American movie production company Legendary Pictures announced yesterday plans for the 3D revival of Godzilla in 2012. It would be just the second Hollywood remake and the first Godzilla movie since 2004’s “Gojira Final Wars,” directed by Kitamura Ryuhei. Fans of the giant lizard will be hoping for something better than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 effort.
Legendary are working together with Warner Brothers, and the movie will be distributed in Japan by Toho. No director has been named to the project yet but the lineup of U.S. producers includes Dan Lin (Terminator 4), and Roy Lee, who has produced remakes of several Japanese horror movies. The Japanese side includes Banno Yoshimitsu, who wrote and directed “Gojira vs Hedorah” way back in 1971, as an executive producer.
Back in 2004, Banno said that Toho had given him the rights to make an IMAX Godzilla film, provisionally titled “Godzilla 3-D to the Max.” It later became clear that he wanted to make a sequel to his 1971 movie that the studio had blocked. It was reported that it would feature the Showa Era original Godzilla fighting a pollution-based monster called Deathla in South America and New York City. However it has been speculated that Banno’s involvement in the 3D movie is simply part of the deal to acquire the IMAX rights.
“Godzilla is one of the world’s most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise,” said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. “Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has.”
“Godzilla is a signature Japanese character which we have nurtured over the years. It is a great honor to reach an agreement with Legendary Pictures, the parent to many a blockbuster film, and we are delighted in rebooting the character together to realize its much anticipated return by fans from all over the world,” said Toho President Takai Hideyuki. “We are anxious to find out where Godzilla’s new stomping will take us.”