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Roland Emmerich looks back on his 1998 film Godzilla

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Roland Emmerich looks back on his 1998 film Godzilla

Almost 25 years after its first theatrical release, the answer to Roland Emmerich Godzilla didn’t get any nicer. The film was steadily torn apart by critics and fans alike when it was released in 1998, largely due to its departures from the original Japanese films that inspired it. Overall, the consensus seems to be that the studio should never have hired Emmerich to direct the film in the first place. It’s an assessment Emmerich seems to wholeheartedly agree with.

Emmerich talked about his approach to Godzilla speaking with The Hollywood Reporter about his latest film, moon fall. He explained that he was not interested in directing Godzilla first of all. Indeed, before TriStar offered them the project, he and co-writer Dean Devlin were busy developing another film about an asteroid heading towards Earth. Either way, they agreed to board on the condition that they could use their own design for the titular creature. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the film’s biggest mistakes. And as if to add insult to injury, the double whammy of 1998 Armageddon and deep impact effectively putting Emmerich and Devlin’s asteroid movie on ice.

“I didn’t want to do Godzilla“, Emmerich said. “But they made me a deal, which was unheard of. I said, ‘OK, let’s go really radical. I don’t do big-bellied Godzilla. I do it like a lizard. It was supposed to tell everyone that I can’t do this movie. [Godzilla owner Toho] said, ‘Oh, we’ll call it the new Godzilla, the Hollywood Godzilla. Then we can always do our big Godzilla. I said, ‘S**t!’ I was constantly working on my meteor movie. It has just been carried away by Godzilla. And then all of a sudden, Michael Bay came along and did it first.

Although GodzillaThe ending teased Emmerich and Devlin’s ideas for a sequel, plans for future installments stalled after the film failed to make big numbers at the box office. However, his characters later appeared in animated form on Godzilla: The Series, which ran for two seasons on Fox Kids. Years later, the film’s Godzilla design was reintroduced as a rival kaiju named “Zilla” in Toho’s Godzilla: Final Wars.

What do you think of Emmerich’s latest comments on his Godzilla movie? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended reading: The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters

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