You’ve all done voice work before, but you’re playing some deadly animals here. Is there a different approach you take to get into the mindset of characters from the animal kingdom than you do humans?
Marc Maron: I think I’ve mostly voiced animals. I did one human. I don’t think I differentiate. I’ll voice whatever, a rock, a squirrel, a guy. I don’t think my approach is any different. I go with the script and the emotional tone of what’s happening.
Craig Robinson: I watched about three months of “Shark Week,” and that really got me set … no, what happens is, you go in there and the director tells you what they want and then you go back and forth. A beautiful thing about animation is you get a few scenes in and, let’s say, you finally found the energy of the shark, now we can go back and get those other scenes. It was about finding it in the room.
Anthony Ramos: Yeah, it’s an animal, but what helps is, “What is this animal’s temperament? Is this animal lighthearted? Is this animal a little crazy? What’s the vibe here?” You make choices from there.
Maron: I ask myself those questions every day.
Ramos: Right, yeah. When we wake up in the morning, [laughs] brush your teeth…
Maron: What’s the animal going to do today? [Laughs]
Ramos: …what’s my vibe? Who am I? That’s how the voice is developed. Over time, too, you make choices and then you find what hits.
Movies About Science Experiments Gone Wrong
Science has been responsible for countless improvements on the way we live. From the curing of diseases to faster transportation and even robotic automation, the effects of science have become ubiquitous in the 21st Century, as reported by Live Science. But these breakthroughs wouldn’t have been achieved without rigorous testing beforehand, and obviously not every test and experiment is a success, a fact that movies and literature loves to play on.
Humans are curious by nature, so it makes sense that many movies are keen to explore where this curiosity could potentially lead them, but as the saying goes ‘curiosity killed the cat’ (or entire civilizations in some cases). Regardless of the intention behind such research, whether well-meaning or not, the ‘scientific experiments gone wrong trope’ has been a staple of science fiction movies for as long the genre has existed. Here are some of the most notable movies that showcase just how wrong it can go.
One of two movies on this list to feature the wonderful Jeff Goldblum. This time around, he is playing the role of the guinea pig in an experiment that was intended to finally nail down the science behind teleportation (and forever put airlines out of business). At first, all looks good as Goldblum’s character is successfully teleported from one pod to another. Little did they know, though, that a pesky housefly had entered the pod with Goldblum. The result? Over the rest of the movie, he begins to gradually transform into a hideous human-sized fly, as well as picking up some of its habits. Thanks to director David Cronenberg’s warped imagination and his love of grotesque practical effects, The Fly is a (rather unpleasant) feast for the eyes, to say the least.
At only 20 years of age, in 1918, Mary Shelley had written what would become one of the most well-known and influential stories of all time: Frankenstein. A cornerstone of gothic literature, various stories and adaptations have been brought to the big (and small) screen many times over the century that followed. The story is about scientist Viktor Frankenstein and his attempt to bring to life a being of his own creation, but after disappointment with the product of his experiment, the creature is shunned by Frankenstein and humankind in general. As a result, it grows resentful and comes back for revenge. The first major appearance of Frankenstein and his monster was in the 1910 Frankenstein silent movie. He was resurrected again in 1931 by Universal Studios in what is probably its most iconic iteration, going on to be selected by United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as being ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.’
Like Frankenstein, movies inspired by H.G Well’s Victorian sci-fi horror have been plentiful. Based on a scientist desperate to find a way to allow humans to become invisible at will, he manages to have seemingly achieved this goal and now possesses this immense power. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and unfortunately the subject of this experiment is one of the most irresponsible people imaginable and uses these powers for nefarious and deadly purposes. Surprisingly throughout its many adaptations the most recent The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss, is arguably the best. Thanks to its superior character development, its tension building, and dark tone, viewers were treated to a genuinely scary and emotionally engaging horror that received critical acclaim.
Taking a more light-hearted and family friendly approach to disastrous science experiments, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is about an eccentric scientist who creates a shrink ray gun that can shrink whatever object it is fired at. What could go wrong you ask? Well, in this case, the ‘father of the year’ somehow fails to keep the majorly dangerous science gun out of the reach of children, which results in his kids getting shrunk! The film is actually a fine mixture of fun, excitement, and humor as the children, now only a quarter of an inch in height and having been discarded in the trash, have to work together to make it through the backyard and overcome the dangers within. Just imagine potentially being over-powered by a single ant, and you’ll get the idea.
The first Planet of the Apes trilogy, in which humans and intelligent apes clash for control, are among the most iconic movies within the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately, the 2001 Tim Burton reboot failed to recapture that same magic, and the poor response led to any plans of further sequels to be abandoned. Fast-forward to 2014, and in steps Rupert Wyatt to try and resurrect the beloved franchise. Rise of The Planet of the Apes was a huge success with critics and fans alike, in large thanks to Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar. But take a deeper look, and it’s the humans who unfortunately were cause of this whole angry ape debacle. What started as a well-intentioned experiment to cure Alzheimer’s escalated into monkeys taking over the world, a cautionary tale, perhaps, about the dangers of testing on animals.
The Nutty Professor had viewers mesmerized by Eddie Murphy’s prowess at undergoing major transformations to portray several characters, including Sherman Klump, a scientist whose experiment creates his more attractive and charismatic alter ego, Buddy Love. Unfortunately, not everything works out as well as Sherman had initially hoped, as Buddy Love grows more and more egotistical, creating more problems than solving them and hoping to take over Sherman’s body for good. This remake of the classic film garnered generally positive reviews from critics and was a box office success. Aside from being peak Murphy humor, it’s also quite an emotional ride with a positive message about loving yourself for who you are.
It’s hard to say whether the experiments being carried out at Jurassic Park were ever really well-intentioned, but needless to say: the idea was cool as hell! In this 1993 Steven Spielberg blockbuster, a team of genetic scientists, funded by a wealthy businessman, create a wildlife park of ‘de-extinct’ dinosaurs. Amazing as this sounds, there is clearly so much scope to go wrong with resurrecting some of the most dangerous animals to ever walk the earth. And obviously, following some kind of sabotage, things do go wrong — very wrong. With multiple casualties and absolute chaos as the dinosaurs break free and run amok, you’d think that everyone would learn from their mistakes, but apparently not as a further five movies have been made (with a sixth due soon), wherein these dinosaurs continue to wreak havoc.
Apple’s Live-Action Godzilla Series to Be Directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman
Matt Shakman is set to direct the first two episodes of Legendary’s live-action Godzilla TV series currently in development at Apple TV+. Shakman is best known for his work on Marvel’s Wandavision, helming all nine episodes of the Emmy-nominated Disney+ series.
Legendary Television greenlit the Godzilla series earlier this year in a bid to expand their successful Monsterverse franchise. As of yet, the series remains untitled but will explore a family’s search for answers as the whole world discovers that the monsters that were previously assumed to be mere myths are indeed real. The series is also confirmed to feature the iconic giant lizard and hordes of other titans as well. The plot synopsis for the show (via Variety) reads:
Very little is known about the Godzilla & Titans series, except that father-son duo Kurt and Wyatt Russell are reportedly in talks to play an older and younger version of a hard-nosed member of the military and that the show will be set between the events of 2014’s Godzilla and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
The Godzilla & Titans series is created by Chris Black (Star Trek: Enterprise, Outcast) and Matt Fraction (Hawkeye). Black will also executive produce in addition to serving as the showrunner. As for Matt Shakman, the director is currently busy with Hulu’s true crime series Immigrant, based on the life of Chippendales founder Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee, and is also involved in Paramount’s Star Trek 4. Shakman is a veteran television director and has worked on some of the greatest shows of this century, including Fargo, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, House M.D., Game of Thrones, The Boys, Succession, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Apple’s Godzilla & Titans show is definitely in good hands.
There is no word on the series’ release date yet, but considering Shakman’s busy schedule, the show will most likely commence production in the next few months as Star Trek 4 is confirmed to begin filming by the end of the year.
The negative critical and commercial reception of Godzilla: King of the Monsters almost derailed the Monsterverse back in 2019. However, Legendary and Warner Bros. learned their lesson and made sure not to repeat the same mistakes with Godzilla vs. Kong, i.e., “not enough kaiju mayhem and too many humans.”
Subsequently, Godzilla vs. Kong underwent significant reshoots that trimmed down its many human characters and focused only on the battle between the titular monsters. The result was that Godzilla vs. Kong became one of the top 10 highest-grossing movies of 2021, even after having a simultaneous streaming and theatrical release in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. A sequel is in development with Adam Wingard returning, and as for the more character-driven stories, Legendary seems to think television would be the right choice, and they are not wrong.
The plight of ordinary people as they watch their homes and entire cities get razed will make for some truly compelling drama. Godzilla and other Titans are saviors for some but catastrophic forces of destruction for others. Hopefully, the Apple TV+ series will do a better job handling the different perspectives of mankind on the Titans than the previous Monsterverse movies.