“I could have picked an easier project for sure, but I’m really glad that I didn’t!” laughs director Michael Dougherty. “I mean, there’s a lot of different adjectives that I could use! Overwhelming, exhausting, challenging obviously, but ultimately very rewarding. It was definitely the most difficult thing that I’ve ever done or put myself through.”
Earlier this year, the Trick ‘R Treat and Krampus filmmaker delivered Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the epic showdown between Gojira, King Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan. With four giant monsters to bring to life, a globe-trotting storyline, and a massive ensemble cast, it’s no wonder that Dougherty is a little shell-shocked. “I’m still processing it all, yeah, it feels sort of like finishing college or high school, but I’m glad that I walked through the atomic fire.”
While he cites the mighty Mothra as the most challenging to figure out an approach for, Dougherty tells us that we could have ended up seeing many more classic Toho creatures in the closing sequence if he’d had his way.
“At the end of the film when we reveal the other titans encircling Godzilla for that final coronation moment, the original intention was to pepper in additional Toho creatures, but every time you want to use a Toho creature you have to pay for it,” he explains. “They all have their own salaries, fees and you have to negotiate with their agents! But I saw that as a great opportunity. Part of the tradition of Godzilla films is that they all tend to introduce new creatures as the films go along, they’re always adding to the pantheon of monsters. That’s why we got Behemoth which is that woolly mammoth-style creature, Scylla, which is the arachnid one, and I loved Gareth’s design for the MUTOs and I didn’t like the idea that that’s a species that’s completely extinct so I brought one back for that same moment too.”
And, as a monster fan, he tells us that he was thrilled to help set the stage for Godzilla Vs Kong. “Oh yeah, absolutely,” he enthuses. “Especially because it’s not like the studio had any sort of mandates. They weren’t twisting my arm to make sure we set up Godzilla Vs Kong, I love Kong. I think if you’re a fan of giant monsters in general you have to love Kong and Godzilla, so I was excited about the idea of building out that universe and setting up that fight. And so [I was] eagerly and excitedly peppered in references here and there, which I’m sure made the studio very happy but it’s part of the fun of working on franchise films is that you do get to build out the world.”
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is available on Digital Download now and on DVD, Blu-ray™, 3D Blu-ray™ and 4K Ultra HD October 14.