The 6,500 fans who packed into Hall H for the two-and-half-hour Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures panel knew they would be getting highly anticipated first looks at Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, and The Hobbit. But after the Pacific Rim panel, Legendary chief Thomas Tull dropped a bombshell on the Comic-Con crowd: Godzilla.

That’s right, as you’ve likely seen exploding on social media, Legendary unveiled a surprise first look at their reboot of the venerable giant monster franchise with a shockingly polished teaser trailer. We saw shots of a devastated urban landscape, with people standing on skyscrapers snapped in half, train cars flattened like pancakes (and people scattered and stomped like flies around it), and a giant hole burned through a very tall building. The camera then panned over a giant, monstrous body, curled up and seemingly dead on the ground, fires burning around it. At first, I thought this was Godzilla. But when they ran the footage a second time, it looked more to me like another monster that’d been felled by Godzilla.

Whatever it was, the camera cut to black, we heard the distinctive Godzilla scream, and then got a straightforward look at Godzilla — no bashful game of hide-the-monster for this project. The creature had the distinctive ridge of scales along its back, and its head looked a bit like a giant snapping turtle — which, believe me, was far more terrifying to look at than it sounds.

Tull then brought the film’s director to the stage, Gareth Edwards, whose only other feature directing credit is the well-received, little-seen British indie Monsters. “We’re going to take it seriously,” he said of his take on the film, a not-so-subtle swipe at the much-maligned 1998 Godzilla remake. “If this really happened, what would it be like? It’s very grounded [and] realistic.” While it’s not quite clear how “realistic” a movie about a giant, fire-breathing lizard can be, between Edwards’ clear passion and the impressive footage, the enthusiastic Hall H crowd didn’t really seem to care.

“I wanted to see this movie this way all my life,” added Edwards, clearly overwhelmed by his sudden thrust into a very bright spotlight. “I’ve never worked this hard and this long that lasted this few seconds since I lost my virginity.”

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