Gareth Edwards is preparing to start shooting his Godzilla movie this Spring, with Deadline citing a March start date. The last we heard, Drew Pearce was doing a rewrite of Max Borenstein's script to "age up" the characters but also, Bleeding Cool understands, to do a bit of light maintenance work, nipping here and tucking there.
Now, and we don't know if Pearce's clock ran out or if Warner Bros. just fancied a slight change of direction, but they've now brought on Frank Darabont to do another quick pass. Not a bad thing - the man can write.
Meanwhile, there's some wrangling going on behind the scenes too. Here's Deadline's take on the tensions:
Warner Bros-based producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who were among the producers who came into Legendary with a Toho rights deal for the iconic reptile, are in a huge battle with the financier/producer. Legendary, which now controls the rights, wants to drop the producers from the film. As it stands right now, the 3-D picture will be produced by Legendary?s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, along with Brian Rogers, the latter of whom was on the ground floor of the Toho deal...Reads a bit like spaghetti that didn't get rinsed properly, but the upshot is this: it shouldn't affect anything creative but there's going to be plenty of fighting over money as Godzilla stomps on.
This one?s going to wind up in the courts, I?m told. My understanding is, Lin and Lee refused to reduce the fees they signed on for when the original deal was made. Legendary brass feels it has the latitude to get rid of them, and is doing just that, exercising a pay or play clause and paying them upfront money to go away, with no back-end or credit on the film. The potential back-end on a global franchise is where the big bucks are.
Edwards presented a proof of concept trailer at Comic Con in San Diego last summer. It was fantastic, and it's a much better indicator of what we have to look forward to than any story of haggling and scrabbling.
Godzilla is currently set for release in May 2014. I hope no court case slows us down.