Amazing Godzilla Trailer

“Maybe there’s a little Godzilla… in all of us.”

That is the final line of Godzilla 2000, a movie which embraces just one of two sides to the Godzilla canon — that is, the silly, deadpan humor which invites us to laugh at how cheesy it all is. Of course, the Godzilla franchise was launched by the original Japanese classic in 1954, Godzilla, which was campy but aspired to have a larger, meaningful subtext. Iterations in the Godzilla franchise have tended to shoot only for the superficial B-movie charm, but now a trailer for the latest Godzilla remake implies we might get a stab at the second.

The first indication? It stars Bryan Cranston. Probably the treniest actor currently over 40 and under 60, Cranston could have picked virtually any role he liked — but he chose this one. The clues in the trailer seem to indicate that he plays a crack-pot of some kind, someone easily dismissed by the authorities but who is actually, really, right about Godzilla all along. It’s possible the creators cast Cranston to play up the camp angle via juxtaposition, or that Cranston wanted to pick something against type to keep from becoming a character actor.

The trailer certainly does not seem like a Godzilla 2000 camp-fest, however. Creepy, almost inappropriately horror-like music calls out to a more character-focused narrative. The design of Godzilla itself is also fairly abstract, with huge amorphous bits of monster physiology lumbering through the frame. With the exception of the final monster-shot, this looks to be taking some queues from Cloverfield in terms of its reticence to give viewers a good idea of the monster’s appearance. Again, that calls out to the more measured Godzilla persona.

One thing we do know is that the movie will take place in America — and it just isn’t as easy to take joy in the destruction of an American city, these days. Though Western in setting, Godzilla will give a nod to the monster’s Japanese heritage — it seems this will take place in a universe in which Japan has already been hit by Godzilla, or at least knows quite a bit about it. This is visualized through the insertion of Ken Watanabe, another weighty actor who, at this point, must play a majority of all major, male Asian characters in Hollywood.

On the other hand, this is directed by Gareth Edwards, who brought us the so-so science fiction movie Monsters, and co-written by Dave Callaham, who is responsible for the Expendables series of action “films.” So, who knows?