One of the biggest surprises at Comic-Con earlier this month was Legendary Pictures’ splashy debut of its reboot of the Godzilla franchise, complete with a jaw-dropping concept reel and the introduction of the film’s director, Gareth Edwards. The British filmmaker, whose only previous feature directing credit is the indie thriller Monsters, wasted no time making clear his film would not be a retread of the 1998 big-budget remake of Godzilla. That movie, from writer-producer Dean Devlin and writer-director Roland Emmerich, was widely derided for being too silly and cheesy. “We’re going to take it seriously,” Edwards told the Comic-Con crowd of his version of the Japanese monster movie staple. “It’s very grounded [and] realistic.”
When EW caught up with Devlin at the Saturn Awards on Thursday night, we asked him what his thoughts were when he heard about Legendary’s new take on the venerable fire-breathing, city-demolishing giant lizard.
And he wasted no time making clear he agrees that no one should be attempting to follow in his Godzilla’s giant footsteps. ”I know I screwed up my Godzilla,” he said. “I’d be very happy if they pull it off and do a great one.”
That’s not to say Devlin isn’t harboring a twinge of professional jealousy. “I always wish I had another shot at it,” he added with a wistful grin. “But, listen, Godzilla is something that I grew up loving. We worked hard to go make one. We kind of blew it. I think everyone gets one.” He laughed. “I wish them nothing but the best. I would love it if the whole Godzilla franchise was revitalized for a new generation.”
Besides, when he isn’t overseeing the fifth season of his TNT series Leverage, Devlin is too busy working with Emmerich to revive a different sci-fi touchstone: Independence Day. Devlin confirmed earlier reports that he is back working with his old collaborator for the first time in 11 years on a sequel to their 1996 blockbuster, but cautions that there’s a long journey before it gets anywhere near a greenlight. “We want to make this happen,” he said. “I don’t know if we can. There’s a lot of moving parts. I will say from Roland’s position and my position, we feel like we finally cracked it. We’re excited about it and want to do it. Whether we can pull it off, I can’t tell you. But we are working hard to make it happen.”