Godzilla first unleashed itself upon the world in 1994 with the seminal Japanese classic. The film, about a panicked Japan scrambling to stop the titular monster from rampaging through the country as it inches ever closer towards Tokyo, stunned audiences with its dire scenario. An American version was released in 1956, which re-edited the original film and shot scenes with Raymond Burr as the main character to appeal to western audiences. The series has seen literally dozens of films since, of varying quality.
Hollywood took an ill-fated crack at the beast in 1998 with the universally lambasted Godzilla. Roland Emmerich's feature transports the action to the Big Apple but does a disservice to the legendary monster. Godzilla didn't resemble the original creature, and the tone was more comedic than a serious reflection on mankind's effect on nature. 2014 saw a new film from the West, which polarized fans with its focus on human characters.
In 2016, Toho produced their first Godzilla in 12 years, Shin Godzilla. The film brought back the deadly serious tone of the original 1954 movie, presenting a Godzilla that is a seemingly unstoppable punishment for humanity's recklessness. The film proved successful in its home territory and even pulled off impressive box office numbers in the USA with a limited release. Because it comes from across the pond, many native English speakers may not be aware of the movie or many stories behind its production. To shine a light on it, this list will present ten interesting facts about the film and the people who made it.
10 It Has Two Directors
Shin Godzilla had two directors: Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno. The former is known for his live-action Attack on Titan adaptation and effects work on a Gamera trilogy. The latter is legendary for heading the classic anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion. Hideaki also wrote the movie's screenplay, which shows when comparing the movie to his revered series.
9 Shin Godzilla Delayed The Next Evangelion Films
Hideaki Anno initially refused the offer to direct. He had just finished Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo and wasn't ready to take on another big project. He changed his mind after learning Shinji Higuchi was 0n board.
Because of Shin Godzilla, the final film in Rebuild of Evangelion film series was pushed back. It is currently slated for a 2020 release in Japan, but no word on when it will reach the states.
8 There Won't Be Sequels
The movie doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave itself open for sequels. Given the warm reception from audiences and critics alike, a movie following up on these events would seem obvious, but Toho announced that a direct continuation to Shin Godzilla won't happen. It is unfortunate that a sequel won't happen, but just one Shin Godzilla feels like a gift.
7 It Drew Inspiration From The Fukushima Nuclear Plant Meltdown
The series' debut is a commentary on nuclear weapons. This film took inspiration from the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, and the ensuing disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
Many were critical at the country's response to the crises, and the film shows this through the bureaucratic nightmare the protagonists deal with while Godzilla is on his destructive path.
6 Shin Godzilla Is The First Reboot In Japan
All the Godzilla films aren't connected or sequels to each other, but they all acknowledge the first movie in some way. In the 2016 film, it is the first time the country has encountered the enormous beast, serving as a true remake.
This makes the stakes so much higher, having the protagonists deal with a threat the likes of which they have never even come close to seeing.
5 The 2014 Film Helped Get It Made
Toho announced Shin Godzilla in 2014, shortly after the rebooted American film. In their announcement, they mention the success of the western film as a reason for bringing the monster back. It's a good thing they did too.
While the 2014 film has its fans, it left others wanting. Shin Godzilla has everything fans could want from a Godzilla title that the 2014 movie lacked. Of course, there is also nothing wrong with liking both of them.
4 It Uses The Original Roar (And The Theme)
Godzilla's trademark roar from the first film is just as spine-tingling today as it was more than sixty-five years ago. The original theme is also a perfect complement to the impending doom the humans feel throughout the movie.
In keeping with that spirit, Shin Godzilla uses both of these throughout its run time, to stunning effect.
3 The First Time In Decades He Was Alone
Many of the more kitschy films from the series feature the legendary beast dueling it out with some other fantastic monster. Some of these originated on Earth, others are man-made, and a few others even come from space.
This film pits humans versus the monster in what doesn't look like a fair fight. The last time a Japanese film had Godzilla without a similarly matched opponent was in Godzilla 1985, and that wasn't even a Toho production.
2 Satomi Ishihara
Satomi Ishihara plays an envoy for the United States' president. Several times throughout she speaks English, but with a strong Japanese accent. Her character, however, is supposed to be fluent in English.
This is because the actress accepted the role before realizing how much English dialogue there would be, and doesn't speak the language herself. She can't be faulted, though; most Americans would take a role in a Japanese Godzilla movie even if it meant they had to learn Japanese.
1 The Movie's English Title
In the trailers and promotional materials leading up to release in the US, the movie was known as Godzilla: Resurgence. Shortly before it hit theaters, all showings marked it as Shin Godzilla.
The English title still exists, but it was ultimately unused during the film's release. Perhaps this was done to identify itself as a Japanese movie, potentially as a way to pique the audience's interest.