“This is the Godzilla movie I’ve been waiting my whole life for,” a fan told director Michael Dougherty on Saturday at WonderCon, after Dougherty and screenwriter Zach Shields proudly showed off a bunch of new footage from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. So say we all, friend; the combination montage/trailer that the filmmakers brought with them showcased a blockbuster so massive it’s a wonder the damn thing will fit on one movie screen.
The footage began with 2014 Godzilla holdover David Strathairn as Admiral William Stenz speaking gravely over scenes of gigantic monsters wreaking mass destruction all over the world. Switch to the secret Monarch base in Antartica where Ghidorah lies dormant in a colossal block of ice. Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) apparently think Ghidorah is the answer to humanity’s monster problem and detonates explosives which free the giant three-headed dragon from his icy tomb.
Bad mistake: as Emma and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) watch in horror, Ghidorah emerges and begins to mow down the military troops assembled below with electrical blasts from all three mouths. Emma’s husband and Madison’s dad (Kyle Chandler) is down there too, but he escapes certain death just in time to see Godzila emerge from the frozen waters and stare down Ghidorah for several seconds until the literal clash of the titans begins in full force.
The quick glimpse of their apocalyptic battle gave way to an escalating montage of more Ghidorah, more Godzilla, more Rodan and Mothra and yes, more destruction on a scale that, frankly, made Roland Emmerich look like he’s been playing with Tinker Toys all these years.
“We want to put the ‘god’ back in Godzilla,” Dougherty said after the audience was left to pick their jaws up off the floor. “We wanted to portray these creatures not just as giant animals, but as something you would bend your knee to in real life.”
If that footage was any indication, we’ll be taking a knee soon enough. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is out in theaters May 31.
Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist and associate editor of Den of Geek. Other current and past outlets include Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, RollingStone.com and many more. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @donkaye