The Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Hall H presentations at Comic Con International were segued by a tantalizing peek at director Gareth Edwards’ Monsters follow-up Godzilla.
After premiering jaw-dropping footage from director Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim, and prior to unveiling looks at Man of Steel and The Hobbit, the crowd was treated to an unscheduled surprise as the lights mysteriously dimmed.
The teaser trailer that followed, albeit sparse, proved atmospheric and disturbing enough to be truly goose bump-inducing. Perhaps because, as the footage of a sepia-toned, smoke and dust-covered landscape opens, we hear the crackling tones of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s voice saying, “We knew the world would not be the same,” an excerpt from his famous “I am become Death” speech. We see ruined buildings – huge hunks taken out of skyscrapers, with people scaling the sides like ants. A haunting score throbs low, and beats with each cut as Oppenheimer continues, “Most people were silent” as a derailed train comes into view, pieces flattened to the ground as if stepped on or punched, dead bodies like scattered specks surrounding it. At the “Vishnu takes on his multi-armed form” portion, we glimpse the talon-tipped hands of a creature reaching through the dust, arms embracing a fallen building.
With the infamous line, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds,” the smoke clears ever so slightly to reveal a roaring monster in profile, triggering an eruption from Hall H. The top third of the monster is in view, and seems fairly faithful to previous versions, with a lizard-like head and somewhat-pointed snout, and the jagged triangular fins jutting from its backbone.
Shortly after the crowd finally died down, Edwards was called on stage, where he hinted at the tone he’ll take in depicting the iconic movie monster. “We’re just going to take it really seriously,” he said. “I’ve wanted to see this movie this way all my life. Imagine if this really happened – as crazy as it sounds – what would it really be like? There’s nothing sci-fi about this movie – it’s very grounded, realistic.”
And in a touching testament to how a powerful Hall H reaction resonates with a film’s creator, Edwards then admitted, “Honest to God, I was standing there – when these guys screamed and everything, I was like, ‘Okay, don’t cry, Gareth!’”
He continued, joking, “I’ve never worked this hard, this long and been this emotionally invested in something that’s lasted a few seconds since the time I lost my virginity!” The crowd roared with laughter – clearly the proper reaction, as they were treated to a second viewing of the footage shortly thereafter.
Godzilla is set for release in 2014.