Gareth Edwards talks about the responsibility of bringing ‘Godzilla’ into the 21st century

My kids are growing up movie crazy, but for the most part, they don't really get the whole idea of a film festival. They just see the trips I take as “those things that make Daddy busy.” For the first time ever, Toshi was very jealous and annoyed by something I did at a festival thanks to the special “Godzilla” event that was held at SXSW this week.

Little wonder. Godzilla has been part of their imaginary life as long as they've been watching movies, and Toshi in particular has been head over heels in love with Godzilla from the first moment he saw him. We've watched at least a dozen of the Toho films, we've seen the “Mystery Science Theater” versions, we've been reading the “Godzilla Rules Of Earth” comics together, and there are tons of toys of not just Godzilla but the other Toho icons as well all over the house. There's only one movie poster in their room, and it's for the 1954 “Godzilla.”

It's safe to say that there is no film that they currently are more excited to see than “Godzilla,” and I talked a little bit about that with Gareth Edwards as we set up to shot our interview. Gareth mentioned how often he has had conversations over the last few years where people talk to him about just how much Godzilla means to them as an icon. He said the phrase he's heard the most times since taking the job was “Don't f*#k it up,” and he certainly seems aware of just how difficult an edict that is.

Edwards still isn't finished with the film. He's got a lot of visual effects still to sign off on, and he's looking at a few more months of 18 hour days to get the Big G ready for his premiere. He's got that same sort of fatigued look I've seen on any number of filmmakers as they hit the home stretch on these mega-movies.

Based on the conversation we had, though, I can tell that he's happy with the film, and that he's excited to see how people react. He had to have felt good after the clip was screened the other night. The audience gave him a standing ovation in the theater just based on one amazing shot of Godzilla in all his glory. Imagine how they'll react if the movie around that reveal is great.

“Godzilla” opens in theaters May 16.