Sunday, 14 December 2014

Toho planning new Godzilla

Back in 1995, legendary Japanese film studio Toho killed off their signature creation Godzilla to make way for the then developing Hollywood version by Roland Emmerich. Fast forward to now and the situation is somewhat different. Toho – having rebooted the giant lizard after Emmerich's 1998 debacle – ended their series once again with Final Wars (2004). Now news arrives via Variety that they're now planning a comeback which in all likelihood will run alongside Gareth Edwards' latest western incarnation.

Ironically it's the success of the new Hollywood Godzilla that's prompted the revival of the old one. Having raked in half a billion dollars in worldwide box office, Edward's Godzilla has been viewed in Japan as something of a gauntlet.

"The time has come," says Toho producer Taichi Ueda, "for Japan to make a film that will not lose to Hollywood." He also suggests there's a further impetus – the intention is to create a new Godzilla that "will represent Japan and be loved around the world" by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

There's no production team in place yet, let alone a screenplay. But there is a committee of studio executives and directors forming a Godzilla Strategic Conference to plan how to move forward. So far they have decided to build a statue in Shinjuku.

That should have risen by next April, while the film itself – Toho's 29th Godzilla outing – has been earmarked for shooting next summer and a 2016 release.

Gareth Edwards's second Godzilla, meanwhile, is due out in June, 2018.

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