Less than four weeks ago, the Godzilla reboot from Monsters director Gareth Edwards appeared to be tearing its way through pre-production, with producer Dan Lin teasing a March start for what he described as "a grounded, realistic version" of the King of All Monsters. But now HitFix reports Lin and fellow producer Roy Lee have left the project, with Deadline adding that Legendary Pictures has hired former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont for a final rewrite.
Still, the studio appears determined to go in front of the cameras in March for a May 2014 release.
Although HitFix characterizes the split with the producers as an amicable one -- the two are partnered on Death Note and Stephen King's It, with Lin also involved with Justice League, among other projects -- Deadline contends the break-up to be contentious, involving fees and Lin's comments to entertainment blogs about Godzilla.
Darabont, whose filmography includes The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist, is at least the fifth writer to take a crack at the Godzilla script, following the likes of David Callahan, David Goyer, Max Borenstein and Drew Pearce.