Godzilla Vs. Kong Director Had to Follow One Old School Toho Rule for Godzilla

Legendary Pictures kickstarted their MonsterVerse cinematic universe with 2014’s Godzilla. But the giant lizard has been appearing in films for decades prior to that. In Japan, Godzilla was created in 1954 by Toho production company, and they naturally had some ideas for what the American version of their creation should be like. In an interview with ReelBlend, Adam Wingard, the director of Godzilla Vs Kong revealed one particular rule that Toho asked him to follow in depicting the giant lizard.

“One of [the rules], for instance, is (that) they don’t want Godzilla to emote. They see him as like this god-like force of nature, and so to them, it’s out of character if you have him reacting in a normal way to things. But, there’s always ways around it. We definitely have some moments where I think Godzilla is more emotive in this film than he has been in any of the MonsterVerse movies. We just had to get clever with it. And I think that sometimes that stuff is kind of presented to you in a very kind of brick-wall kind of way. But if you just do certain things, and present it to them just right, and if they’re on board with the movie, they seem to give us plenty of leeway.”

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While Godzilla has traditionally been depicted as a God-like entity, the MonsterVerse has portrayed him as someone who fights to keep the balance between nature and humanity. In GvK, the fact that Godzilla was not allowed to emote too much might have posed a problem for the story. But in a previous interview, Wingard had explained that the other main lead of the movie, the mighty Kong, is emotive enough for the both of them.

“Kong for instance, as almost like a human conduit, like we can actually cut to Kong in this movie without having to cut back to the human characters for relatively large chunks of the film, because we can experience things through him. He’s emotive and all these kinds of things like his eyes, and the way he experiences things is relatable, and so it allows us to be able to just treat him just like any other character, and the humans are always going to back that up.”

Early reviews for Godzilla vs. Kong have been highly positive, with MonsterVerse fans opining on social media that the movie does justice to both King Kong and Godzilla, and the potential for the epic matchup that the trailers for the film promised. Hopefully, the success of GvK will revive interest in the MonsterVerse, which had been flagging a bit since the mixed reaction to the previous entry in the franchise, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, Godzilla vs. Kong stars Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on March 31.

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