EXCLUSIVE: 'Monsters' Director Stomps to 'Godzilla'

<p> TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Director Gareth Edwards from &quot;Monsters&quot; poses for a portrait during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in Guess Portrait Studio at Hyatt Regency Hotel on September 15, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.</p>   |   Matt Carr/Getty Images
Gareth Edwards will direct 'Godzilla' for Legendary Pictures.

Godzilla has a director.

Gareth Edwards, the British filmmaker who wrote and directed indie sci-fi movie Monsters, is closing a deal to develop and direct the creature feature for Legendary Pictures, the company that co-produced blockbusters such as Inception and The Dark Knight.

Warner Bros. will co-produce, co-finance and distribute per its deal with Legendary. Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing along with Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Brian Rogers.

Legendary picked up the rights to the giant lizard from Japan’s Toho Co. in March 2010. It was around that time that Edwards’ Monsters made its premiere at SXSW (where WME quickly signed him for representation) before moving on to the Toronto International Film Festival and a U.S. release by Magnet Releasing in October.  

The movie, famously made for a budget in the low six figures, took a different tact in its handling of the alien invasion genre. It centered on two characters traveling through a Mexico that is now a quarantine zone due to an alien-monster infestation. The flick slyly showed only parts of the aliens during the course of the movie, with tentacles attacking cars and people during the night, for example, but the gripping climax featured two giants slithering around an abandoned gas station.

The movie got Hollywood ga-ga over the filmmaker, who always intended Monsters to act as a showpiece to attract bigger work, and Legendary execs were no exception. They sought him out, thinking he could be the right man to take their monster into the 21st century.

Edwards will now work with a new yet-to-hired writer on the script. (David Callaham was the original writer.)

Edwards’ Monsters work has won the filmmaker three British Independent Film Awards, including nods for best director, best achievement in production and best technical achievement. It also landed him work with Timur Bekmambetov on an epic sci-fi project that he is writing as a directing vehicle.