was trial and error. At times more error but every mistake was a lesson.
myNewYorkeye: Producer Tull, shared that when he saw the "sizzle" reel he was ready to pull the "money" trigger and go full-frontal; he had zero regrets on letting you helm the project.
Gareth Edwards: That was a pivotal, life altering moment for me. Thomas gave me access to some of the coolest SFX toys, and our team got to create, create and create.
It was a tremendous feeling.
The behind-the-scenes team was impressive, that included Oscar®-winning visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel (the “Lord of the Rings” films); Oscar®-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”); production designer Owen Paterson (“The Matrix” trilogy); Oscar®-nominated costume designer Sharen Davis (“Dreamgirls,” “Ray,” “Django Unchained”); and the score by Oscar®-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat (“Argo,” “The King’s Speech”).
myNewYorkeye: Impressive collaborators my new, best friend (hint, hint-wink wink)!
Gareth, when Godzilla roared, I squealed like a tiny kid in a sweet shop. Didn't you listen to the audience at the screening? They went nuts, me included. So is a sequel in the works? You can share were new "besties."
Gareth Edwards: Thank you, you’re funny and oddly kind. Did you ask about a sequel?
A sequel, sequel? Another one in the works, presumably with new monsters emerging from the Godzilla lexicon?
That type of sequel?
Well, I don't know let's wait and ask Godzilla. Be patient he might be back!
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures production, a Gareth Edwards film “Godzilla.”