Missing: Last seen in GODZILLA FINAL WARS, 2004.
SCOOP: It’s big and it’s terrible, and this incredible news broke just two hours ago in Japan and is spreading like wildfire in Japan. And while I didn’t see this one coming, and some may think it could be a hoax, the announcement was published in the Japanese equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, Nikkei, and the respected movie news website, Eiga.com — I’ve combined elements from several stories and the translations are my own:
Toho Company Ltd. will be producing an all-new Godzilla film to be released in 2016. This will be the first “Domestic Godzilla” in 12 years since GODZILLA FINAL WARS (2004). In a press conference today, Toho announced that they’ve launched the “Godzilla Conference” as an organization to discuss and decide a wide range of strategies for promoting Godzilla, including, but not limited to motion pictures. The group has also been officially nicknamed, “Godzicon” (or “Gojikon” in Japanese parlance).
Toho vice president and general manager, Satoshi Senda, announced the launch of Godzicon. Senda was hired by Toho in 1974, and eventually worked in sales and marketing, and most recently moved was in charge of the foreign sales department. With his fellow board of directors, two younger members of the company, having both worked with visual effects-heavy films, Minami Ichikawa (producer of 13 Assassins) will serve as Production Manager, and Taiji Ueda (producer of Trick: The Movie ~ Last Stage), who will oversee the group as Project Leader, the Big G’s future may be bright, indeed.
“With the success of the Hollywood version of GODZILLA, we decided on a new [domestic] production,” said Mr. Ueda at today’s press conference. The new production will be handled by Toho, in-house. “The screenplay is currently in development and we plan to start shooting next summer. We cannot announce cast or staff selections at this time. And we’re still deliberating whether to bring Godzilla to life via CGI or man-in-suit,” said Mr. Ueda. “This resurrection will be the centerpiece for ’16, and this is the force of our words.”
“The passionate voices of the fans clamored for a resurrection (of the Japanese Godzilla). We will bring the monster back to Japan, with the same high-quality, by bringing together our collective know-how, which we’ve been striving for, so we can’t lose to Hollywood,” he said with confidence.
The Godzicon also announced that Godzilla will also be looming in the Kabukicho district at the former site of the Shinjuku Koma Theater (demolished in 2009), a 12-meter high “Godzilla Head,” made of fiberglass and concrete in his likeness from Takao Okawara’s GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA (1992), will be installed on the 8th floor terrance of the Shinjuku Toho Building, a 31-floor business and theater complex currently under construction, and will be unveiled on April 15th.
The head will weigh 80 tonnes and 8th-floor terrance will be 52 meters off the ground, which is around the height of the first Godzilla from 1954, and will be a new landmark in the Shinjuku Ward, visible from Shinjuku-Yasukuni Street. Adjacent to the Shinjuku Toho Building, will be the brand-new Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, opening on April 25th, which will be offering a pair of specially-designed “Godzilla Rooms,” for its’ guests.
Mr. Ueda noted that these are just the “first steps” in their new promotion of the Big G and that the 60th Anniversary is just beginning!
Stay tuned for more press confirmations as they break… Thanks to kaiju illustrator par excellence, Yuji Kaida, for tipping me off to the news!