Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont talks rebooting Godzilla

Frank Darabont is the screenwriter/director who gave us the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s Shawshank Redemption.

He also gave us The Green Mile, The Mist, the best Nightmare on Elm Street movie (Part 3, the Dream Warriors). Plus, he was the first showrunner on The Walking Dead. Having done a bit of script doctor work over his career, he was recently called in for last minute surgery on the Godzilla screenplay. 

So now that Darabont’s on board to help out, he recently spoke with i09 about working on the Godzilla reboot behind the scenes. First of all, whenever there’s a reboot, there’s often a desire to go back to the roots of a story before it got corrupted, and this is the goal for Godzilla as well.

“What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Darabont said.

“The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the sh*t out of your city, that was Godzilla. Then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in subsequent films.” 

And indeed, in later Godzilla films he became way too cute, “the mascot of Japan, the protector of Japan,” Darabont said. This is often what happens in wrestling, where a bad guy becomes a good guy, and Darabont didn’t get the shift himself either, although like a superhero, Japan could count on Godzilla to save the day whenever another monster threatened to destroy the country.

Like Batman abandoning the campy TV show of the 60’s, there will be a big effort to bring Godzilla back to his malevolent roots.

“What we’re trying to do with the new movie is not have it be campy,” Darabont continued. “We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It’s not that clichéd, thinly disguised romance or bromance. It’s a different set of circumstances than you’re used to see to seeing.” 

The reboot of Godzilla is set to roll soon for a release on May 16, 2014. Godzilla will also be stomping around in 3D for the first time. As you may recall, there was going to be a 3D Godzilla film back in the eighties, but it never came to pass, and unlike a lot of upcoming 3D flicks, I think it would be pretty cool to see the big green guy in three dimensions.