After a long, long pause in this series (last Untold Tales posting: April 8, 2020), I’m back.
So what happened with the Steve Miner/Fred Dekker Godzilla movie? We had a truly great script, a smart producer-director and a killer art department, perhaps the best art department of any film since Alien.
Godzilla turned out to be the Right Project/Wrong Time. With special effects in nearly every scene, it was obviously going to be an expensive film. At that time in Hollywood, four big-budget films had just bombed Big Time, Heaven’s Gate being the most publicly prominent of the batch. Studios were suddenly (although temporarily) treating big-budget projects like they were Kryptonite. We eventually dropped the idea of shooting the movie in 3-D, knowing that would significantly reduce the budget. It didn’t seem to matter. Steve would laboriously work his way all the way up the studio food chain to the guy at each studio who could say “Yes” and greenlight the film –– but that last guy always ended up saying “No.”
Then there was the Steve Miner issue. Sure, he had directed a couple of high-grossing Friday the 13th movies — but did he have the directing chops to bring out the best of Fred Dekker’s incredible screenplay? The studios weren’t convinced he did. Subsequently in his career, Steve showed he had directing chops galore with his fine, sensitive work on The Wonder Years and dozens of other fine film and television gigs.
I’d still love to make this picture. For me, Godzilla – King of the Monsters sadly remains The One That Got Away.