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Godzilla: Watch the surprisingly grim trailer for the blockbuster reboot
It's been nearly a decade since he last roared on the big screen — but do audiences still have a place in their hearts for the big green lizard?

It's been nearly a decade since Godzilla last roared on the big screen in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars. But the big green lizard is poised for a big comeback in next year's blockbuster reboot — simply titled Godzilla — which aims to reintroduce the character to a new generation of filmgoers. Will audiences bite?

The first trailer for Godzilla offers a decidedly serious take on the creature, with an emphasis on the massive destruction it has caused, and the human response to it. It's not until the last moments that we even get a good glimpse of the creature himself, when he rears his head back and lets out his iconic roar.

This big-screen Godzilla reboot comes 16 years after 1998's dismally received American blockbuster Godzilla, which ended with a teaser for a sequel that was never produced. (In a later interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dean Devlin, who co-wrote and produced 1998's Godzilla, admitted that he "screwed up" his blockbuster take on the character.)

But there are hopeful signs that the team behind the new Godzilla is doing everything they can to ensure they get Godzilla right. The cast for 2014's Godzilla includes strong performers like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston, fresh off his highly-acclaimed run on AMC's Breaking Bad. A viral marketing campaign and a strong showing at Comic-Con has earned support from hardcore G-Fans. And director Gareth Edwards has given numerous interviews in which he's explained how he'll honor the franchise's 60-year history.

Do audiences still have room in their hearts for the big green lizard — and can an American studio finally due justice to a character originally conceived in Japan? We'll find out when the new Godzilla hits theaters on May 16, 2014.

Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticOutside Magazine, and Think Progress.

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