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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Comic-Con International 2013: Godzilla Encounter
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 08.03.2013

During this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary Entertainment invited us on a special VIP tour of their Godzilla Encounter attraction. Set up at a local building in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, the main room of the exhibit was modeled after a street of a Shibuya shopping arcade in Tokyo, Japan. The area was filled with classic Godzilla props, artwork, memorabilia, and even the actual Godzilla costume worn in the most recent Godzilla millennium series (see above). The area was amusingly authentic, complete with an actual ramen stand and shop fronts. Included in the area was the Oxygen Destroyer from the original film 1954 film.

Legendary Entertainment released an exclusive app for the event. The event had a mock Geiger counter to lead you to the building and lets you know once you've found Godzilla. Littered throughout the main Shibuya district area are also hidden messages that you can decode with your smart phone app. Unlocking each hidden message, an abbreviated history of the Godzilla character and franchise, lets you unlock a concept art image Legendary made for their new reboot film.

After a while, a loud alarm sounds and some "military soldiers" arrive to evacuate the area and take you to a restricted military base. The base area scans you for radiation and there are screens showing activity in Nevada and the west coast which are "under attack." No photos were allowed in these sections. But basically Godzilla is on his way. We are then taken to a makeshift elevator area and into a room that simulates a wrecked building. The windows were actually video screens and looking outside the screens we actually get to see a glimpse of the new Godzilla from the new movie. The footage of Godzilla in these sequences was made by the movie's visual effects team specifically for this attraction at Comic-Con. But in short, Godzilla looks much like the concept statues and busts we've already seen circulated online. The statues were also on display in the main part of the attraction, and I've pictured them below. But Godzilla in he footage we got to see was comparable to these designs. He had the dark, blackish scaly skin similar to the original. However his neck is very thick and pronounced not unlike the thinner more upright neck of the original. The head and neck area look a little more reptilian. He did have a classic-style Godzilla roar when he's stalking our group in the Encounter footage:

Following the wrecked building area, we were taken to an exit area with this poster image for the reboot that I believe had already been released.

Here's an image of the Legendary Entertainment concept art for the new film you could unlock using the exclusive app:

Also, here's a short video clip of the early leg of the tour of the Shibuya area of the exhibit:

Thank you to Legendary Entertainment for allowing us early access to the attraction. The new Godzilla reboot movie is due out on May 16, 2014.


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