We had the unbelievable pleasure of hosting a conversation between three amazing artists: the legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan, director Frank Darabont and genre powerhouse actor (currently on Being Human) Sam Witwer. Throughout the week we will be sprinkling tidbits from this amazing round table and eventually releasing the entire audio file. Listening to these three creators talk what they do will knock you over. But for now, here's a taste of the awesomeness to come, starting with Darabont's thoughts on his most recent project, Godzilla (which he is currently rewriting).
Godzilla has its origins as an allegory for the atom bomb, but today it's more of a straightforward monster movie. Do you want to restore some of that allegorical significance to the franchise?
Frank Darabont: What I found very interesting about Godzilla is that he started off definitely as a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And some of the atom bomb testing we were doing in the South Pacific in the subsequent years. The giant terrifying force of nature that comes and stomps the shit out of your city, that was Godzilla. Filtered through the very fanciful imaginations of the Japanese perception. And then he became Clifford the Big Red Dog in the subsequent films. He became the mascot of Japan, he became the protector of Japan. Another big ugly monster would show up and he would fight that monster to protect Japan. Which I never really quite understood, the shift.
What we're trying to do with the new movie is not have it camp, not have it be campy. We're kind of taking a cool new look at it. But with a lot of tradition in the first film. We want this to be a terrifying force of nature. And what was really cool, for me, is there was a very compelling human drama that I got to weave into it. It's not that cliched, thinly disguised romance or bromance, or whatever. It's different, it's a different set of circumstances than you're used to seeing. And that's tremendously exciting as a writer when you're asked to do something else.
Sam Witwer: Is Godzilla going to represent a different kind of metaphor, something that we're dealing with as a culture? Because I'm working on a Mothra rewrite right now. [Edit Update: This was a Joke]
Frank Darabont: I think there is, but I do believe that there's a margin of interpretation, as Drew mentioned earlier. I love leaving a few crumbs on the table for the audience to determine what they think. Let them bring something to it as well. That's why a movie like The Green Mile is so satisfying or why The Mist is so satisfying to me. Because it stirs their participation and they have interpretation. I've heard metaphors that people apply to Shawshank Redemption, for example, that are fantastic that I never, ever would have thought of. And I say, you know what? You are absolutley right. That is exactly what it means to you. And how satisfying for me to have served you this meal and you identify flavors in it that I never even intended. That's one of the great rewards of what we do.
Sam Witwer: And then also pretending like you did it on purpose.
Frank Darabont: That's sometimes true. It depends on how much you want your ass kissed.
Are you looking to connect it to a different contemporary issue?
Frank Darabont: Yes I am, but I'm not going to give it away.
That's just a taste folks — stay tuned for a whole lot more, including some of the most amazing stories we've ever heard, courtesy of the master artist Drew Struzan.