Mike Dougherty Waxes Poetic on Creature Designs in 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'

Mike Dougherty Waxes Poetic on Creature Designs in ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

Posted by January 13, 2019 Comment

Director Mike Dougherty sure seems to have his heart in the right place when it comes to the upcoming Legendary Pictures epic Godzilla: King of the Monsters, especially where those fabulous creature designs are concerned.

In a recent interview with Cinema Today JP [as translated by Gormaru], Dougherty spoke to the thoughts and inspiration behind each of the Titans as featured in Godzilla: King of the Monsters:

“With Godzilla, I really liked what [director Gareth Edwards] had done in the previous film with Godzilla’s look, so I just wanted to make tiny tweaks, like changing his back spikes to look like the 1954 Godzilla. These in particular were taken right off the back of the original 1954 Godzilla. So I took Photoshop, and just photoshopped these spikes onto the back of Gareth’s film. I made the feet and the claws a bit bigger, because a predatory creature like him would have very powerful sharp claws to tear into his prey.”

[For Rodan] “I tried to come up with a look for him that felt like something that could have crawled out of a volcano. So, [in] the look of his scales, even the color of his body, there are elements of volcanic rock, because I wanted to create a creature that looked like it could live inside a volcano if it had to,” the director said. “But also, it’s meant to look like something Mother Nature could have created.”

“For Mothra, I tried to capture the power of the original Mothra with her color palette, making sure that she had the eye spots on her wings. The eye spots are designed to look like Godzilla’s eyes, because I wanted to create a connection between Mothra and Godzilla. I tried to make her look more like a traditional insect that exists in the world, but also gave her slightly larger feet because I wanted her to be able to defend herself and fight with the other creatures that she had to, and if she didn’t have longer legs or claws, she’d be too vulnerable.

If you look at moths in nature, they do have very long legs, so I tried to create something that was beautiful, and feminine, and elegant, and looked like a true goddess, but also dangerous if she had to be.”

“The fun of [Ghidorah] was trying to create a dragon which was unique but clearly Ghidorah. So his wings are different, but also something that could take flight and own the skies if he had to. The other fun thing we did is we gave each head its own different personality, so each head is a little bit different than the other one. I like to think that the center head is the smartest, alpha head. Of the three, he’s the one who’s really in charge, and the other two are sort of his lackeys.”

“Again, each creature had to be unique from the other, but also pay tribute to all the creatures that came before. We worked closely with Toho to make sure it lived up to their standards, so that’s why he has to have two spiked spiked tails and his golden colors. To do that, we looked at a lot of different animals in nature, so different reptiles, different lizards and snakes, cobras, especially king cobras, [and studied] their scales to craft something that looks like it could be realistic. The big rule for all the creatures was, if they discovered the fossils for these creatures, you would believe that they could have existed.”

We cannot wait to see Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters when it hits theaters on May 31st, 2019.

About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool.



Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 



Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 



Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional

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(Last Updated January 13, 2019 5:09 pm )

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