Mike Dougherty Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

While the Kaiju, or Titans, in ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ are all from the classic Toho films, director Mike Dougherty did add his own spin on them. Visually, they are quite a bit different from their original counterparts, and even the King of the Kaiju himself has changed since the 2014 release of ‘Godzilla.’ While Gareth Edwards had created a blockbuster in the new American reboot of the franchise, Godzilla himself didn’t get all that much screen time so having a few changes won’t be too offputting for audiences.

You have to wonder though what would have caused Dougherty to make changes to Godzilla and what inspired him on the visuals for the other Titans in the film. When it comes to our leading Titan:

“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.”

The changes will likely be subtle for most moviegoers, especially with how little we ended up seeing of Godzilla in the first movie. However, there are other creatures in the film that got a makeover. When it comes to 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. But also, it’s meant to look like something Mother Nature could have created.”

I love that he went with natural inspirations for the character. I’m hoping it translates into something that looks a bit more believable when we do see Rodan come to life in the movie. Of course, a stand out will be Mothra:

“For Mothra, I tried to capture the power of the original Mothra with her color palette, making sure that she had the eyespots 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.”

With her size alone, I think that is something we can look forward to, and these extra touches should make her a formidable appointment for whichever Titans she ends up battling.

Now, the three-headed dragon Ghidorah was the one area that allowed Dougherty to flex his creative muscle. He did so by giving each of the three heads their own look and a bit more as well:

“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.”

I’m wondering if we’ll actually see any of these different personalities play out on screen or if it will look as if Ghidorah is one creature who just happens to have three heads.

While making new iterations of these monsters were paramount to sticking with the feel of the first movie, that doesn’t mean that the past visuals were forgotten:

“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 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.”

While it should come as no surprise that a lot of time and care were put into making these giant creatures, I’m loving that Dougherty has shared what the crew factored into bringing them to life.

Are you thrilled to see how Michael Dougherty ended up putting these Titans together for ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’? Do any of these details of how they brainstormed the concepts of these creatures surprise you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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