New behind-the-scenes video featuring Cranston and director Gareth Edwards examines why the big lizard has stood the test of time.
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Godzilla certainly has staying power. The great green(ish) beast has starred in 29 films since his debut in 1954's "Godzilla," and in the new eponymous film by director Gareth Edwards that premieres Friday, he shows no signs of slowing down.
But what exactly makes Godzilla such an enduring legend?
In a Time video (embedded below) that takes viewers behind the scenes of what's expected to be one of this summer's biggest blockbusters, Bryan Cranston, who plays scientist Joe Brody in the film, offers this:
"I grew up loving Godzilla. That's partly why I'm doing this movie, because I was enamored with Godzilla. And I think why -- logic of a boy -- is that Godzilla didn't apologize for anything. He just destroyed everything in his wake and that was so 'boy.' You know - grrrr, crush everything!"
Adds Edwards, "I think it's really hard to define why Godzilla stood the test of time." Then he takes a more evolutionary, "lizard brain" tact to answering the question of why we love us some Godzilla.
"There's many, many answers and I think that for millions of years we lived amongst nature and there was always this threat that an animal was going to come and attack us every day," he says. "And now, we live in the modern world and we've pushed nature away and we've got giant houses. Still inbuilt in us is the expectation that the animal's going to come. I think for that reason, it taps into something; it just feels right. You kind of expect it like, 'Of course. Of course Godzilla's going to come. I knew it.'"
Personally, I think the reason I've been so drawn to Godzilla over the years is that something born out of your worst nightmare -- a clawed, screeching, dinosaur-like behemoth -- actually often turns out to be an ally. It's like discovering as a kid that the monster under your bed is on your side -- and that's really, really comforting.
That, and I'm an animal lover at heart.
So how about you? Why do you think Godzilla continues to march on in our psyches and on the screen? Let me know in the comments below after you go behind the scenes of Godzilla in this insightful video (with no real spoilers, in case you're worried).