All artistic disciplines feed on various sources of inspiration, action cinema is no exception to the rule, renew or die is said out there and that is what happened with Mechagodzilla in the last MonsterVerse film for which Adam Wingard and his team redesigned the mechanical monster, based on the Transformers franchise.
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The director of Godzilla vs. Kong – 85% revealed part of their creative process to create a new version of Mechagodzilla, in an interview with Inverse he mentioned that the main reference to redesign the mechanical kaiju was the Transformers, but pointed out that he and his team used the reference in two directions different, which led to the final result we saw in the film. Wingard notes that the inspiration came from a personal anecdote:
I remember seeing the third Transformers movie at the theater. It was one of those times when I was on a date, and we were late, and the only seats that were available were literally in the front row. And so I was, sitting watching Transformers 3 in the front row, and I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on. The Transformers, they looked like metal. They looked like a plane crash. So I thought, that’s what I want to avoid. They were too complicated. They had too many moving parts and I couldn’t get hooked on anything. Nothing seemed iconic in that Transformers design.
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For the filmmaker, the goal was that the battle between the monsters could be easily understood by the viewer, so he asked his team to base the structure and design of Mechagodzilla on the design of the Transformers from the original series, not In the Michael Bay movies, that is, I wanted the mechanical monster to be much simpler than the Transformers in the movies, to be streamlined, with a simpler and more distinctive shape, much more than an amorphous metallic mass moving in the action sequences:
I’ve always loved the simplicity of Transformers designs, so I tried to create a look of the character that was punchy and had a bit more simplicity. With a certain immediacy in its shape and contour.
With this, the director managed to give a new appearance to Mechagodzilla, which would distinguish itself from the previous versions of the monster already known to the public. To tell the truth, we still don’t know if the artistic direction that Wingard gave his team was correct, but at least the filmmaker managed to put his hallmark on the MonsterVerse, with the presentation of a Mechagodzilla inspired by the designs of the Transformers of the original series, designs that despite their simplicity, catch the viewer’s eye and not only that, because thanks to their iconicity they contribute to a better understanding of what happens on screen, that is, the fact that Mechagodzilla has a design easy to differentiate from the other beasts, favors the development of the battle between the mechanical monster, Godzilla and Kong, since the monumentality of the three monsters sometimes makes things difficult for the public, who must divide their attention between what happens with each one of them.
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In the end, the filmmaker made his decision thinking about his experience as a spectator, with the purpose of improving and offering a film that avoided and learned from some of the mistakes that have occurred in the genre from which it emerges. Perhaps this redesign is a success for those who have just met the monster in this installment, perhaps a mistake for old fans of Mechagodzilla, only time and the public will tell.