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Thursday, September 26, 2013

4 Reasons a Pacific Rim/Godzilla Crossover is a Bad Idea

You can feel it in the air, Kaiju fever is starting to take hold. With Pacific Rim's release and San Diego Comic-con's Godzilla(2014) Encounter, Panel, and teaser trailer both in July, it wasn't long before everyone was talking crossover. Ignore the fact that Godzilla hasn't even been released yet. With the wild success of Avengers, Hollywood is more open to crossover than ever. Even Pacific Rim's director, Guillermo del Toro said he would be interested in a crossover of the two franchises. Godzilla director Gareth Edwards was rather non-committal to the idea. Well, it might sound fun, but there are several reasons why a crossover wouldn't work.

1. The movies are too different--The directors' style and tone of the movies is quite different. Pacific Rim was an action-packed kaiju adventure, lots of robots, kaiju, battles and of course, destruction. It brought all your childhood monster fantasies to life from the days when your crashed your robot and dinosaur toys together in mortal combat. It was very satisfying on a visceral level. Legendary's Godzilla will take a different direction. Edwards promises that this Godzilla will be "grounded" and "realistic". Instead of creating a new world where lots of kaiju exist, He imagines what would happen if giant monsters really existed in this one. There will be other monsters for Godzilla to fight and the special effects are sure to be spectacular, but the story focuses on the human drama and character development. We will get to know and care about the characters before the monsters fight. Also, just as with the original "Gojira", the new Godzilla will have social and moral dimension,  Whereas the Kaiju in Pacific Rim are alien invaders from someplace else, and our technology is used to fight against them, Godzilla was created by us. He represents the misuse of technology in our attempt to control nature and nature's resulting backlash. Legendary is also keen to make it clear this new movie has no relation to the disappointing 1998 Godzilla film

2. It wouldn't be good for Pacific Rim--Del Toro was inspired by Godzilla and other kaiju eiga, but his movie is an original concept he developed. He created a whole new universe about how the kaiju came here and why, and how we fight back with "jaegers"and his interesting mind "drift" concept between the two pilots. So, after you've just created this interesting little universe, the last thing you want to do is adhere it someone else's universe. Del Toro should develop his franchise his way and not worry about what the other guy is doing.

3. Godzilla doesn't need it--Whereas Pacific Rim was an original idea, Godzilla is an established character with a long history and other equally famous kaiju opponents, Mothra, King Ghidorah, etc. He's got name recognition, the big boy on the block. and I don't really see how Godzilla as a franchise would have anything to gain from a Pacific Rim  crossover. Edwards will definitely put his own stamp on this film, but for future sequels, he's got a lot of material to pull from.

4. The studio wouldn't go for it--Pacific Rim and Godzilla are both Legendary properties. Why combine them into one franchise when you can have two running at the same time? It's better business sense. Also I'm sure it's no accident that Pacific Rim was released first. This is better for both movies. If Pacific Rim came out after Godzilla, it would look like Del Toro's just copying it. And if Godzilla opened out of the blue, maybe not as many people would see it. Let Pacific Rim go first and get people thinking about giant monsters again an start building the hype for Godzilla next year. Godzilla first started development in 2010 with an initial 2012 release date, but later it got pushed back to 2014 for probably this exact reason.

OK, enough Scrooge. All this being said, I understand why everyone was talking crossover. It's not so much that fans want to see the two franchises together as much as they want to see Gypsy Danger fight Godzilla. Gypsy Danger is American, Godzilla comes from Japan. We want to see our homegrown underdog go up against the champ. Even Guillermo del Toro's comment was probably coming more as a fan than a director. So, for the time being, let's leave the Gyspy Danger/Godzilla fight to the fan art, comics, and homemade stop motion videos. Besides, if they did fight, we all know who would win....right?!

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