Gareth Edwards Leaves ‘Godzilla 2’

Drew Dietsch

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla gets a lot of flak, mostly from viewers who haven’t sat through the other twenty-nine Godzilla films (which I have and wear as a badge of honor). It’s a solid and mostly great effort that set a strong foundation for America’s own version of the Big G. Edwards had been attached to the eventual sequel, but news today has thrown that out the window.

Edwards has exited the sequel, but reports say that it is an amicable split. Warner Bros recently shuffled around their schedule and pushed Godzilla 2 back by nine months, so it’s fair to assume that they knew Edwards was planning on leaving. It’s easy to infer that Edwards is feeling some franchise fatigue after going from Godzilla to Rogue One and back to Godzilla 2. He’s got some smaller projects that he wants to pursue and devoting his time to another mega blockbuster tentpole isn’t what he wants right now.

And good for him. Edwards is a fantastic director — regardless of how you feel about the story aspects of Godzilla or the upcoming Rogue One, they are dynamite to look at — and should be given the freedom to pursue the films he feels passionate about. Godzilla was his break into the big time and now he’s leaving the door open for another young filmmaker to have the same experience.

With a crossover with King Kong on the horizon, it’s likely that Legendary Studios will be choosing Edwards’ replacement with immense care. The bankable marquee of King Kong vs. Godzilla may not be as secure after the somewhat disappointing response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Legendary and Warner Bros need to make good movies before they sell us a prepackaged event film.

Will Edwards’ departure facilitate a big change in the direction for Godzilla 2? Fans are expecting other recognizable kaiju to show up in the sequel, so it’ll be interesting to see what the new director wants to do with those characters. We’ve already had Mothra teased to us, but it’s a safe bet that monsters like Rodan and King Ghidorah are on their way. Even though I’m bummed that Edwards won’t be at the helm, it’s impossible for me to not be excited about more Godzilla movies.

And hey, we’ve got another Toho Godzilla film coming out in just a few months! You can’t keep the Big G down.

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