It was a raining and chilly Thursday night in the heart of downtown Toronto for the not-so-red carpet premiere of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla the evening before the film debuted. And yet, everyone was in high spirits because the setting – rain included – seemed incredibly appropriate for the arrival of the King of the Monsters on the big screen once again.
Not only did the dreary setting add a sense of foreboding that strangely kept the press that had lined up in unusually high spirits (and often under very quickly purchased umbrellas from every corner store in the area), but also because alongside the carpet was a giant art installation showing the potential devastating effects of a Godzilla attack. A giant subway car (a decommissioned TTC car done up to look like a San Francisco BART train to fit in with the film’s setting) protruded from the ground with rubble scattered above, below, and around it. Cars somehow found their way to the tops of buildings in heaps of twisted metal. There was even a downed helicopter plopped down just behind the subway car. It’s almost as much of a sight as the film itself.
But the real highlight of the evening was a chance to chat with filmmaker Gareth Edwards about his pretty damned great film for a few seconds as he breezed through town for a worldwide promotional tour.
Here’s what Edwards had to say to us about his film’s new take on the iconic giant lizard getting blended with some nods to the classic franchise and creating relatable human characters:
“I think my love of that comes from my massive high tolerance for B-movies of the 1950s. I love anything that was science fiction from the 1950s and 60s, so I’m always going to draw from that. I also really love and admire the work of people like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott and James Cameron, who were also influenced by those kinds of things, and who have this style of filmmaking where there are always relatable human characters at the start of their film before everything really gets going. They learned a lot before diving headlong into this world of digital and CGI technology. So I’m just trying to obviously give people all of the crazy sets and images that people would expect from a Godzilla movie, but on the way I wanted to tie it into these emotional threads of this family getting torn apart by these events and their trying to come back and heal.
When you make a film, the thing is, you can’t really make a film for other people and really second guess. You just have to make a film that you want to sit and watch. Something that when you close your eyes while you’re watching it you can feel chills or it moves you in some way. The prayer at the end is that once you’ve finished and you think it’s working, that you get enough people like you in the world that are going to feel the same way. And fingers crossed, hopefully there is.”