When Gareth Edwards got the offer to direct a big-budget Godzilla reboot, the first thing out of his mouth wasn’t exactly a triumphant roar. ”I think I said, ‘F— me.’ And then it was quiet,” recalls Edwards, whose only prior credit was the critically acclaimed 2010 minibudget indie Monsters. ”Then, to be honest, I was really nervous. If somebody’s going to do a new Godzilla, they’ve got to do it right.”
It’s been done wrong plenty of times, most recently in 1998’s Roland Emmerich-directed Godzilla and the campy nonevent Godzilla 2000. But Edwards is betting he can avoid havoc (while still wreaking lots of it on screen) by making a film with a dead-serious tone and top-shelf CG — as well as a high-caliber cast. Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston stars as a nuclear physicist who investigates suspicious events at a Japanese nuclear facility, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) plays his son, a soldier called to duty when the beast starts trashing cities. According to Taylor-Johnson, the mere presence of Cranston caused the entire cast and crew to step up their game. ”You know when he’s on set, because there’s a vibe,” says Taylor-Johnson. ”Everybody’s getting a bit high off Cranston, you know?” Walter White would be so proud.