The movie isn’t out until May 2014 but Legendary Pictures tonight provided a glimpse in San Diego at what their Godzilla is going to look like. And while not a scene from the movie itself, you do get an up close and personal look at the monster as he almost sticks his head though the window-like screen. (Or just a smudge? Yes, it’s a lousy pic – but the first one.) Transformed was a section of Downtown San Diego into Tokyo street scenes full of monster paraphernalia, underground decontamination bunkers, and abandoned skyscrapers looking out over a destroyed city. The studio’s multi-level Godzilla Encounter is a theme park experience that lacks a theme park. But Legendary execs insist that’s not what Godzilla Encounter is aiming for. “We wanted to do something for the fans to give them a look at the legacy of Godzilla and a sense of the movie,” Legendary president Jon Jashni told me tonight. Of course now that Legendary are leaving Warner Bros, who is releasing Godzilla, and partnering with NBCUniversal in a five-year deal, theme park experiences are a certain part of the company’s future. However, that deal only allows Legendary to license the rights to NBCUniversal’s theme parks of properties they hold the IP to. Legendary are licensing the movie rights to the Godzilla character from Japanese corporation Toho Co. in an agreement that gives them all necessary rights to produce and distribute the film, according to court documents filed earlier this year.
The Godzilla Encounter is located in a decorated building at San Diego’s 7th Avenue and J Street. The hyped Encounter will be open throughout all of Comic-Con from Wednesday evening to Sunday with attendees able to get tickets though a specially designed app or at the Legendary booth on the conference floor. Godzilla will be part of the panel that Legendary is doing in the Warner Bros’ block in the SD Convention Center’s Hall H on July 20.