UPDATE: Mary Parent Boarding ‘Godzilla’, Which Is Getting A Frank Darabont Rewrite And Losing Roy Lee And Dan Lin

UPDATE, 1 PM:: I can understand why Godzilla is trying to shed producers, because there are plenty. Mary Parent is about done with a deal to come aboard on the producer roster. Parent, whose Disruption banner is based at Paramount, takes the job after working closely with Legendary on the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 8:42 AM: As it stomps its way toward a March production start, Godzilla has two significant developments in the offing. Frank Darabont, who veered into genre territory by launching the AMC series The Walking Dead, has been hired by producer-financier Legendary Pictures to do a final rewrite on the script that was written by The Seventh Son scribe Max Borenstein.

At the same time, Warner Bros-based producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who were among the producers who came into Legendary with a Toho rights deal for the iconic reptile, are in a huge battle with the financier-producer. Legendary, which now controls the rights, wants to drop the producers from the film. As it stands right now, the 3D picture will be produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, along with Brian Rogers, the latter of whom was on the ground floor of the Toho deal. The film will be directed by Monsters helmer Gareth Edwards and has been dated for May 16, 2014 release.

A report on Hitfix.com last night mentioned the exits, and painted it amicably. Actually, it could prove as toxic to Godzilla than the time the fire breather took on the smog monster Hedorah. This one’s going to wind up in the courts, I’m told. My understanding is, Lin and Lee refused to reduce the fees they signed on for when the original deal was made. Legendary brass feel they have the latitude to get rid of them and is doing just that, exercising a pay-or-play clause and paying them upfront money to go away, with no back-end or credit on the film. The potential back-end on a global franchise is where the big bucks are.

I’ve also heard that Legendary cited Lin for mentioning the project in recent interviews to fantasy film blogs, though those comments seemed innocuous to me. This is going to be awkward, because neither guy is insignificant and both of them are lot-based producers at Warner Bros, which has money in Godzilla and will distribute worldwide except for Japan, where Toho Co will do the releasing. I’ve been calling the studio since last night to try and get its position on all this, and they just got back to me and issued a no comment. Neither Legendary nor the ousted producers would comment. Lin, by the way, has 15 years on the Warner Bros lot as an executive and producer, and his latest film, Gangster Squad, gets its premiere this evening.

Comments (55)

  • Screw the producers that brought you the big project Legendary and watch the line-up of big producers bringing you more franchises dwindle to nothing.

    Comment by Casey — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 8:51am PST  
    • Yeah, right. As long as they have money to make $150M movies (which they do and will for years), the line will be looooooong and plentiful.

      Comment by Money — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:25am PST  
      • Sure.
        But tell those producers they won’t get a credit on their movie, another producer will get it instead and watch the line vanish.
        Seriously.

        Comment by Casey — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 1:07pm PST  
  • I’m all for a new Godzilla movie as long as it is nothing like the drivel that was made back in 98. Make sure Godzilla looks exactly like the Japanese version and not like that hopped-up iguana on radioactive steroids that was made years ago with Matthew Broderick.

    Comment by CeeJay — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:02am PST  
    • I’m looking forward to this. Also hoping that it’ll bear zero resemblance to the 98 version..! (I loved Monsters though, so I can’t imagine that it will).

      Comment by High Hopes — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:24am PST  
      • YOU’RE the reason movies suck today.

        Love,

        Former Movie Lover

        Comment by high hopes hopped up on ho ho ho — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 10:01am PST  
    • Legendary has produced PACIFIC RIM and they’ve announced a sequel in the works.

      Now they have GODZILLA?

      seems like they’re going to overkill the audience with these very similar giant monster movies.

      I guess they expect the Asian markets to pick up the B.O. gap.

      Comment by windauger@yahoo.com — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 1:02pm PST  
  • Frank Darabont is awesome. Great choice for this!

    Comment by Stephen — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:07am PST  
  • This is typical of Tull he takes advantage of people and uses them. Dan and Roy will get credited as executive producers and Tull will end up paying their legal fees.

    Comment by Anonymous — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:09am PST  
  • You mean the same producers responsible for the last Terminator reboot may no longer be involved? Hallelujah!

    Comment by Silver Lining! — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:09am PST  
    • What damn Terminator reboot?

      Comment by Joseph — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 6:05pm PST  
  • If they’re shooting in March and the script is coming along and Gareth Edwards is still directing, the producer thing kinda seems like a non-issue. Doesn’t really seem like they’ve been involved.

    Comment by Eddie — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:12am PST  
    • This comment makes absolutely no sense.
      How does that information tell you if the producers have or have not been involved?

      Comment by Twinkletoes — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 1:09pm PST  
  • Legendary is a solid stand-up outfit. The business I’ve experienced there has been very fair. There must be more to this than meets the eye(?)

    Comment by Is this really news? — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:15am PST  
  • What they Should do is hire Frank as the director as well as a writer. This will give the film enormous cred with the fan base as well as the general movie going public. Putting a film as iconic as this with a young director is a big mistake. Well see I guess…

    Comment by B.P. — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:25am PST  
    • Yes, God forbid Hollywood gives someone young a chance… Let’s never try to renew ourselves.

      Comment by W. — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 10:56am PST  
  • “Veered in the genre territory”? lol. Darabont’s forte is horror and scifi.

    Comment by Anonymous — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:27am PST  
    • But his best known film is still The Shawshank Redemption.

      Comment by ILDC — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 1:25pm PST  
  • I thought David Goyer wrote the original script, not Borenstein.

    Comment by 100stones3x — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:31am PST  
    • Goyer did the script outline, but not the actual script.

      Comment by John — Monday January 7, 2013 @ 9:49am PST  
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