A life-size Godzilla head is displayed on the balcony of a commercial complex as Tokyo’s new landmark during its unveiling at the Kabukicho shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo April 9, 2015.
Issei Kato | Reuters
The King of the Monsters still rules in Japan and most other places.
Godzilla’s takeover of fans and pop culture began 68 years ago, but the radioactive mega-lizard’s impact on global audiences is growing due to recent box office success and increased access to streaming services.
To capitalize on this moment, Japanese film studio Toho, which owns the monster and licenses it to Legendary in the US, has said it will release and release a new Godzilla movie every year, starting on Thursday, the anniversary of the first monster movie.
The untitled film, which will be released first in Japan and later in the United States and other markets, will be Toho’s first film since 2016’s Shin Godzilla. Yamazaki will direct the film.
“Godzilla’s long history has shaped the world of pop culture and monster fandom for nearly 70 years,” said Laura Cohn, managing director of Toho International, Toho’s film, theater and film production and distribution subsidiary in Los Angeles.
Toho tweeted a teaser poster for the upcoming film, showing its release date.
Teaser poster for the film Godzilla, which will be released on November 3, 2023.
The new film comes as the global audience has more access to Godzilla content than ever before thanks to the vast libraries of movies and series on streaming services. The recent box office success of American studio Legendary Monsterverse, which began with a Godzilla movie in 2014 and led to Godzilla vs. Kong in 2021, has also helped.
Movies, especially the latest release, have been among the most requested on streaming services. From late March 2021 to October 2022, Godzilla vs. Kong was the third most watched movie by American audiences across all platforms and genres, behind Spider-Man: No Way Home and Batman. data provider Parrot Analytics. It is the fourth most popular in the world.
“There is more access to Godzilla than ever before thanks to streaming services and the Internet,” said Bill Tsutsui, a historian and scientist known for his expertise in the field of Godzilla. “Growing up, I had a hard time getting to know other Godzilla fans. There was no forum or social media to gather around monsters.”
Frame from Warner Bros. Godzilla vs Kong.
Source: Warner Bros.
One of the first films to hit theaters after the Covid shutdown, Godzilla vs. Kong was a box office hit, grossing over $468 million in worldwide sales. A sequel is slated for 2024.
Godzilla has appeared on movie screens in various forms, first in the 1954 Japanese film Gojira and later in later films set in the monster’s home country. The first Godzilla movie to be shot entirely in the US came out in 1998, rekindling interest in monster movies, but received poor reviews.
“When Legendary brought back Godzilla in 2014, I thought, ‘Oh cool, something I’ve loved since I was a kid is finally being taken seriously by Hollywood. We all know that Godzilla of the late 90s has aged like milk,” said 31-year-old Chris Anderson. from Northern California, who has been a fan of the Godzilla movies since childhood. (American “Godzilla” in 1998, the author of the film “Independence Day”. became a highlightespecially in Japan. In Toho’s Godzilla: Final Wars released in 2004, the Japanese Godzilla destroys the American version.)
Even Toho’s “Shin Godzilla” remains popular outside of Japan, peaking in US demand between January 2021 and October 2022, according to Parrot Analytics. The film is only available for rental or purchase on platforms such as Amazon Prime Video or Apple’s iTunes. In Japan, Shin Godzilla has also been in high demand and has outperformed Godzilla vs. Kong since early 2021, Parrot said.
“For so many decades, the Japanese have not been particularly proud of the creation of this movie monster. It wasn’t as big of an event in Japan as Godzilla was overseas. However, recently the Japanese, including the Toho studio, have realized what a huge Godzilla property is, and they have done a much better job of using and marketing Godzilla and developing this property,” Tsutsui said. “The Japanese have a new sense of monster pride, and that’s an important addition here.”
Godzilla fan Anderson has enjoyed all of the recent Legendary films, but is a huge fan of Toho’s 2016 Shin Godzilla. “I’m still looking forward to the sequel to this movie,” Anderson said.
Streaming has also become a new way for Godzilla to make his mark, with services like Pluto TV airing all-day Godzilla movie stunts on their ad-supported Cult Films channel on November 3, as well as other services featuring libraries of both Japanese and American films. .
“There are so many new possibilities for enjoying Godzilla and being creative with the monster,” said Tsutsui.
In 2017, Toho Animation and Polygon created anime trilogy about Godzilla for Netflix, while Legendary Television brings Godzilla series with executive producers from Toho to Apple TV+ set in the same universe as recent films from Legendary.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Source: Warner Bros. studios
The series, which is still untitled, has received some star power this summer, when father and son actors Kurt and Wyatt Russell joined the cast.
Meanwhile, Toho also revealed on Godzilla Day, as fans know on November 3rd, that it puts Godzilla Island, an animated Japanese series that has never been available in the US, on its website. YouTube channel. The series, consisting of 256 episodes, each lasting a few minutes, aired on Japanese TV in the late 90s and will be available in mid-November.
Connecting audiences through social media is also a priority for Toho, which reached out to influencers to showcase Godzilla in various forms.
Also on Thursday, influencer Vivian Xue Rahey, founder of a nail salon that has moved its business mostly online during the pandemic and supplies fake nails with requested art to its customers, will unveil a Godzilla-themed nail design. Xue Rahi TikTok channel has 2.6 million subscribers.
“Touhou came to me a while ago and wanted me to create something really epic,” Xue Rahi said, stressing that special effects were to be demonstrated, specifically the heat ray for which Godzilla is known.
Although Xue Rahei and her company have received requests for Godzilla-inspired nail art before, this time she used special effects on the nail kits themselves, such as thermal color change. On Thursday there will be a competition for a free set of Godzilla nails.
Toho films will also hit theaters with special screenings on Thursday.
Fathom Events has partnered with Toho to release Toho’s 2002 Japanese film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla in US theaters for the first time. In addition, independent cinema chain Alamo is also screening the original film, known as “Gojira” in Japan, in 4K high definition in all of its markets from Thursday to November 6th.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that director Takashi Yamazaki did not work on the visual effects for Shin Godzilla.