While I’ve never really been a big fan of the Godzilla movies, I find the culture of fandom that surrounds the movies absolutely fascinating. There have been so many Godzilla movies over the years  —  so many creatures vanquished by the King of the Monsters  —  that it would seem nearly impossible to keep it all straight. And yet, I know many fans of the Godzilla movies who speak to the various incarnations of the character and his rogue’s gallery of enemies with absolute ease.

It’s those fans I thought of when I heard that Toho Studios, the studio that owns the rights to Godzilla, would be bringing the character into an animated movie for this first time in over a half-century. According to Variety (via /Film), Toho had previously collaborated on a Godzilla animated series, but the 2017 release will mark the first feature film for the animated character. In a released statement, Kobun Shizuno, one of the co-directors for the film, expressed his intention to bring together two types of Godzilla fans with the new movie.

We’re aiming to make a big-scale animation entertainment that people who love Godzilla and people who know nothing about him can both enjoy.

While animation may seem like an odd choice for the franchise  —  especially given the ongoing office success of Shin Godzilla mentioned in the article, the most recent live-action reboot of Toho’s beloved monster  —  it likely just shows that Japanese financiers have been paying attention to box office trends. Three of the highest-grossing domestic movies of 2016 so far are animated movies; while there is no guarantee that American audiences will embrace an animated Godzilla movie any more than they embraced the 2014 film, animated movies are still a relatively safe bet across international boundaries. Here’s hoping Toho has the next big Godzilla hit on their hands with the 2017 film.