Blockbusters take jabs at the movie monster -- and the film's producers

By Daniel Fierman
Updated July 17, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Hollywood’s got a new favorite sport: Whac-a-Zilla.

These days, it seems that everyone wants to take a swipe at Godzilla, and more specifically, at its creative duo, producer Dean Devlin and director Roland Emmerich. First, those rapscallions at Lucasfilm posted a slick marketing spoof on their Star Wars website (in regard to their upcoming prequels) that proclaimed “Plot Does Matter.” Then those cutups at DreamWorks unveiled their official tag line for Small Soldiers: “Size Isn’t Everything.” Let’s not forget Armageddon, which features a scene of a dog vigorously shredding Godzilla dolls. And all that is not even counting the X-Files movie, in which David Duchovny urinates on a poster for 1996’s Devlin-Emmerich blockbuster Independence Day.

So what started this particular bandwagon rolling? You’d expect most rationales to be like that of X-Files movie helmer Rob Bowman, who notes that series creator Chris Carter simply hated Independence Day. “The next thing I know,” recalls Bowman, “he says, ‘Let’s piss on them.'” But most culprits, when pressed, turn suddenly politic. “It was a tip of the hat,” says a source close to Armageddon director Michael Bay. “Michael really admires Emmerich’s work. It was not in any way negative.”

Devlin and Emmerich are taking the, uh, hommages in stride. “We try not to comment on other filmmakers or their films,” says Devlin. “That said, it’s a time-honored tradition for filmmakers to reference other movies. It’s nice to be noticed.” With notices like this, who needs enemies?

With additional reporting by Jessica Shaw

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