Godzilla has been featured in 28 movies by the Japanese studio Toho, and after a brief sojourn to Hollywood, the iconic monster is returning home.
Toho announced on Monday that it would release a new Godzilla film in 2016, 12 years after its most recent (and supposedly last ever) effort. According to the BBC, Toho’s decision to bring back Godzilla was partly due to modern innovations in CGI and special effects.
Godzilla movies are a genre unto themselves, spanning six decades since the original film by Ishiro Honda came out in 1954. But while the franchise has always been a huge success in Japan, the recent Hollywood reboots inspired more mixed reactions. Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla focused on its human protagonists for an hour before introducing the title character, who then spent most of the time being viewed from a distance through a haze of dust. The movie did well at the box office, but Godzilla aficionados were not impressed.
More importantly from Toho’s perspective, Gareth Edwards’ interpretation failed to tackle one of the central themes of classic Godzilla movies, the danger of nuclear weapons. With its generic action hero (muscular military dude Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor Johnson), it was just very American. Basically, it proved that people would still pay money to see Godzilla movies, but that there’s definitely a niche for a more traditional Japanese version, this time using modern special effects.
Since Edwards’ Hollywood sequel is due out in 2018 and Toho is aiming for a 2016 release date for their own reboot, there will be plenty of time to compare.
Photo via Snek01/Wikimedia, Public Domain