If you see “Godzilla” in theatres this weekend, you’ll come face to face with the 355-foot tall monster; however, that wasn’t the way the monster always looked.
It took a lot of work and designs to get Godzilla the way he looks in the final movie.
Many of the early concept designs for Godzilla are shown in a new book out this week, “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction,” in which director Gareth Edwards details the inspiration for the many renderings and why certain looks didn’t work out.
Believe it or not, but dogs, birds, and even bears all played a role in designing Godzilla’s final look.
Business Insider received permission to exclusively share some of the early concept designs featured in the book.
First, here's how Godzilla looks in the film. Director Gareth Edwards says he wanted to be able to find a look for Godzilla where the creature looked good from every angle.
'We knew we were going to be living with this design for the rest of our lives in some form,' Edwards said. 'You don't want to be looking at this and be like, 'Oh, we could've done better.''
'This one had that Christmas tree effect for the fins,' said Edwards. 'They seemed incredibly big, and you didn't see that form anywhere else on his body. And the lightning effect made it kind of hard to understand what you were looking at.'
'I really like this one, but it was too much like a T. rex, and the ratio of the fins' height to his body seemed extreme,' said Edwards. 'We then tried to create a line that was more natural, flowing down his back.'
'The idea of doing spikes instead of fins was really attractive,' said Edwards. 'I love this sort of porcupine version, and he looks real aggressive. The problem is it just isn't Godzilla. We had to be really hard on ourselves to avoid creating something cool that wasn't Godzilla.'
'This feels very retro-Godzilla,' said Edwards. 'But that can get a little cartoony. That made me feel that we definitely needed to make things a bit more angular.'
'This one was exploring fishlike fins, which made sense because he swims underwater,' said Edwards. 'For a while I thought that was going to be the solution.'
'This was another of the blue sky, go-for-it designs,' said Edwards. 'They're all organisms, so you go, 'I like the head of that one, the spine of that one, the chest of that one.' It keeps mutating through each generation.'
'This was a classic look, and it had some value,' said Edwards. 'But another issue with Godzilla was the size of his legs. They got really thick, and that made his walk cycle difficult from an animation point of view. So, last-minute tweaks included reducing the size of his legs.'
'This is one is from Andrew (at Weta*),' said Edwards. 'He creates these things using a combination of 3-D and paint over. It was a quick way of looking at something quite real.'
*Weta, short for Weta Workshop, is a special effects company. It's one of a few companies co-owned by Peter Jackson ('The Lord of the Rings' trilogy).
'We tried dinosaur-looking designs, birdlike things,' said Edwards. 'You have to steal from nature. Nature had billions of years to design Godzilla; we had one year.'
'This is Christian Pearce's work at Weta,' said Edwards. 'He's a massive Godzilla fan and lobbied hard for what I jokingly called 'Christmas tree fins.' But a more angular, broken slate look made more sense, as if the fins growing out of him are brittle and break.'
In this series of images you see the influence of three animals, a bear, dog, and eagle. 'There's something noble about an eagle, and that was the breakthrough, that (the designs) should go more toward birds of prey,' said Edwards.
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