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The Make-A-Wish Foundation Unleashes ‘Madzilla’

Most blockbusters are headlined by the biggest names in Hollywood. One such summer film I’m eagerly anticipating features someone you’re probably not too familiar with, but who is a star in his own right. The protagonist of this summer blockbuster is Maddex, a 5-year-old boy currently being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. His big screen debut will be in a short film entitled “Madzilla,” that sees the young Maddex transform into the King of the Monsters himself, Godzilla.


Maddex, whose last name was not given for the privacy of the family, was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2013. For over a year, Maddex has undergone multiple chemotherapy treatments and spinal taps. The procedures and the discomfort that they brought were lessened by his regular viewing of Godzilla movies. Maddex was first shown the original 1954 Gojira by his grandfather when he was no more than 18-months old. Since then, he has been obsessed with the giant kaiju and his rogues gallery.


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His parents, wishing to give their son the ultimate movie monster experience, submitted his request to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: the chance for Maddex to produce his own Godzilla movie in his hometown of Chicago. The request was a short film of five minutes that featured Maddex as the titanic lizard himself. The film would have “Madzilla” fight against two classic Godzilla baddies, MechaGodzilla and Baragon.


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To make Maddex’s dream a reality, Make-A-Wish asked for the assistance of filmmaker Jonathan Becker and local Chicago production company, miniGorilla Productions. Along with 100 volunteer extras, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the short was filmed at multiple locations across the city of Chicago. The film follows Maddex, who struggles to convince adults that he’s actually not a 5-year-old boy, but a giant fire-breathing monster. Eventually convincing his naysayers by transforming into a 300-foot kaiju, Maddex lumbers across Chicago and does battle with MechaGodzilla and Baragon for dominance over the city. He then takes a nap to recuperate after his city-wide battle.



Along with the film itself, planned releases from this project include a three-minute extended trailer of the movie and a short documentary that follows the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s efforts to give Maddex his own giant monster movie. Currently, Maddex’s condition is considered stable, but he still has 18 treatments left, including four spinal procedures. The community would like to wish Maddex well, and are eagerly anticipating his big-screen debut later this summer. Everyone here at encourages you take the time to look at some of the production stills provided by the Make-A-Wish Foundation here.


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