For writer Max Borenstein, 'Godzilla' is about nature's dominance over humanity
And I'm also curious about how you set about actually writing some of the action in the film. There is a lot that stands out as directorial vision to me, though I'm obviously not sure. Like one moment that sticks out to me is when the fighter pilot floats out of the dust and debris and it's real quiet, just before his jet crashes into the building above him. There's a lot of delicate reveals like that throughout. I kept thinking about Edwards as a sort of new Spielberg given his approach to the spectacle.
Right. Exactly. I mean, you know, that’s certainly a moment that was in the script but it’s a moment that was in the script because it’s something that Gareth and I talked a lot about. It was always, "How do you reveal these monsters in a way that’s gonna feel fresh and interesting?" Because when you have things of that scale, doing anything suspenseful becomes a real challenge. And that’s the fun of it, if you take that challenge on and try to tackle it. Because the other option is you just see monsters fighting constantly and from the beginning to end, which is fine, but I think that you’re missing out. The action scenes are great because they have suspense rather than just spectacle, and they always advance the plot in some way. The action scene itself is sort of an out of the frying pan, into the fire series of events that feels like it is a story in its own right.
So that was something that, from early conception, Gareth and I spoke a lot about and, you know, the process was fascinating and amazing. He and I would talk in long conversations on Skype or on the phone about what the set pieces could be in broad strokes, where they might take place, some moments that kind of occurred. Then he would go off and sketch stuff and then work with the concept artist. And then we’d get back on the phone. He was in London so the time difference allowed him to stay up 24 hours a day and then we would talk and suddenly there would be more detail and moments like that that would have sort of arisen through that work of him sort of sitting there and sketching and thinking. And then we would start detailing it more and get back into it.
So it was a very cool feedback loop in the development of that stuff. The script was really detailed because of that, because we had the luxury of being able to talk a lot about it and he had the luxury of being able to start visualizing it at that early stage. I could then incorporate and add some things and he would give feedback on those. So it was a really organic, cool process, which has made it so rewarding to watch now.
That's refreshing to hear, that it was such a close collaboration. It seems to me that kind of thing isn't typical when it comes to films of this scale.
No, I don’t think it is. I feel very fortunate to have been able to be a part of that. And I think comparing anyone to Spielberg is obviously, you know, the best, biggest compliment you could give. But I do so with Gareth, without question. I think he’s that kind of caliber of a director.
Well congratulations, man. It's an awesome piece of work all around.
Thanks, dude. It was great to talk to you. Take care.
"Godzilla" roars into theaters Friday.