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Monday, December 8, 2014

The Toho Godzilla Revival: The Speculation Begins

Above, a Godzilla prop on display at the Bandai Museum. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The news reports that Toho is getting back into the kaiju game by producing their own Godzilla movie this coming summer (for a 2016 release) are telling by what they say and by what they don't say.

Some examples.

According to an article in the Mainichi Shimbun:
The Tokyo-based company, which owns the rights for Godzilla, declined to say whether it would bring back the man-in-a-rubber suit behind the original Godzilla or rely on computer graphics -- or have both. 
Japanese movies such as Toho's latest, "Parasyte," about alien creatures taking over human bodies, utilize sophisticated computer-graphics technology although it may be hard for Toho to match Hollywood's dazzle.
The traditional "man-in-a-rubber suit" approach to kaiju movies has been one of the charms of those feature films. If Toho jettisons that method of making giant monster movies, it may also cause the loss of that charm that many fans hold dear. Toho did use computer-generated images in their last Godzilla movie, Godzilla Final Wars to re-create Zilla, the 1998 Sony-TriStar American version so loudly panned by fans. Prior to Godzilla Final Wars, CGI had been used sparingly in different films, with mostly positive results.

The article also states the reasoning behind Toho's decision to produce a Godzilla movie now:
Toho said recent innovations in computer-graphics technology were behind its decision to revive Godzilla.
Will those innovations compare favorably with the ones Hollywood now churns out?

That, and what Herotaku.com reported:
The reason behind Toho’s new Godzilla is none other than due to the success of Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, and heightened fan support! Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla directed by Gareth Edwards has proved to be an amazing success opening in 63 countries and earning over $470 million worldwide.
Make that "over $500 million worldwide." Money, one can safely say in this matter, talks!

Jiji Press reported:
Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japanese movie distributor Toho Co. said Sunday it will release a new episode of monster epic "Godzilla" in 2016.  
The company will start filming the movie next summer.
This seems to indicate that Toho will be spending more time in producing this movie. Toho's last batch of Godzilla movies were generally filmed during the summer months for release in the fall, sometimes premiering them at the Tokyo International Film Festival that is held in late-October and early-November. This sounds like Toho is making sure they get the movie done right before they release it. Many of their past Godzilla films, while well done effects-wise for the most part, seemed rushed to many fans.

The Toho revival will serve to "tide us over" until the next Gareth Edwards Godzilla movie is released in 2018.

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