With Godzilla: King of Monsters now playing in theaters around the world, I recently sat down with director Mike Dougherty for an extended interview in the Collider studio. During the wide-ranging conversation, Dougherty went into great detail about the making of the sequel, how he landed the job, why Mothra was such a daunting creature to include, how the writer’s room impacted Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong, how he designed the massive action set pieces, what he learned from the test screening process, deleted scenes, what surprised him about the process of making his first big budget movie, and so much more.
As I’ve said many times, I loved the Godzilla sequel and think Mike Dougherty did a fantastic job behind the camera on his first big budget movie. If you haven’t seen the film, I strongly recommend checking it out in the biggest screen where you live.
As most of you know from the trailers, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the sequel to the 2014 film and stars Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Bradley Whitford, Ken Watanabe, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Thomas Middleditch, Sally Hawkins, Mothra, the three-headed beast King Ghidorah, and the titanic Pteranodon Rodan.
Check out what Dougherty had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- Who did he first meet with? How did he get the job?
- How as a kid he made a Godzilla film.
- After the first meeting what did he do?
- How does the group writer’s room work?
- How much from the writer’s room impacted Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong?
- How did he figure out what monsters would be in the film?
- Why Mothra was such a daunting creature to include.
- How did he design the action set pieces?
- Talks about bringing the creatures to life using VFX.
What of his original pitch ended up in the finished film?
- How his first cut was 2 hr 40 min.
- What were some of the last things he cut out of the film that almost made it into the finished film?
- What did he learn from the test screening process?
- How early on did he show a cut of the film?
- How many test screenings did he do and were they helpful?
- What deleted scenes will be on the Blu-ray?
- Dealing with tone and pacing in the edit.
- What did he take home from set and what merchandize does he want to own?
- What will it take to get a Godzilla, Kong and Pacific Rim battle?
- What surprised him about the process of making his first big budget movie?
Here’s the official synopsis for Godzilla: King of the Monsters:
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
For more on Godzilla: King of the Monsters, check out the following:
- ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Post-Credits Scene, Explained
- Vera Farmiga & Kyle Chandler on ‘Godzilla’ and Acting with Monsters Who Aren’t There
- Michael Dougherty and Ken Watanabe on ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ & the Essential ‘Godzilla’ Movies
- Why It’s Good Godzilla Is a Chonk