An unofficial teaser for the coming reboot of Godzilla leaked online over the weekend, and responses suggest the next installment of this perennial Japanese kaiju classic could be legit. During its brief presence on the web, the footage elicited positive responses – “more gravitas than the original,” hinting at “the true horror that such a monster would reap.” The trailer, previously available here, has since been pulled down.
The trailer for the film, which will recast the most famous member of Japan’s menagerie of monsters, reveals scenes of widespread destruction – bodies, buildings and vehicles, strewn about a barren patch of earth. Then, there is a view of a mammoth carcass lying amid the debris, flies swarming above it. It appears to be some kind of slain second monster. Finally, we are shown the King of the Monsters towering above it all at roughly the height of a modern day skyscraper.
A voice over of the famous passage from the Bhagavad Gita punctuates the scene and gives a sense of gravity: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” – the same line famously quoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project, who is credited with helping build the first atomic bomb.
The next installment is directed by Gareth Edwards, and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, among others. It is set for release on May 16, 2014. According to ScreenCrush, the footage was shown in 2012 at Comic-Con where it was replayed this year with an extended trailer. The Verge points out that this is not the final design for the monster, which is still a work in progress.
Since the Godzilla first hit celluloid in 1954 – portrayed then as having been born of radiation – the King of the Monsters has returned to the screen time and again. Over the decades, the saurian creature has evolved from something purely horrific to a character that was used in children’s movies and one who even came to the aid of humanity.
Today, it is hard to say where Godzilla stands, but the trailer hints at a more sinister spin on the mythos. Taking into account the vast scientific advancements since the 1950s and Japan’s most recent brush with nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, the creators of this next telling of the monster tale have a lot of material to draw on.