|Godzilla (1998) concept art by Patrick Tatopoulos|
Every Friday I try and feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema or television. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Godzilla (1998). I know it's not a "classic" film, but it's the Godzilla movie everyone's talking about these days.
Gareth Edward's Godzilla opens today and promises to be a huge hit. On the other hand, back in 1998, the last American Godzilla movie bombed. The film's main creature designer was Patrick Tatopoulos and he talked about his inspiration for Godzilla to EON Magazine. "Dean and Roland came to me and said that the next film they were doing was Godzilla and they wanted me to do the creature," Tatopoulos explained. At first he was disappointed because he was transitioning to a job as a production designer but then he thought "My first reaction was disappointment, but then later I said to myself, 'what are you thinking, you have the opportunity to redesign this insane icon that's been in Japan forever. This is a great chance for me.'"
Patrick Tatoupolus is a French production designer and concept artist who's worked on Hollywood films like Underworld (2003), Stargate (1994) and Super Mario Bros (1993).
Click on the images to enlarge
He was only given two directives: it couldn't look like a man in a suit and it had to be fast. Really fast. "Once the creature was fully designed I started to look at animals like iguanas and crocodiles: iguanas for the neck movement, that fleshy part of the neck, and crocodiles for the head." Tatopoulos said, "The way the teeth are actually sitting outside, I didn't want to have any lip movement, I wanted the teeth to be very solid. And if you look at a crocodile, you know it's alive-you don't need to see it move."
Here's some artwork from the film. I don't know who all the artists are, but you get the idea.
See more of Tatoupolus' official website is www.tatopoulosstudios.net. There's nothing up there anymore but it's worth keeping an eye on since his portfolio was extensive.
Click on the links if you want to see more of Patrick Tatopoulos' work or Godzilla on my blog.
Images via Godzilla.Wikia.com
What do you think of the concept art\storyboards? If you've seen Godzilla 1998 what did you think?
Official GODZILLA Synopsis
"Following the French atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific, an unknown creature is spotted passing westward through the Panama Canal. Scientist Niko Tatopolous is called in to investigate the matter, and he quickly arrives at the conclusion that a giant, irradiated lizard has been created by the explosions. Godzilla(r) then makes its way north, landing at Manhattan to begin wreaking havoc in the big city. Even with the combined forces of the U.S. military to fight the monster, will it be enough to save the people of New York?"
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Cinematography by Ueli Steiger
Production Design by Oliver Scholl
Starring Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn
Official Site: http://www.godzilla-movies.com
Release date: May 20, 1998
© Copyright 1998 Centropolis Entertainment, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Toho. All rights reserved