Disaster movie extraordinaire, Roland Emmerich, has a new movie out this year. His upcoming thriller movie, Moonfall, looks like the exact kind of crazy, fun flick we all need right now, and we can’t wait for it to drop in cinemas in February. There’s even talk of a Moonfall trilogy, which is insane and amazing at the same time. But, one property Emmerich won’t be returning to, is his monster movie Godzilla.
In a long career, Emmerich has rarely stepped outside of the disaster movie realm, with credits including The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day and science fiction movie Stargate. With Moonfall, Emmerich appears to be back to his bold and brilliant best, in a movie which will apparently see Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry fighting the moon. No holding back, here!
In the build up to the release of Moonfall, Roland Emmerich has spoken recently about his Godzilla movie from 1998, which was panned by critics at the time.
Apparently, Emmerich never wanted to make the movie in the first place. His version of the iconic kaiju was a wholly Americanised venture, which saw the monster’s classical chunky appearance dropped in favour of a slimmer, more lizard-like silhouette. This Hollywood blockbuster starred Matthew Broderick in the leading role, and is largely a camp, cheesy adventure movie.
Prior to this, the character of Godzilla was exclusively a product of Japanese production house Toho Co. LTD, who had previously released 36 feature films starring the giant beast. Emmerich was the first filmmaker to bring the story of Gojira to America, and it seems he wishes he hadn’t bothered now.
Since 1998, of course, we have seen Godzilla in the rebooted American production of 2014, a movie starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This series continued with the action movie Godzilla: King of Monsters and 2021’s big-hitting Godzilla vs Kong. On top of this, there are plans for a MonsterVerse TV series which is set to land on streaming service Apple TV. Clearly, Hollywood didn’t have the same regrets as Emmerich.
Back in the 1990s, Emmerich had plans for a meteor movie that he wanted to get off the ground. That is, until TriStar came to him with the idea of Godzilla, and a big offer. Emmerich accepted and implemented his radical ideas to change the appearance of the monster for his “Hollywood Godzilla”.
Emmerich is quoted as saying: “I didn’t want to do Godzilla. But they made me a deal, which was unheard of.” In an attempt to deter his suitors, he said “Let’s go about this really radically. I’m not doing big-belly Godzilla. I’m doing him as a lizard.” This plan didn’t work though, and the Godzilla owner, Toho agreed with his vision.
The rest is history, and while Emmerich was distracted by the kaiju, Michael Bay made Armageddon, thus ending Emmerich’s hopes for his own meteor movie. Emmerich says: “I was constantly working on my own meteor film. It just got swept away by Godzilla”.
The filmmaker may be lamenting his own real-life disastrous experience in the director’s chair, but his 1998 version Godzilla has certainly built something of a cult status in recent years. Indeed, many film fans have since given the movie another chance, and there appears to be some B-movie fun to be had in there, if you dig deep enough.