Hold off on any forthcoming trips to Tokyo – Godzilla’s making his way back to Japan.
Well, sort of… Ten years after its last cinematic essay to big lizards smashing up masonry (Godzilla: Final Wars), Japanese studio Toho (who own the rights to the monster) are planning to start shooting a new Godzilla film next year, for a release in 2016.
The project was apparently inspired by the success of Gareth Edwards’ American Godzilla film this year, which starred Bryan Cranston and made $525 million dollars worldwide. Toho co-distributed the film with Warner Bros Japan, with another Edwards Godzilla film set for 2018 – but now the monster’s owners want a piece of the pie.
Speaking at the Godzilla Strategic Conference (or Godzi-Con), producer Taichi Ueda told reporters “The time has come for Japan to make a film that will not lose to Hollywood.”
According to Variety the studio hopes to reinvigorate the Godzilla brand by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with plans to erect a giant statue of the monster in one of its cinemas by April of next year.
Ueda also said that the studio hoped Godzilla could “represent Japan and be loved around the world” – apparently placing a lot of national pride in large-scale property damage.
There’s still no joy for true Godzilla purists, however – apparently Toho is going with a computer-generated monster rather than the traditional “man-in-a-rubber-suit” look. No artistry.
The first Godzilla film was made by Ishiro Honda in 1954, spawning dozens of sequels and spin-off material – but after the 28th entry (Final Wars) brought in a meagre $12 million in 2004, the character was shelved – though not before Roland Emmerich’s 1998 US version of the cold-blooded behemoth…