LPG - Producers Roaster

As of this article, the only names given to us connected to the Legendary Picture’s Godzilla adaptation are a list of producers. Executive and regular producers. Through this article we shall go through what is exactly a producer’s job and how their influence on a project could make it or break it for a film.

A regular film producer, according to Wikipedia, is a person who "creates the conditions for making movies. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls matters such as raising funding, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the filmmaking from development to "delivery" of a project". The street definition of a producer is the guy who writes the checks for the production. With that being said, while the director has the final word on the creative standpoint of the production, the producer does write the check therefore the producer can control certain aspects of production.

The producers that we are presented with Legendary Picture’s Godzilla are Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Brian Rodgers. Dan Lin is the first name to come up. A fresh faced Asian member to the Hollywood game, his resume do show some modest hits, including "Terminator: Salvation" (2009) and the recent smash hit "Sherlock Holmes" (2009). Dan does have some history with Legendary Pictures, specifically regarding his involvement with the film "10,000 BC". In an interview on the red carpet for "Terminator: Salvation" about being involved with set franchises and rebooting them, he said, "You want to honor the original mythology and at the same time bring in new fans so it’s a type rope." Dan Lin also mentioned that "we (his coworkers one would assume) decided it was important to set up the mythology before we start the movie." When being interviewed specifically for "Terminator: Salvation", a film which is part of a franchise, two things seemed to have tuck out that he said which would have been decisions for the quest to bring in new fans: the hireling of Christian Bale (of Batman fame) and Sam Worthington (who Dan called "a great new actor").

The next name is Roy Lee. A Korean-American producer of 41, Roy Lee is the largest name in the business when it comes to Asian remakes done by American studios. His projects includes the Ring Series, Grudge series, "Dark Water", "The Uninvited", "Eight Below", "Internal Affairs", "My Sassy Girl", "Shutter", "The Eye", "The Echo", and the up coming remake of "Oldboy". According to "The New Yorker", Roy’s job is that he "watches videos of every Asian movie ever made". Sounds fair enough, maybe even to the point that he may have seen some of the Godzilla films. When looking upon his resume, one seems to notice a pattern. Specifically, adaptations in which Roy Lee produces and a member of the original is also on (director or writer usually) the is a box office success and critically acclaimed (Japanese producer on Korean movie is a bad thing). It’s hard to judge him. Genessee Kim said this about Roy, "Roy Lee is the man Asian studios turn to when they want top dollar for a Hollywood reincarnation of their successful original films." Not much is said about this producer’s involvement with the creative aspect of the film. Though any similar trends in the Grudge series and the Ring series (the American films) could reveal what could be his style.

The last name on the producers list is Brian Rogers. A no-name with his only real credits being a producer to some Z-List productions, his most notable title is that of a SFX artist, working on accouple of episodes of "101 Deeds for Eddie McDowd". However, it should be noted that he was part of the group that was to produce the film, "Godzilla: 3D To The Max".

Now, we go to the executive producers list. We have Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira, and Doug Davidson who are filling the job. Now, an executive producer is different from a regular producer. According to Wikipedia, an executive producer, "In major productions, can sometimes be a representative or CEO of the film studio. Or the title may be given as an honorarium to a major investor. Often they oversee the financial, administrative and creative aspects of production, though not always in a technical capacity. In smaller companies or independent projects, it may be synonymous with creator/writer. Often, a "Line Producer" is awarded this title if this producer has a lineage of experience, or is involved in a greater capacity than a "typical" line producer. E.G - working from development through post, or simply bringing to the table a certain level of expertise."

According to that definition, it sounds good. So let’s look at Yoshimitsu Banno. I think that all who read this blog knows who he is. The director of "Godzilla vs. Hedorah", one of the more obscene but really darker (in it’s own right) Godzilla films. Banno, to put it shortly, has shown that while the film he made back in 1971 was extremely influenced by the culture at the time, he gets the allegorical structure of the original Godzilla. Now, it is said that the executive producer does have some influence over the creative aspects of the film, similar to a normal producer. Because of this, he is up there with Dan Lin and Roy Lee. Now, with his age and the fact that he has actually worked on a Godzilla film (and some other Toho non-Goji tokusatsu works), that demands a certain amount of respect. Hopefully what ideas he does have will be taken into consideration and used.

Now, let’s go to Kenji Okuhira. He is relatively not known, though he was along with Banno a name attached to the legendary "Godzilla: 3D to the Max" project. However, his shining achievement is with him being the producer of the award winning 1999 film, "Pups". Obviously due to his Japanese decent, he could be one who has seen the Godzilla films and may just as well also know what he is doing. If so, this is another creative mind which can help balance out the equation.

The last name is Doug Davison. Here is where the story starts to get screwy. The important part is that he has history with one of the producers: Roy Lee. Together, the duo is most notable known for the finding of the company Vertigo Entertainment - an intermediary company that sells the remake rights for Asian films, on behalf of the rights-holders, to American studios and such. So most of the projects that Roy Lee is involved with, Doug also is. Most of the titles he also works with are also done through Vertigo Entertainment.

Here are the links to each individual’s IMDb profile.

Doug Davison:
(notice that he is also remaking the Kurosawa film, "Ikiru" and is involved with the DEATH NOTE project)

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