After deciding to wade into the rich – but potentially radioactive waters – of another Godzilla reboot last year, Legendary Pictures has been busy prepping their new 200-ton baby for its planned 2012 rebirth. The studio released the first image of the misunderstood giant at Comic-Con over the weekend; along with hosting an augmented reality T-shirt promo at the studio’s booth that is either really awesome or really, really anticlimactic… perhaps depending on how long you’ve been hanging around the exhibitor’s hall. Artwork and video are after the jump.
Back in March, Legendary Pictures announced that they had acquired the film rights to the Godzilla character originally created by Japan’s Toho Company over 50 years ago. The franchise is justifiably famous for its, er, unique style and eventually spawned a whole pack of super-sized, chemically-enhanced monster stars: all bent on destroying Japan. It was a whole allegorical deal.
American audiences last caught a glimpse of Godzilla courtesy of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 feature. The film brought in less than $140 million at the box office and is widely considered a commercial and creative bomb – especially as it was Emmerich’s follow-up to the crazy-successful Independence Day. Obviously Legendary feels they can do better; and with their track record with films like 300 and The Dark Knight, I’m not sure I’d bet against them.
As for that T-shirt promo, the following press release has it right. It is probably “best experienced rather than described.” That being said, I’ll let them describe it:
When Warner Brothers affiliate Legendary Pictures – responsible for such critically acclaimed films as Inception, Where the Wild Things Are, The Dark Knight, 300, and Watchmen – wanted to use Augmented Reality to announce their latest film, they turned to Saskatchewan’s Talking Dog Studios to provide them with the technology to do so.
This week, Legendary Pictures is at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, the world’s biggest comics and pop culture convention, celebrating the beginning of production on their next film: “Godzilla”. Persons attending the conference will receive a t-shirt with an image of the new Godzilla, and when they look at themselves in a webcam at the Legendary Pictures tradeshow booth, they’ll see a superimposed animation of Godzilla’s “atomic breath” shooting out into the air in front of them from Godzilla’s mouth, complete with black smoke rising from the flames and the ground-shaking bellow of Godzilla’s instantly recognizable roar.
This immersive experience was designed by Talking Dog Studios, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and was supervised by Larry Monte of California’s Corporate Images. Talking Dog have been developing various AR applications for the past year, but owner Rob Bryanton sees this as a major step forward: “Augmented Reality is very open-ended, which is great because the possibilities are so wide, but it’s something that is best experienced rather than described,” says Bryanton. “With the Godzilla installation, we were able to quickly create something that our clients were immediately happy with, so we see this as a great recognition of the skill set that we’ve now developed”.
Here’s video of the AR display: