- Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla reboot cemented both his place in Hollywood and the franchise's revival, leading to a larger MonsterVerse franchise.
- Spielberg's review of Godzilla brought the director to tears, validating his hard work and artistic vision.
- Edwards' success with Godzilla and subsequent film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story established him as a creative force to watch in the industry.
Steven Spielberg's first review of Gareth Edwards' 2014 $525M Godzilla reboot had the director in tears following a stressful press tour period. The director's vision of the classic and iconic Kaiju saw the long-dormant creature reawaken when other colossal creatures emerged across the globe, causing fear and panic among the humans caught in their battle. Edwards' Godzilla would spark a new era of US takes on the character, as Legendary Entertainment would build on the film's success to bring in other classic monsters, including Ghidorah and King Kong.
As Edwards joins Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast to discuss his upcoming sci-fi epic The Creator, the director looked back on his experience developing Godzilla, where he recalled an incredibly meaningful moment at the end of the press tour.
While the promotional period left Edwards exhausted, receiving a surprising email from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson during a night out that included a video of a Godzilla review by Spielberg himself left the director incredibly emotional. Check out Edwards' full recollection below:
When we finished- I don't know if you're familiar with publicity tours, where some filmmaker has to sit in front of a camera and do a million interviews, but apparently they exist. We had to do that for Godzilla, and I was fried by the end of it. Me and the writer Max Berenstein were like "Let's go have a party, let's just do something, we've got to celebrate this". So, we go to the Cineramadome, we watch the movie, then we'll all go back to- We'll hire a house and we'll just all have a house party and have drinks with all these people.
So we did that, and we got to the house party, and one at a time I could feel this queue of people wanting to talk to me, and each one had one of the questions from the publicity tour, like "What was it like working with Bryan Cranston? What was it like-", and I was like "I can't do this, I can't do this, I gotta go". And so me and a friend, we just went down into Hollywood, and very drunk, and then at about 2AM or 3AM, I look at my phone and there's an email. I recognize the email address, it's Peter Jackson's email, and I'm like "Peter Jackson's emailing?". And I look and there's a video attachment, I open up the video- I'm in a nightclub, so it's like(Mimicking dance music) and I look at the video, and there's a guy with sort of grey hair and a beard, and I'm thinking "Is this Gandalf?, and I don't know what's going on, it's really weird...
So I go outside and I start putting my headphones on, and as soon as I put the headphones in I recognize the voice, and it was Steven Speilberg. And Peter Jackson was filming him on his camera on his phone, and basically, Speilberg had just watched Godzilla, and Peter was like "I know Gareth and he'll really want to hear this.", because he was saying something about it, and he was like "Let me film you and send it to him". Spielberg started speaking about Godzilla, and it was nice to hear it, and I just started crying. I literally just collapsed. I hardly ever cry, it just felt like that's why I did it, all the pain of whatever it was, was just worth it for that little video clip. It meant the absolute world to me.
Godzilla 2014 Cemented Both Gareth Edwards And The Franchise's Place In Hollywood
While Edwards' own independent 2010 sci-fi horror Monsters allowed the director to catch the attention of studios in Hollywood, his following two features quickly cemented his place in the industry. With Godzilla, Edwards helped revive the franchise's US productions and prompt Toho to kick off their own reboot as the film became a critical and financial success, while his following film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, would attract similar success as it showed viewers what Star Wars features and series set outside the Skywalker Saga framework could be. With the director helming two successful takes on incredibly large, popular properties within a short period, Edwards established himself as a creative to keep an eye on with his future works.
Furthermore, with Godzilla becoming a hit, Legendary was able to firmly establish a larger franchise of its own. Dubbed the MonsterVerse, the franchise would first bring King Kong in with Kong: Skull Island in 2017, before 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters saw Mothra, Ghidorah, and Rodan emerge in this universe, with 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong bringing the ape and Godzilla face-to-face. With spin-off TV series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire releasing in 2024, the franchise has continued to enjoy ongoing success, with the 2014 film being responsible for introducing a new era of giant monster movies following a relatively silent period for the genre.
While Edwards' and Godzilla's later successes have firmly cemented the director's place in modern Hollywood, the 2014 movie was released during a period when the director was still making his name in the industry. Furthermore, not only was Godzilla Edwards' first major feature, but he had cited Spielberg as an influence on his career previously, so it is understandable why the legendary director's words left him overwhelmed. As audiences eagerly await Edwards' new sci-fi epic, the director's tale is a welcome glimpse at a heartwarming moment in his career.
Source: Happy Sad Confused