Toho Co. Ltd., owners of the iconic character Godzilla, have filed suit against a film company currently shopping a movie starring Anne Hathaway at Cannes, alleging that they have infringed upon the rights to the “King of the Monsters.”
The movie in question, Colossal, is the product of Voltage Pictures and stars Hathaway as a woman who finds that her mind is connected to a giant monster engaged in the destruction of Tokyo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the movie has been described as “Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich,” Toho has asserted in their complaint that the monster depicted by the company in an attempt to gain financial backing is, in actuality, the world famous Japanese Kaiju.
— Aurao ビリビリ♪ (@Auraoo) May 20, 2015
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in California federal court, Toho claims infringement upon their character, pointing to promotional materials related to Colossal as evidence that Godzilla has been appropriated by the filmmakers. They cite an interview conducted with director Nacho Vigalondo in August 2014, during which he used the term “Godzilla movie” to describe the film.
“It’s going to be the cheapest Godzilla movie ever, I promise. It’s going to be a serious Godzilla movie, but I’ve got an idea that’s going to make it so cheap that you will feel betrayed.”
Materials used to shop Colossal to investors are also cited by Toho, including an email blast sent out on May 9, which utilized stills from director Gareth Edward’s recent Godzilla reboot. Toho’s complaint included pictures of the email in question, as well as the “Director’s Notes” for Colossal, the cover of which depicts the silhouette of the most recent incarnation of Godzilla. The lawsuit further references the company’s 2015 Cannes sales booklet, as Deadline reports, which includes the line “Tokyo is under attack by Godzilla,” as well as a concept poster that features an image of Godzilla.
— Godzilla (@GodzillaMovies) May 16, 2015
“The Director’s Notes also make clear that Defendants have not only taken the Godzilla Character as their own, but that they also intend to use the Godzilla Character in precisely the same way that Toho used the character in its initial film — attacking Tokyo,” the complaint states. “Toho is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants have knowingly used the Godzilla Character to attract interest and attention in their Colossal project so that it would stand out in a crowded field of competitors on the film sales circuit.”
— Radio Times (@RadioTimes) May 13, 2015
While fans have to wait until 2018 before seeing a sequel to Edward’s Godzilla reboot, they will get a chance to view the iconic character onscreen again in short order. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, Toho plans to release a new Godzilla film next year, officially bringing the Japanese incarnation of the character out of his decade-long-retirement.
[Photo by Chris McGrath / Getty Images]