Guess what folks….there is going to be another Godzilla movie, and it is not the one you are thinking about. Toho Co. Ltd, the company that created the character originally in 1954 is releasing a new Godzilla movie this summer and they are pulling no punches.
Following the worldwide success of the Hollywood 2014 remake, Toho saw an avenue to capitalize on the character’s newfound popularity. Make another movie.
Between the latest 2014 movie and the Hollywood sequel Gareth Edwards is directing for a June 2018 release, Toho will be releasing Shin Gojira in Japan this summer. But why would anyone want to watch yet another Godzilla movie, let alone another Japanese one? After time travel you think the bottom of the idea bin would have been scraped clean.
The answer is well yeah, the idea bin is pretty empty but a new take on some old material goes a long way. Shin Gojira (which is Godzilla Resurgence to us English speakers) is not going to be like any Godzilla movie that has come before it bar one: the original, Gojira.
Every single Godzilla movie that Toho has produced up until now has had one thing in common, it is either a sequel or in a line of sequels related to the original film. What gets me excited is this latest film is a remake of the original, being done by the original studio. For those of you who don’t know or have not seen the original Gojira, it’s dark. Like a mother telling her two small children in a burning alley that they are all going to die dark. Poisoned water dark. Flesh melting off bones dark. Darker than Batman’s cape dark – especially considering the time which was 1954.
So what we essentially going to be expecting, the rest of the Godzilla fans and I, is a very grim movie relative to the Hollywood remake, and quite frankly, any other Godzilla movie to date.
In addition to the general aura of darkness that comes from restarting the series, Toho has sprinkled a few hints to the media at large as to what to expect. Firstly, they are not being shy with their Godzilla. So far he is the biggest yet, just a hair larger than the Hollywood version as if to say to Legendary, “We will not be outdone.” The other thing is the way he looks – and if I could describe him in two words: NOT FRIENDLY.
A special thanks to artist and avid kaiju fan Matt Frank for allowing us to show his rendition of the newest incarnation of Godzilla! Check out his website for more of his amazing work.
Godzilla’s origins haven’t really changed much throughout his career, and with the exception of the Hollywood remake, he is generally considered a mutation. This time around someone at Toho got tired of him looking so nice. Godzilla is supposed to be a generally cranky sea monster who had an atomic weapon dropped his head, and then decided he wasn’t going to stand for that kind of mischief any more. Our new Godzilla looks like a bomb was dropped on him. It looks like it hurt, and it looks like he is not enjoying the recovery. This actually hearkens back to the original design of the character, right down to the beady white eyes and the undersized, almost skeletal hands. The original design of Godzilla’s skin is supposed to look like keloid scarring, and in this film’s incarnation you can tell that has been emphasized. So, from a perspective of making Godzilla look honest to his origin, this film is pretty on point.
The only thing that could possibly detract from the film, or at least one meant to be this serious (or this important to the studio) is the person in the director’s chair. Luckily enough, this film is getting not one, but two directors, and they are both very intriguing choices. The first of the directors, and the one who wrote the script is Hideaki Anno who is known from the anime hit Neon Genesis Evangelion (think anime Pacific Rim). His style is regarded as being postmodern and what he excels at is fleshing out characters, something that monster movies generally don’t do well, but something that the original Gojira is known for. The co-director Shinji Higuchi is a veteran of the kaiju (Japanese giant monster) genre having worked on the Gamera (if Godzilla was a turtle) films of the 1990’s which were all very well received.
So, in essence, we have the makings of a character driven, gritty, dark Godzilla that should be a good reboot of the original classic film. All of this accounted for, when Godzilla Resurgence rises out of the Pacific for an American audience this fan will be among those at the front of the running crowd to see it.
Shin Gojira will be released July 29th, 2016 in Japan. Godzilla Resurgence which is the English version of the film has yet to have its release date announced.
Are you excited for the latest incarnation of Godzilla? Are you looking forward to a new Japanese version? Comment below!