Writer of 1998's panned Godzilla knows where it all went wrong

The 90s Godzilla (Credit: TriStar)

The 1998 Godzilla movie is no one’s favourite Godzilla movie.

Battered by critics and achieving only the most modest financial success, sequels and a planned animated spin-off were abandoned in its wake.

Directed by Roland Emmerich, its producer and writer Dean Devlin, who also made movies like Stargate and Independence Day, has now revealed what he reckons the issues were with the much derided movie.

“There was enormous pressure,” he told Syfy Wire.

“That was probably the biggest problem in making Godzilla, this assumption that it was going to be as big or as original or as strong as Independence Day. I don’t think it ever had that chance.

(Credit: TriStar)
(Credit: TriStar)

“I think part of the biggest problem was that I pushed Roland into doing the movie because I was a huge Godzilla fan.

“I grew up with Godzilla and it wasn’t something that Roland had grown up with. He didn’t have a giant passion about Godzilla.

“He was able to find a story with me that he could get passionate about and he was passionate about the movie we made, but this was his take on it as opposed to honouring the Godzilla legacy in a way that would make the people who loved Godzilla happy.

“Roland and I made an intellectual idea that was interesting but not compelling filmmaking. We said in real life, a lizard is neither evil nor good, it’s just a lizard.

“So what if one got to that size and in its effort to survive, it threatened us, but it wasn’t mad at us? It was just simply doing what it did and it causes this problem for us. Well, that’s interesting, but that’s not Godzilla. If you go to the very first movie, Gojira, it was an evil monster. Movies after that, it was a hero. We didn’t choose either.

“I think what we tried to do made sense, but isn’t very fulfilling.”

Despite a serviceable cast, which included Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno, the movie made $379 million (around £284 million), having cost in the region of $150 million, and falling well short of the US domestic haul of $240 million that would have been considered a success.

Broderick, speaking to comedian Gilbert Gottfried on his podcast last year, said: “I thought it was pretty good. I don’t know what the problem was.”

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