GODZILLA's Original Director Reveals One Big Way His Version Of 1998 Movie Differed From Roland Emmerich's

Speed director Jan de Bont was originally set to helm Godzilla before Roland Emmerich took charge, and he's now revealed the very different way he planned to approach the titular Kaiju. Check it out...

1998's Godzilla was directed by Roland Emmerich and ended up being considered a disappointment. It didn't perform too badly at the box office, but still failed to live up to expectations given how much it cost to make. Critically, the movie was a bomb, though it was, in many ways, ahead of its time due to the heavy use of VFX that technology hadn't quite mastered at the time.

VFX aside, Godzilla was hampered by a muddled story and terrible performances, so it's no great surprise that Kaiju fans don't exactly look back on the blockbuster all that fondly. 

Originally, the plan had been for filmmaker Jan de Bont to helm the movie. He started his Hollywood career as a cinematographer on movies like Cujo and Die Hard, and later helmed Speed. The director had a much different idea for how to approach Godzilla than Emmerich, though we'll leave it up to you to decide whether it was better or worse than what we got. 

"I really wanted to make Godzilla, I wanted it so badly. I loved what he was in Japan. I love that it wasn’t so perfect," de Bont tells Yahoo News (via SFFGazette.com). "It was a guy in a suit! It was so great. The movements, there was something human about it. The guy in the suit was sweating like a pig and he said he was losing two pounds every minute because it was 125lbs and it was rubber."

"We had a really good script and everybody loved it. [But] the reason they got rid of me is because they said my budget was higher than Roland Emmerich," the filmmaker reveals. "I said that’s impossible because they’re going to use the same effects people as I do and they’re going to charge exactly the same."

"Because the guy was in the suit, the motions were very different to what a dinosaur would do and that was very attractive to me."

So, he basically planned to use a guy in a suit, relying more on practical effects than CGI. We're certainly intrigued by what that might have looked like in the late 90s, though enhanced with the rudimentary effects of the time, it could have actually looked pretty damn amazing. 

Jurassic Park had already mastered CG dinosaurs, of course, but Emmerich's sci-fi approach to Godzilla meant the end result didn't work quite as well. We'll never know what might have been, though it's always fun to wonder, and at least the franchise has been given another chance in recent years.

Check out our interview with Emmerich for his latest movie, Moonfall, below:
 

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