Frank Darabont Comments on Rewriting GODZILLA as a “Terrifying Force of Nature”

     January 22, 2013


News on the Godzilla reboot continues to roll in with new comments from Frank Darabont concerning his impending rewrite.  Earlier this month, the three-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter/director (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) came on to do a final draft of a script previously turned in by Max Borenstein.  While the shortlist of actors for the lead may have Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) in the front of the pack, Darabont is more concerned with the elephant giant gorilla-whale in the room.  He recently mentioned returning Godzilla to his origins as “a terrifying force of nature.”  Hit the jump to see what else he has in store. 

godzilla-posterDarabont spoke to io9 recently and at some point, the topic turned to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot.  Here’s what Darabont had to say:

Godzilla has its origins as an allegory for the atom bomb, but today it’s more of a straightforward monster movie. Do you want to restore some of that allegorical significance to the franchise?

Frank Darabont: What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And some of the atom bomb testing we were doing in the South Pacific in the subsequent years. The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the shit out of your city, that was Godzilla. Filtered through the very fanciful imaginations of the Japanese perception. And then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in the subsequent films. He became the mascot of Japan, he became the protector of Japan. Another big ugly monster would show up and he would fight that monster to protect Japan. Which I never really quite understood, the shift.

What we’re trying to do with the new movie is not have it camp, not have it be campy. We’re kind of taking a cool new look at it. But with a lot of tradition in the first film. We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It’s not that cliched, thinly disguised romance or bromance, or whatever. It’s different, it’s a different set of circumstances than you’re used to seeing. And that’s tremendously exciting as a writer when you’re asked to do something else.

Are you looking to connect it to a different contemporary issue?

Frank Darabont: Yes I am, but I’m not going to give it away.

godzilla poster


  • Straymo


    • Goop

      I think his point is that the original wasn’t camp. The original was about these horrific events in history. He’s saying that we, as an audience, have associated Godzilla with camp, but he’s taking it back. I’m confident in Frank Darabont.

      • Grayden

        Exactly. The original was as much about the destruction the Japanese faced, as a result of Godzilla, as it was about the dangers of extremely destructive forces we created. Also, I get the feeling the Japanese also wanted to address the notion of playing God, through the mechanics of Dr. Sarizawa and his oxygen destroyer. A man who was deeply conflicted about using this technology as a weapon when he never designed it to be used as such. It’s a cautionary tale about man’s excesses and technological brilliance that when unchecked, will be his doom. Godzilla, the original film, hits us with that. Twice.

    • Muh

      But he shouldn’t be, because camp sucks.

      • Cahoot

        Completely agree.

  • rentalunit


  • Doug

    I’m glad he’s shown some understanding of the original Godzilla movie. Besides all the usual bluster about “coolness” etc, this is a good sign. I love serious Godzilla and I love camp Godzilla, but serious is harder to pull off.

  • belybutton

    Japanese animation has flooded the film world with movies containing deep messages about nature. Add in all the video games spouting the same warnings and you will see a market completely over saturated with this message. I can only see mediocrity for this film’s future if that’s the path they choose to take with Godzilla.

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