Godzilla hit audiences with his atomic breath beginning in 1954, and he's set to return to theaters 60 years later. The new trailer shows the latest take on the character, both classic and updated with modern computer graphics looking to bring the epic monster to life once more.
The trailer shows a strike team set to go into battle, diving from a plane to face their monstrous foe. The soldiers dive through clouds that look straight out of a biblical epic. The first half of the trailer uses music by György Ligeti, utilizing a choral piece also used in "2001: A Space Odyssey" — big shoes for any film to fill.
People run for their lives and we see destruction all around, before, after initial peeks at the monster, he turns and issues Godzilla's trademark roar. This time the monster remains far closer to the traditional look than in the 1998 Godzilla remake.
Remember that 1998 remake? No? Good. This isn't that. It looks to be a step up from that widely criticized film, with well-respected actors including Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn and Juliette Binoche. They're also remembering the character's Asian roots, with Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe. Plus, they've got some young good looking people taking the lead in Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Studio Legendary Pictures is also taking a chance on a relatively untried director in Gareth Edwards, an Englishman whose only previous feature was a 2010 indie called "Monsters." It showed that he could make a monster film that captivated on a small budget — and now he's delivering a picture estimated to cost around $160 million, according to Variety.
"It's the closest thing to being a god as I think there is in terms of a job you could have," Edwards told USA Today, describing what it's like directing a major studio film. "You picture something one day and draw it, and the next day, it's physical and there in front of you no matter how insane."
As for Godzilla, Edwards thinks the "God" part of the name is fitting there too.
"To me, he's like a force of nature, like the wrath of God or vengeance for the way we've behaved," Edwards told USA Today. "If this really happened, it would be like Sept. 11."
Will audiences come out? 1998's "Godzilla" made over $136 million domestically and $379 million worldwide, but "Pacific Rim" disappointed earlier this year with a $101.8 million domestic take. It failed to make back its budget, though it took in another $305.8 million internationally, according to Box Office Mojo.
The Godzilla hype cranked up in person at 2013's Comic-Con with the Godzilla Encounter, giving fans an up close and personal chance to get a first look at the monster at a venue outside the convention center.
The film's cast themselves visited and reacted to what they saw:
Want to dive into the Godzilla world yourself? You can go check out a viral website at MUTOResearch.net, where you get to use a good old fashioned command line prompt to figure the backstory out. You can watch the first video from M.U.T.O. Research below:
And here's director Gareth Edwards himself introducing the trailer.
"Godzilla" crushes a theater near you on May 16, 2014.
This story has been updated.