'Godzilla Encounter' takes Comic-Con 2013 to the fans
While most San Diego Comic-Con experiences engage fans through panels and screenings, Legendary Pictures decided to do something a little different in 2013. The studio debuted a teaser for Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla" during last year's Warner Bros. panel -- and the movie will get an even bigger presentation on July 20 -- but in what is described as "gift to fans," the folks at Legendary put together a "Godzilla" fan experience called "Godzilla Encounter" that is something worthy of a place at an amusement park.
Any fan can gain access to the "Godzilla" experience, located in San Diego's Gaslamp District, by getting tickets either online or at the Legendary Pictures booth. Once at the Encounter, the exterior of which can be seen above, they're brought into a massive warehouse made to look like a street in downtown Tokyo. The walls are plastered with old "Godzilla" posters while props and clips from the past 60 years of the franchise's history receive places of honor for fans to look at. To make the experience feel even more authentic, a ramen restaurant was recreated with chefs and a patron who only speak to guests in Japanese. Check out more pictures of the Encounter on Zap2it's Instagram.
The fun really starts when sirens start going off because -- surprise! -- Godzilla has arrived in Tokyo. Actors usher fans through two doors and into a control room and then up an elevator where they actually will come face-to-face with Godzilla, replete with special effects and an awesome CGI display. Legendary reps made sure to clarify that the Godzilla shown during this event was exclusive to the Encounter and is not representative of what the new Godzilla will look like in Edwards' movie, but it at least shows that the studio knows how to make the fan-favorite monster look epic.
The Godzilla Encounter is a testament to the legacy of "Godzilla" and not to be missed for those attending Comic-Con. The experience proves that Legendary knows how to honor the best parts of the "Godzilla" franchise, which should bode well for those skeptical about the new movie -- though a Legendary rep says that appeasing those fears wasn't the studio's intention with the fan experience. Still, this event definitely raises the bar for what studios can do at San Diego Comic-Con just like Disney's Flynn's Arcade did for "Tron: Legacy," so it will be interesting to see how movie companies outdo themselves in years to come.
"Godzilla" will be presented on Warner Bros.' Comic-Con panel on Saturday July 20. Zap2it will be covering the panel and speaking to the cast, so make sure to stay tuned for our continued coverage. Below you can see the "Godzilla" concept art unlocked by Zap2it at the event by using the "Godzilla Encounter" app.