For its first transposition in the United States, the Godzilla lizard did not get the treatment it deserved. The feature film directed by Roland Emmerich left a bitter taste for fans of the beast. Years later, the director admits that he did not want to make the film.
Godzilla is coming to Hollywood
Rare are those who mention the Godzilla of Roland Emmerich in glowing terms. Or they do it with an undisguised hint of mockery. Even critics of the more recent version by Gareth Edwards will recognize that it is far superior to the attempt released in 1998. The plot of this one takes place in New York, when a strange aquatic phenomenon occurs on the coast. It doesn’t take long for the men to discover that a giant lizard is on the loose.
Let’s not even try to compare this American adaptation to what was done in Japan with Tōhō. Roland Emmerich’s film was not a commercial success, in addition to being mistreated by critics. With a budget of 130 million, he reported that 379 million worldwide. The balance is certainly positive but difficult to perceive the company as a great success.
Roland Emmerich did not want to direct the film
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Roland Emmerich returned to this experience by revealing that he did not want to direct Godzilla. The producers had in mind to create a lizard that was different from the Japanese versionmaking it less frightening, more coated.
I said, “Okay, let’s do this radically. I don’t want to do a big-bellied Godzilla, I want it to be a lizard.” Which was supposed to make them realize that I didn’t want to do this movie.
Except that at Tōhō, this revisit was validated because it didn’t work on the original monster’s toes. For them, it was about doing a Hollywood Godzilla, thus allowing them to continue with the Japanese one – what they did. This approval worked against Roland Emmerich, who was then engaged on the project. At that time, he was working on a disaster film about an asteroid that threatens Earth. Bad luck, that’s when Michael Bay managed to mount his Armageddon !
We can therefore say that the catastrophe Godzilla is not entirely to the credit of Roland Emmerich. He specifies that the producers offered him a deal “never seen“, although we unfortunately do not know the details. We suspect that he must have been attractive enough to prevent him from leaving the ship.