It’s been twelve years since Japanese film studio Toho released its last Godzilla movie, the longest gap between films dating back the first Godzilla movie in 1954. And while Japanese audiences have always loved their kaijū (“strange monsters”) movies, the fact that international audiences are starting to develop a taste for giant monsters has set the stage for Toho to bring back their most famous creation in the 2016 blockbuster Shin Godzilla.
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.
After a decade and change, Toho is now readying a Godzilla reboot of their very own, slated for release in Japan on July 29, 2016. Aptly titled Godzilla: Resurgence, the film will give Toho’s flagship property a redesign hewing closer to the look from the original film.
Prepare yourself... for the EXTREMELY LARGE MONSTERS CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
If you follow Hollywood politics, you know that Legendary Pictures, the company who have had a hand in everything from The Dark Knight to Jurassic World, is currently in a bit of a beef with Universal. After years of developing Kong: Skull Island for the studio, Legendary moved the project over to Warner Bros., where the legendary ape could mingle with the new Godzilla in a future movie. This saga of money and creative disagreements and big personalities was already interesting, but then it started dropping details about what we could expect from future King Kong and Godzilla movies.
Here’s a bit of news that will definitely raise an eyebrow or two: Legendary Pictures executive Thomas Tull is relocating Kong: Skull Island from its home at Universal over to Warner Bros., where it will join Legendary’s other famous monster, Godzilla. It’s a move that obviously hints at a crossover between the two titans, who previously came to blows in 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla.
It’s the kind of rumor that looks really great in a headline. What if a Pacific Rim sequel brought Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, into the fold? What if director Guillermo del Toro’s giant robots battled the legendary creature in the ultimate battle royale? The rumor has been gaining steam and we hate to be the ones to burst anyone’s bubble, but this isn’t going to happen.
Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was received mostly well, though it did evoke some divisive reactions — some people liked the characters, but hated the lack of actual Godzilla, while others praised Edwards for his restraint with the classic movie monster (I am in this camp) and criticized the underdeveloped characters (also in this one). At least one actor sides with the latter group: Bryan Cranston isn’t very happy about the way his character was handled in the movie.
For the better part of 50 years, the Japanese movie studio Toho released new ‘Godzilla’ movies like clockwork. With the exception of a few lengthy breaks (including much of the ‘80s), a new film starring the King of the Monsters would arrive every two years at the minimum. Not even the deplorable 1998 American film could slow ‘em down. And then ‘Godzilla: Final Wars’ arrived in 2004 and the title proved accurate: Japan has not made a new Godzilla film since. Well, that’s about to change. For the first time in a decade, Toho is moving forward with a new film starring the city-wrecking, fire-breathing monster icon.
We learned a lot from this year's Comic-Con about Legendary's plans for some epic monster movie action in the future, from the announcement of a 'King Kong' prequel with 'Skull Island' and the confirmation of 'Godzilla 2.' Max Borenstein has quickly become the studio's go-to writer for their tentpole projects, and the man who penned the first 'Godzilla' will now return to script the sequel.