This was the biggest thrill of Comic Con this year. Just my opinion, of course, but anytime you're just so supremely excited to see something that you feel your heart thumping in your chest and a slight welling up of the eyes (it was just an eyelash or something, I swear), then you know you're experiencing something special. That was indeed the case with GODZILLA.
Of course, we had read a few weeks ago that it was a possibility that the big guy would be showing up at the Con this year. (Props to Latino Review for breaking the news.) But it wasn't a sure thing, so I don't believe anyone had it penciled in. But when Legendary Pictures head honcho Thomas Tull said he had something to show us (this right after the PACIFIC RIM footage, natch), and my colleague Jason Adams instinctively said to me, “Godzilla,” I might have audibly sighed like a schoolgirl and leaned forward because I just knew he was right.
The lights dimmed and here's what I can remember (it's all so foggy):
- There are images of a city devastated. Bodies lie on the ground in the hundreds. It looks like a nuclear bomb has laid waste to a metropolis, and it's actually quite eerie and intense.
- One interesting shot shows a building toppled over, and you can barely glimpse a man standing on top of it, surveying the wreckage. Another building has a massive hole smack in the middle of it.
- To further hammer home the A-bomb parallel, a voice-over of Robert Oppenheimer's famous speech about seeing the atomic blast for the first time plays over the footage: “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, Vishnu takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'”
- We see, amid the rest of the carnage, what appears to be the huge, crumpled body of a monster laying in the debris.
- The sound of stomping can be heard.
- Finally, a big old foot comes down in a cloud of dust. We pan up, see the scales, and he turns around and oh my word it's Godzilla and he lets loose with his famous roar. He's not seen completely clearly (what fun would that be?) but we can tell that it looks like the classic Toho incarnation, just not a man in a suit, but a well-realized CG creation.
- Title card comes up: GODZILLA. The place goes nuts...
Thomas Tull then introduced director Gareth Edwards (MONSTERS), who, it was immediate obvious, was humbled by the truly enthusiastic response. He said he was standing there while the people were screaming with joy during the footage, and he said to himself, “Don't cry, Gareth.” Later on, when they brought up the house lights to show the audience going nuts again, Gareth said, “You really want to make me cry, don't you?”
- Edwards on what this film will be like: ”We're going to take it seriously. If this really happened, what would it really be like? There's nothing sci-fi about this movie, it's very grounded, realistic.”
- They then showed the footage again and we were all sent back to a state of bliss.
- Unfortunately, not much in terms of the actual story was revealed, nor an idea of when production would begin in earnest. But if nothing else, the fact that WB and Legendary brought this teaser to Comic Con proves that they're getting ready to unleash this bad boy sometime in the not-too-distant future.