'Godzilla' Director Dubs Film Global Warming Cautionary Tale
It's easy to tell Gareth Edwards is relatively new to Hollywood.
The director of the new Godzilla reboot is talking up the film as a climate change treatise even though the finished product barely registers as such.
The new Hollywood tradition is the opposite--deny your film has a political component but make sure said message hits audiences over the head like a cudgel. Consider Matt Damon trying to mislead the masses regarding the anti-fracking yarn Promised Land and Occupy Wall Street sci-fi Elysium as Exhibits A and B.
Edwards, whose previous claim to fame is the lo-fi indie Monsters, told The Daily Beast why his movie fits in with Hollywood's enviro-movement.
At the beginning when they find the fossils, it was important to me that they didn’t just find them—it was caused by our abuse of the planet. We deserved it, in a way. So there’s this rainforest with a big scar in the landscape with this quarry, slave labor, and a Western company. You have to ask yourself, “What does Godzilla represent?” The thing we kept coming up with is that he’s a force of nature, and if nature had a mascot, it would be Godzilla. So what do the other creatures represent? They represent man’s abuse of nature, and the idea is that Godzilla is coming to restore balance to something mankind has disrupted....As we got into it, the message of Godzilla turned into, “We should let nature take its course and shouldn’t try to control it.” Stories have been used for a long time to smuggle the morals of the day inside them, and today, people are worried about global warming. In our film, the nuclear side of it was a concern with the things that have happened recently in Japan.
The actual film is not nearly as environmentally smug as he makes it sound. In fact, in a mild spoiler alert comment, Godzilla arrives on the scene as nature's counter-balance.
In Edwards' Godzilla, the earth protects itself by summoning the big, green monster.
Edwards deserves credit for bringing a gentle touch to his cinematic soapbox. A quick phone call with a veteran like Damon, though, will likely convince him to play down his politics while promoting his next feature.