It rarely happens, but every once in a while, a story of such great import will break that we simply cannot wait until the next weekend news recap to discuss it. This is one such momentous occasion. You see, I’ve just been informed of a newly announced sequel to the film franchise featuring Japan’s most internationally beloved science fiction character-
Well, uh, yes, the sequel to Island 731 and the Project Nemesis novels is out now, and while that is really cool news, I really wanted to discuss a truly unexpected Godzilla story-
Stop interrupting! The point of this post is to talk about Toho’s announcement of a new Japanese-made Godzilla film to debut in 2016!
Until now, speculation that the Legendary film could kick off a new Japanese series has been largely dismissed, as production methods have changed greatly for the company compared to where they were two decades ago. In recent years, even the movies that made use of Toho’s IP (e.g. Sazer X the Movie, Always Sunset on Third Street 2, 20th Century Boys) have been largely co-produced with other companies, making true Toho movies a thing of the past. Their last few tokusatsu hits have been based on anime or manga (Gantz, Space Battleship Yamato, the upcoming Attack on Titan), so I really wasn’t expecting them to return to their original IP again, though ironically they claim the success of the Parasyte adaptation as part of the impetus for another Godzilla film.
Now the speculation can begin.
- Who will direct? Takashi Yamazaki seems to be Toho’s current SFX go-to, though I’m sure Shinji Higuchi would also be a contender, if he’s not consumed by Titans. I don’t imagine them pulling in the vets like Masaki Tezuka or Kazuki Omori, as “new” seems to be the big priority for them. Maybe it’ll be an up-&-comer that we’ve never heard of before?
- We’ve never had concurrent US and Japanese Godzilla franchises going before; even the American cartoons of the past were produced during breaks between the films. Will the American franchise cause confusion with the Japanese series? Will the Japanese films not get US distribution out of fears for diluting demand for the Hollywood version?
- What creative influence will Legendary films have on the Toho ones? Will there at any point be a crossover between the two?
- Could this kick off a similar kaiju revival boom in the same way that the Heisei series did? I mean, the most recent major kaiju flicks to come from Japan have all been parodies or deconstructions. The more serious entries in the past decade have been Hollywood outings like Cloverfield and Pacific Rim, and it would be great to see Japan return to form.
This is amazing news, and it’s truly flabbergasting to wrap one’s head around. Looking forward to talk more about this as news breaks.
[via Toho Kingdom]