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Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston and more take on a 3-D 'Godzilla' reboot

Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston on the Godzilla" panel at 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego
Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston on the Godzilla" panel at 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego
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The 2014 “Godzilla” 3-D movie reboot goes back to the original concept of the Japanese “Godzillamovies as a classic horror story that does not fall into the pitfalls of campy humor but instead has a serious tone with an underlying social commentary about the dangers of human messing with nature. The 2014 reboot also differs from previous “Godzilla” movies because the Godzilla monster doesn’t appear until at least halfway through the film and the full-frontal reveal of the monster comes even later. The trailers to this “Godzilla” also went to great lengths not to fully reveal what Godzilla looks like.

In the 2014 “Godzilla movie” (directed by Gareth Edwards), Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Naval officer Ford Brody, who specialty is disarming bombs. Ford’s wife, Elle Brody (played by Elizabeth Olsen), is a nurse. When Brody is goes to Japan to help his estranged scientist father, Joe Brody (played by Bryan Cranston), Elle is left behind in San Francisco as Godzilla and new predatory alien monsters cause destruction and mayhem. Sneak-preview footage of “Godzilla” was shown at 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego. Here is what Taylor-Johnson, Olsen, Cranston and Edwards said at the Comic-Con panel for “Godzilla.”

Where are you at in filming “Godzilla”?

Edwards: We literally finished filming our last day of shooting two days ago. We were in Hawaii and we were doing a night shoot. And as soon as it wrapped, we literally got on a plane and went straight to San Diego to be here with you all.

Are you processing all this now, or is your brain still a little fried?

Edwards: I’ve been in this bubble for a year. It’s surreal. You get off the plane, and the first thing I see driving down the street is graffiti of “Kick-Ass.” That’s Aaron. And we pull around another corner, and there’s a “Breaking Bad” poster. That’s Bryan. And there was nothing of Lizzie.

Were you able to realize your vision for Godzilla?

Edwards: I know that everybody does this thing where they come here on stage and they suck up to the studio and the producers, but genuinely, Legendary and Warner Bros. could not have been more supportive. The crew that I worked with made these kinds of movies a lot. And I asked them to compare. And they said, “Seriously, I’ve never worked on a film like this.” The creative freedom we had and the general good will of our producers is pretty incredible.

Elizabeth, what can you say about your involvement in “Godzilla,” since this is your first big-budget studio movie?

Olsen: I actually expected it to be really different, but it felt small, it felt creative. I never waited around two hours for a set-up. We were on set the whole time and just going at it. It felt like an independent, smaller production, in a way.

Edwards: [He says jokingly to Edwards] We were waiting two hours for you to turn up, that’s why.

Olsen: No, I play a nurse and a mother, so that is false [that I showed up late].

Aaron, what are your thoughts on making “Godzilla”?

Taylor-Johnson: I think what Gareth brings is exactly that: an intimacy. It was a family. I remember when we first met and were talking about it and the way he wanted to shoot it, it happened to be a big-budget art film, the way he wanted to shoot it and the way he wanted to direct it. It had a lot of emotion and a great journey through these characters. It was fantastic to do.

Bryan, what are your memories of Godzilla?

Cranston: You’re asking me that because I’m the old guy … Godzilla was always my favorite monster when I was young because it was unapologetic. With King Kong [he makes a hesitant noise], and I don’t want to see that! I want to see destruction! I’m a boy!

But at first, I didn’t know if this was a good project for me to do, because it’s so huge. Someone once offered me the role to do the play version of “The Wizard of Oz,” to play the Scarecrow, and I thought, “Hey!” But that’s just a losing situation because you have to do an impression of the Scarecrow or else people will boo you.

And [“Godzilla”] is so enormous that I thought, “I don’t know if stepping into these shoes would be a good idea.” And then I talked to Gareth for several hours for a few conversations.

And then, I watched his movie “Monsters.” It was a terrific movie. You should rent that movie if you haven’t.

It was fantastic because he was able to make a monster movie with a character-driven component that you really felt for these people. It was great. And so that’s what he transformed this Godzilla into, so you really invest in these people, and you still get Godzilla. You get all of them in one package.

For more info: "Godzilla" website

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