Legendary's 'Godzilla' Getting a Darabont Rewrite & New Producers
While we anxiously await Guillermo del Toro's Godzilla-esque monsters movie this summer, Pacific Rim, there's an update on the Godzilla front that doesn't sound too good. I'm referring to Legendary Pictures / Warner Bros new Godzilla movie, scheduled for 2014 with Monsters director Gareth Edwards at the helm, teased at Comic-Con last year. Last we heard in October, Drew Pearce was being brought on to rewrite Max Borenstein's script. Now Deadline has confirmed a report from HitFix that two producers, Dan Lin and Roy Lee, are being ousted by the studio and instead, they've brought on the Frank Darabont for a rewrite.
The report states that Legendary Pictures seems to be taking control over the project, hiring Frank Darabont to do "a final rewrite on the script." Why final? Because production is getting ready to start anyway. It has a May 2014 release date, and apparently a March 2013 start date for production, coming up in a few months. HitFix reports that "recently, there was an event on the studio lot where director Gareth Edwards put together a show-and-tell in one of the stages on the Warner lot to walk the studio through his vision of the film, and it went well enough that the studio now seems committed to a March start date for the film." So it actually sounds like things are quite good, despite the production kicking out two of its top producers.
Apparently producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, two very big names with many other projects at Warner Bros, "are in a huge battle with the financier/producer" Legendary. They want to drop them entirely using some legal loophole involving "exercising a pay or play clause and paying them upfront money to go away, with no back-end or credit on the film." Interesting. HitFix just states much more casually that "producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee depart the project this week." We don't have much information to go on here, just that they'll likely no longer be involved, moving on and leaving this fully in the hands of Legendary / Gareth Edwards.
Instead, they've brought on Frank Darabont for a rewrite. Coming off of "The Walking Dead", Darabont is the latest to take a crack at reworking Max Borenstein's screenplay from David S. Goyer's story. Darabont is the highly regarded filmmaker responsible for writing many great horror scripts including A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Blob remake, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and The Mist. I think Quint's reaction on AICN to this news says it best: "A Darabont scripted Godzilla film? How in are you because I'm totally in." Same here! I've been in since that footage at Comic-Con last summer. We'll continue to keep you updated on this.