When it comes to destruction on the big screen, few directors have the skill of Roland Emmerich.
Soon the German director will return to prove it to us with his latest effort, Moonfall ( HERE the trailer), scheduled for March 17th. But there was a time when not even Emmerich’s skill in staging disasters was enough to save one of his films. We are talking about Godzilla , the first attempt to translate the famous monster saga of Toho for an American audience, then successfully adapted by Legendary in the MonsterVerse . Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the director admitted that the project was of little interest to him initially because TriStar contacted him while he and trusty collaborator Dean Devlin were attempting to develop a film about a giant asteroid. The two agreed to do Godzilla on one condition: being able to redesign the creature. And, much to their surprise, the producers agreed. Here’s what Emmerich said:
I didn’t want to do Godzilla . But they made me an unprecedented proposal. I said, “Ok, let’s take a really radical approach. I will not do Godzilla with the belly. I will turn him into a lizard ”. This should have told everyone that I was not suited to making the film. Toho said, “Okay, we’ll call this the new Godzilla, the Godzilla of Hollywood. So we can continue to make our own fat Godzilla ”. I said: “Shit!” I was working hard on my meteor movie, but I was swept away by Godzilla . And then, suddenly, Michael Bay came and he did it first.
Emmerich of course is referring to Armageddon , which wasn’t even the only asteroid movie released around that time. In 1998, the same year as Godzilla , Deep Impact was also released .
Emmerich ‘s Godzilla would later be included in the Toho canon as “Zilla” and would fight the “real” Gojira in Godzilla: Final Wars . He also starred in an animated series, Godzilla: The Series , which lasted two seasons.