Colossal is a 2016 science fiction giant monster horror comedy film directed and written by Nacho Vigalondo. The film stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson, telling a story about Gloria, an unemployed young writer who is unwittingly causing a huge reptilian monster to wreak havoc halfway across the world.
Gloria is an unemployed writer struggling with alcoholism. Her errant behavior prompts her frustrated boyfriend Tim to break up with her and evict her from their New York City apartment. Forced to move back to her hometown in New England (the fictional Mainhead), Gloria reunites with her childhood friend Oscar, who now runs his late father's bar. Oscar is warm and welcoming to Gloria; he brings her an old television set for her unfurnished house and offers her a job at the bar to help her, which Gloria accepts.
Working at the bar aggravates Gloria's alcohol problem. Each shift, she hangs out and drinks until morning with Oscar and his friends, Garth and Joel, while sleeping it off on a bench near a children's playground. At the same time, a giant reptilian monster appears in Seoul, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Gradually, Gloria realizes that when she walks through the playground at exactly 8:05 am, she causes the monster to manifest and is able to remotely control the monster's movements, which mirror her own.
Gloria reveals her secret to Oscar and his friends; however, when Oscar steps onto the playground, he causes a giant robot to appear in Seoul. Gloria ultimately tries to make amends by having the monster spell out an apology in Korean, to the delight of the South Koreans and the media, and begins to avoid both the playground and alcohol.
After spending the night with Joel, Gloria discovers that a drunken Oscar is using the robot to taunt South Korea. After a tense confrontation, Gloria manages to make him leave. Oscar is jealous, believing that something happened between Gloria and Joel. Later that night at the bar, he drunkenly insults his friends and demands that Gloria drinks, then orders her to do so by threatening to return to the playground if she does not. The next morning, a sobered-up Oscar confesses his remorse and pleads with Gloria to forgive him. Gloria accepts his apology, but Oscar's controlling attitude becomes clear.
Tim shows up in town on a pretense in order to see Gloria. Oscar provokes a confrontation that ends with him setting off a large firework inside the bar. He follows this up by boasting that, no matter how he behaves, he knows that Gloria will remain under his thumb. He later shows up at Gloria's house, telling her he is there to prevent her from going back to New York with Tim.
A flashback reveals how Gloria and Oscar are able to manifest their avatars in South Korea: a freak lightning flash struck both of them, a toy robot and a toy reptilian monster while they were passing through the playground when they were children. Gloria also realizes that Oscar has always been violent and manipulative because he hates himself, and resolves to leave town with Tim. Oscar, in response, heads for the playground. When Gloria follows, Oscar assaults her, leaving her on the ground while he terrorizes Seoul.
Upon returning to her house, Gloria comes up with a plan to stop Oscar. She flies to South Korea, apologizing to Tim for not coming with him. Once again at 8:05 am, U.S. time, Oscar causes the giant robot to manifest in Seoul. As she heads towards Oscar's avatar, Gloria causes her monster to appear again, this time at the playground back home. Clutching Oscar in her hand, Gloria's monster throws Oscar off into the distance, causing the giant robot to be launched into the sky, disappearing from Seoul. Her mission accomplished, Gloria retreats to an empty bar in Seoul. Settling into her seat, Gloria promises the young waitress an incredible story. Offered a drink, Gloria simply lets out a sigh.
- Anne Hathaway as Gloria, Oscar's friend, Tim's ex-girlfriend and an unemployed and frequently drunk writer trying to sort her life out
- Hannah Cheramy as young Gloria
- Jason Sudeikis as Oscar, one of Joel and Garth's two friends and Gloria's childhood friend who works as a bar owner
- Nathan Ellison as young Oscar
- Dan Stevens as Tim, Gloria's ex-boyfriend
- Austin Stowell as Joel, one of Garth and Oscar's two friends whom Gloria is attracted to.
- Tim Blake Nelson as Garth, one of Joel and Oscar's two friends
- Rukiya Bernard as Marie
- Agam Darshi as Ash
Hathaway was the first actress to sign on at a time when the project had no financial backing. Hathaway heard about the script after finding herself "in a little bit of an artistic no man's land" for inspiration. Director Jonathan Demme screened for her a copy of A Field in England, after which Hathaway decided that it represented exactly the type of movie she wanted to make. After asking her representation to see a similar script that she could join, she was sent the Colossal script. Hathaway found herself attracted to the genre-hopping nature of the script, later comparing it to Being John Malkovich, one of her favorite films.
Prior to the start of filming, Japanese company Toho brought a lawsuit against Voltage Pictures for unauthorized usage of Godzilla's image and stills from previous Godzilla films in emails and press documents sent to potential investors. A settlement was reached that October.
Principal photography on the film also began that month in Vancouver, and ended on November 25, 2015. No motion captured footage was used for the creation of the monster; rather, footage of Hathaway acting out her parts was given to the CG team, who used this as reference points. The CG artists, as opposed to Vigalondo, were responsible for the look of the monster itself. Vigalondo stated that this was partly due to his lack of artistic skill and partly due to him "[wanting] them to feel like characters that felt like a part of the genre we're playing with".