I must have missed this one before, but according to this interview the new Godzilla film is an origin story for the monster:
And this is a "Godzilla" origin story?
Yeah, it's an origin story. I mean, I think those moments in films where everyone learns about these monsters, you know, it's very difficult moments to show on camera. And especially when you have multiple characters. So, I think we've been very careful. I hope we have in the way that we portrayed that. And you know, you can't help but reference events like September 11th and the tsunami.