UPDATE (10/14/2010 - 1:30 PM PST): Speaking with agency sources close to the process today, HitFix has been able to further clarify the situation regarding "Pacific Rim," an original screenplay by Travis Beacham, and "Godzilla," currently being scripted by Dave Callaham.
Contrary to the report yesterday, there are no conversations underway regarding the merging of these two projects. Beacham's original pitch does indeed fit the vague logline that's currently available, but there's a lot about the project that isn't in that logline. After all, giant monsters are making a comeback right now, and there's a lot of studios around town preparing to get into that game. The specifics of Beacham's script are under wraps for a reason, and when you hear those specifics, you'll understand why it doesn't really work as a potential "Godzilla" film.
Dave Callaham is in the middle of his process right now, and his work has Legendary happy enough that they're talking to directors and eyeballing a release date. He's still on the film, and suggestions that they're dumping him or taking the script away simply aren't fair or accurate.
Here's the one piece of information that you might logically take away from Latino Review's story yesterday, and it is an intriguing piece of information. If you know Beacham's work, it's probably because of the spec script that made him an in-demand writer for studios, "Killing On Carnival Row." That script was a sensation when it hit Hollywood desks, and it's a great piece of world-building, really smart and cool and dark and weird. One of the script's biggest fans was actually attached to direct it at New Line for a little while, a Mr. Guillermo Del Toro. I think it's safe to assume that anything Beacham writes is something Del Toro would be willing to read, and that after he makes his dream film, "At The Mountains Of Madness," it might not be outside the realm of possibility that he would want to make a giant monster movie.
But as far as "Pacific Rim" and "Godzilla"? Not the same project. Never have been. Definitely will not be.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE BEGINS HERE:
That was the first reaction Guillermo Del Toro had when HitFix contacted the director to ask him directly if he's planning to step onboard as director of the new Legendary Pictures reboot of "Godzilla,' as rumored today by our friends over at Latino Review.
I found the news surprising and, frankly, a little bit confusing when I read it earlier this evening. I just got out of an afternoon screening of an upcoming film, and all of a sudden I'm reading all these retweets of a headline about Guillermo being offered the job as director, and Travis Beacham's "Pacific Rim" script being folded into "Godzilla," both of them the same project now.
"I am not involved in 'Godzilla' at all," Guillermo replied once I'd explained the rumor to him. "I haven't read it or plan to read it. Nor have I been approached to direct it."
That sounds pretty definitive to me. I've known Guilermo a long time, and he's not the sort of guy to shy away from geeking out about this or that potential project. He's a big monster fan, and I'm sure if he was thinking about taking on the King of the Monsters, he'd be happy to share some of that enthusiasm.
Instead, he tells me that he's hard at work on "At The Mountains Of Madness" right now, and that "things are going incredibly well." That's so unbelievably exciting to hear. An R-rated 3D giant budget Lovecraft film with Cameron producing and Guillermo directing is pretty much one of those "I can't believe that's real" sort of movies, and it's amazing that we live at a moment where that may indeed become a reality.
Would I love to see him direct "Godzilla"? I'm sure it would be beautiful. He's spoken at length about his love for the game "Shadow Of The Colossus," which is one of the great contributions to giant monster lore of recent memory, and I'll bet he'd bring some ideas to the table that we'd never seen in any of these movies. But do I want that instead of "Mountains"? No. I'd rather he fulfill this lifelong dream of his, and it sounds like that's what is happening.
As far as the stuff about Travis Beacham's script "Pacific Rim" getting merged into the most recent "Godzilla" drafts, that doesn't sound right to me, either. I can't get too specific, but I can say that I've heard a great deal of confidence from inside Legendary about their "Godzilla" drafts. It's possible that this is indeed happening right now, and maybe Beacham, a talented writer, really put together something irresistible with "Pacific Rim."
Whatever the case, it's worth clarifying Guillermo's position, and I hope that when they do land a filmmaker for the movie, it's someone who will bring an equal enthusiasm to the material, someone up to the challenge of bringing to new life one of the great iconic monsters in movie history.
We'll be sure to keep you posted with any news on "Godzilla" right here on HitFix.
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