Given the title of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (out May 31) it is appropriate that director Michael Dougherty has brought a regal element to his version of the titular kaiju beast in this sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film Godzilla.
“It’s a tradition that Godzilla changes in every single movie that he’s in,” says the filmmaker. “I don’t believe there’s been an incarnation where a filmmaker hasn’t sort of evolved or tweaked him slightly, and we’re just continuing that tradition. I’ve pretty much used Gareth Edwards’ rendition of him as a template and just made a few slight alterations. His back spikes are closer in alignment to the original 1954 film. I really loved their design. They sort of almost look like frozen fire. And the thing that I’ve always believed is that Godzilla’s spikes are his literal crown. If Godzilla’s swimming straight at you, there is a great silhouette created by his spikes, and they look like a crown sitting atop his head. It was important to me that they be larger and, since five years have transpired, [I] like to imagine that, much like the antlers on deer or elk they have simply grown larger over those years.”
But that’s not the only difference to the look of the G-man in the new film.
“What we did was bring something new to the monsters themselves, a visual physical manifestation of how each of the monsters charge up before they let their highest voltage energy blasts rip,” says production designer Scott Chambliss. “In our version, his breath starts down at his very base and goes up his tail, and courses through his body, and you see it kind of radiating through his flesh, and finally comes out in a big blast. It’s not that every monster has the same thing, just a different color, they’ve all got something where we see their bodies gearing up before they let go.”
Watch the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters above.