Toho Studios have announced the return of Godzilla, their classic kaiju, in a new film set to be released in 2016, 12 years after the king of the monsters last appeared in a Japanese film.
According to Variety, Toho has launched a committee of studio executives and directors, calling it the Godzilla Strategic Conference (Godzi-Con). Their aim is to reboot the Godzilla brand, inspired by the recent success of Legendary Pictures’ 2014 film. The last Godzilla movie produced by Toho, Final Wars, was released in 2004, and its disappointing performance prompted the studio to retire the iconic character.
“Receiving earnest requests from Godzilla fans for its revival, we will start production of a brand-new Godzilla, which will hit screens in 2016,” a statement from Toho read.
Veteran producer Taichi Ueda was named to head the new Godzilla project, which will enter production in 2015. Speaking to the press, he observed that the studio wishes to make Godzilla an internationally loved character that will represent Japan by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“The time has come for Japan to make a film that will not lose to Hollywood,” he said.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 8, 2014
As the Wall Street Journal notes, details of the project have yet to be decided. The studio is still finalizing the new film’s plot, cast and crew, and it is unclear whether Toho will opt to use computer animation or a traditional “rubber suit” approach to recreate Godzilla. Though Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla brought the character to life through CGI, Toho’s films have traditionally used an actor in a rubber suit, even when they also take advantage of computer animation.
The latest Hollywood movie to feature Godzilla became an international hit this summer, taking in $525 million worldwide. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, Legendary Pictures plans to release a sequel to the film in 2018, pitting Godzilla against new versions of other classic Toho kaiju, including Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah.
— MovieWeb (@MovieWeb) December 8, 2014
As part of their efforts to resurrect the character, Toho will reportedly install a giant statue of Godzilla in its Toho Cinemas Shinjuku theater by next April. A worldwide icon, Godzilla has featured in 30 movies since the release of Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla: King Of The Monsters in 1954.
[Image: AFP via France 24]