Godzilla is certainly one of the most prolific actors, or actresses (depending on which version we’re talking about) in history with over thirty films, as well as numerous cartoons, named after the giant monster.
Following only a bit of speculation last summer, Legendary Pictures has announced plans for a “modern day epic” based on the Godzilla franchise with a tentative 2012 release date. Legendary will be co-financing and co-producing the project in partnership with Warner Bros. The partnership is nothing new as the pairing has provided moviegoers with several critical successes including: 300, The Dark Knight, and The Hangover.
Legendary secured the rights to the giant lizard/dinosaur from the Japanese based Toho Corp – who have guided the franchise for five decades and will still oversee the film’s release in Japan.
CEO of Legendary Pictures, Thomas Tull, praised Toho Corp for their dedication to Godzilla as well as offered his excitement at having the chance to produce the next Godzilla installment.
"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. 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."
Of course, the giant elephant, or komodo dragon, in the room is the 1998 modern day Godzilla epic produced by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich - the updated version that featured Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, and hordes of infant Godzillas. Though a commercial success, the film was a critical failure, and did little to reinvigorate the franchise with Western audiences.
Legendary Pictures has a decent track record, and there’s certainly room for optimism that we may finally get a solid Godzilla update for contemporary audiences. Though, without question, the balance between paying homage to the source material and providing a believable and engaging experience in a modern setting will be an extremely delicate process.
Legendary Pictures is expected to announce a director for the upcoming Godzilla project in the near future.
What do you hope to see in the upcoming modern day Godzilla project?