Michael Dougherty: ‘Godzilla needs to be both familiar and new’

Michael Dougherty has co-written and directed Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Michael Dougherty wanted to be faithful to movie monster Godzilla, but still bring something new to the character in his latest film.

The filmmaker both directed and co-wrote Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is a follow on from Gareth Edwards’s 2014 Godzilla.

This time around, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown go up against a whole load of beasts, with Michael explaining to Den of Geek his intentions when it came to reimagining the fictional Japanese figure.

“I wanted to be faithful and pay tribute to the characters as they’ve been portrayed for decades, but still introduce new elements,” he mused. “I think that’s part of the tradition. Every time Godzilla comes back, he’s different. Every director makes some adjustments to his design. It’s the same thing with (monsters) Rodan, Ghidorah and Mothra. Very rarely are they identical from one incarnation to the next. They’re constantly adding new features and abilities. Their evolution is part of the tradition.”

Revealing that he has always been fascinated by big screen monsters, Michael highlighted artist Ray Harryhausen’s work on movies like Jason And the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad as some of his favourites. He’s also a huge fan of Steven Spielberg.

“Pretty much any movie that portrayed man versus nature, I was into. It helped if the animal was more on the monstrous side. Jaws falls in that category, for sure. Obviously, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park,” the 44-year-old listed. “Any time there was a movie that featured man sort of messing with Mother Nature in ways that he shouldn’t I was into it, and was very squarely in Mother Nature’s corner. When a circus elephant goes crazy, and fights back against its masters, there’s a part of me that is rooting for the circus elephant.”

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is now showing in cinemas.

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