It's now just a few months until the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and this time Godzilla is bringing some friends to the party.
The new film will see classic franchise monsters Mothra, Rodan,and King Ghidorah join Godzilla on-screen together for the first time in decades.
In a new interview with Cinema Today JP, which was translated into English by Omega Gormaru, director Michael Dougherty talked about updating the designs of these iconic creatures.
"With Godzilla, I really liked what [director Gareth Edwards] had done in the previous film with Godzilla's look, so I just wanted to make tiny tweaks, like changing his back spikes to look like the 1954 Godzilla" he explained. "These, in particular, were taken right off the back of the original 1954 Godzilla. So I took Photoshop, and just photoshopped these spikes onto the back of Gareth's film."
With the flying monster Rodan, Dougherty said that he wanted the look to mimic Rodan's volcanic habitat.
"I tried to come up with a look for him that felt like something that could have crawled out of a volcano. So, the look of his scales, even the color of his body, there are elements of volcanic rock, because I wanted to create a creature that looked like it could live inside a volcano if it had to, but also, it's meant to look like something Mother Nature could have created."
With Mothra, Dougherty said that he wanted the monster to mix elegance and beauty with the appearance of a dangerous goddess.
"I tried to make her look more like a traditional insect that exists in the world, but also gave her slightly larger feet because I wanted her to be able to defend herself and fight with the other creatures that she had to, and if she didn't have longer legs or claws, she'd be too vulnerable."
He said that Mothra's design also reflected aspects of Godzilla.
"I tried to capture the power of the original Mothra with her color palette, making sure that she had the eyespots on her wings. The eyespots are designed to look like Godzilla's eyes, because I wanted to create a connection between Mothra and Godzilla."
With the franchise's biggest villain, King Ghidorah, Dougherty said that each one of the dragon's three heads had to be unique.
" The other fun thing we did is we gave each head its own different personality, so each head is a little bit different than the other one. I like to think that the center head is the smartest, alpha head. Of the three, he's the one who's really in charge, and the other two are sort of his lackeys.
As with the other monsters, Dougherty said that his team worked closely with Toho to mix the creatures classic looks with more realistic elements.
"We looked at a lot of different animals in nature, so different reptiles, different lizards and snakes, cobras, especially king cobras, [and studied] their scales to craft something that looks like it could be realistic. The big rule for all the creatures was, if they discovered the fossils for these creatures, you would believe that they could have existed."
Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, and Bradley Whitford. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 31, 2019.