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Development of New Godzilla an Unnecessary Mess of Petty Disputes and Rewrites

Did you just feel the ground shake violently beneath your feet? Hear that deafening roar from off in the distance? As much as we wish we could say it’s Godzilla, those tremors and bellowing are actually coming from an even more monstrous abomination: Legendary Pictures. Production for the highly anticipated return of everyone’s favorite king of kaiju hasn’t even started and already the studio is being stymied by one self-imposed speed bump after another. From the studio playing a tedious game of musical chairs with film writers to petty internal disputes, we’d be fortunate to even get 5 minutes of leaked grainy Godzilla footage uploaded to YouTube at the rate things are currently going — which is assuming that everybody at Legendary Pictures can wrap their heads around a grown-up word called compromise.

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It has been recently announced that the writer of Godzilla’s potentially last revision of the script — not like we’re holding our collective breath or anything — will be Frank Darabont of The Shawshank Redemption and The Walking Dead fame. It’s a wise decision on Legendary Pictures’ part since penning a story centered around a reptilian engine of destruction isn’t that far removed from one about convicted felons or voracious cadavers; Darabont is certainly in familiar territory here.

This announcement of Darabont’s involvement comes after the Godzilla script, which was written initially as a collaborative effort by David Callaham, David Goyer, and Max Borenstein, was handed down to Iron Man 3‘s Drew Pearce for further changes. So essentially what we’ll most likely be getting at the end of all this, assuming this disaster even has a foreseeable terminus, is a horrific amalgamation of clashing artistic directions for a cinematic icon.

As for the icing on this cake of unwarranted complex executive decisions, Dan Lin and Roy Lee, two producers which Legendary wants to drop from the film, are entangled in a bit of a nasty tiff with the film company:

This one’s going to wind up in the courts, I’m told. My understanding is, Lin and Lee refused to reduce the fees they signed on for when the original deal was made. Legendary brass feel they have the latitude to get rid of them and is doing just that, exercising a pay-or-play clause and paying them upfront money to go away, with no back-end or credit on the film. The potential back-end on a global franchise is where the big bucks are.

After gleaning through this deluge of mind-boggling info, there’s two thoughts we’re walking away with:

  • For God’s sake, it’s a Godzilla movie. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

And secondly:

  • For God’s sake, it’s a Godzilla movie. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

Honestly, it’s a film about a giant reptile with atomic breath that has no regard for urban infrastructure and the tiny people who dwell within it, so they can do themselves a favor right now and drop all aspirations of turning Godzilla into a poignant masterpiece.

(Deadline via Gamma Squad, image via SebastianDooris)

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