Monday, April 5, 2010

Godzilla 2012 In The News 04/05/10

Written By: Ken Hulsey / Armand Vaquer
Sources: Technabob / Kotaku / i09

It has been exactly one week since it was announced that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros would be combining their efforts to produce a new Godzilla movie for release in 2012.

As you may have guessed, the attention span of news writers for the American entertainment industry is exactly one week, so it shouldn't surprise anyone too learn that I wasn't able to find any new stories about "Godzilla 2012" during my sweep of the Internet this morning.

What to do? What to do?

Well, I guess that it is time to travel back to the time, which seems so long ago, before "Godzilla 2012", and reprint some of the "Godzilla" related stories that were covered at Monster Island News in the weeks leading up to Legendary/Warner Bros epic announcement.

Japanese Uber Geekdome - Godzilla Related Cosplay
Written By: Ken Hulsey

Now, I imagine that just about everyone knows what Cosplay is by know, a bunch of Anime fans running around dressed like their favorite characters.

Well, have you ever heard of a Godzilla related Cosplay costume before? Neither had I, until now.

At the Wonder Festival, which was recently held in Japan, one young lady did just that, dressing as Miki Fujimiya from "Godzilla vs Hedorah" (aka Godzilla vs The Smog Monster).

If you recall, Miki was the psychedelic singer from that bar where everyone was trying to forget that their country was being destroyed by a monster that feeds on pollution.

You may also remember that the scene resembled a bizarre acid trip, and in the end, everyone wound up with fish heads.

Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the young lady who designed this costume, but props are in order anyway.

Monster Uber Geekdome- Kaiju Playing Cards
Written By: Ken Hulsey

Next, I was delighted to find these images of Pachi Playing Cards from Japan. Each card has a wonderful image of a giant monster on them.

There wasn't any info included along with these images, but I think that is safe to assume that they are of a 60s, or early 70s vintage from the look of them.

Just check out the one to the left. It looks like Gamera is standing idly buy, as a guy falls off a cliff. Or, is Gamera throwing the guy?

It doesn't matter, the image is fun anyway.

Most of the images seem to be of Ultraman, and his enemies, or should I say, facsimiles there of.

You have to really hand it to the Japanese, and their monster loving ways.

Only problem is, if you are playing poker with these bad boys, and ya get dealt the queen of spades, Gamera busts in and throws you off a cliff.

A different country with different rules for cards. The game is called 'kaiju hold em', in case your curious.

Campaign To Get "Godzilla vs. Biollante" On Region 1 DVD
by Armand Vaquer

A fan-generated effort is now underway to get Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment to release the 1989 feature, Godzilla vs. Biollante on DVD.

Godzilla vs. Biollante was the follow-up movie to 1984's Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1985) in which Godzilla is released from the crater of Mt. Mihara on Oshima Island.

It is available on Regions 2 and 3, but not here in the United States (Region 1).

The idea is to saturate (as much as possible) the suits at Disney (who bought out Miramax and their film library) with cards and letters to get them to release Godzilla vs. Biollante on DVD. The movie was released on VHS video tape back in the 1990s, but it has not been released on DVD here. It is about like trying to listen to your favorite rock album on 8-track tape today.

So send your cards and letters to:

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Please be polite and business-like when writing. You will catch more flies by using honey instead of vinegar!

Godzilla 1985: 25th Anniversary
by Armand Vaquer

2010 will mark 25 years since the release in America of the first Godzilla movie of the second (or Heisei) series to theaters.

The summer of 1985 saw the release of the Americanized Godzilla 1985. The movie is known in Japan as Return of Godzilla. It was produced in 1984 by Toho Co., Ltd. and released in America by New World Pictures.

This new series of Godzilla movies ignores all of Godzilla’s adventures from Godzilla Raids Again (1955) through Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Essentially, it is a sequel to the 1954 original.

Actor Raymond Burr was tapped to reprise his role from the 1956 Americanized Godzilla, King of the Monsters! as reporter Steve Martin. To avoid confusion (or snickers) with the then-popular comic Steve Martin, Burr’s character was called either “Steven Martin” or just “Mr. Martin.”

The movie opens with a fishing trawler that gets swept near a volcanic island in a storm. As the boat closes in on the island, a menacing, enormous figure bursts (unseen to the audience, though) from the volcanic rock.

Days later, reporter Goro Maki (Ken Tanaka), while out sailing, comes across the fishing boat and he finds it in a damaged condition with seemingly no crew. However, he finds the withered corpse of a crewman and a huge sea louse, which attacks him but is killed by the sole survivor of the vessel.

The survivor relates the story of how they were swept near the island and Godzilla appeared.

Unfortunately, the Japanese government put a clamp on any news of Godzilla’s return to avoid a nationwide panic, so the reporter is unable to have his big scoop published.

As a consolation, the Maki's editor tells him to do some background on the story and sends him to see Dr. Hayashida (Yosuke Natsuki), who just happens to employ, as his assistant, the sister of the boat's survivor.

Eventually, the news of Godzilla’s return is broken wide open as he attacks a nuclear power station and feeds on the nuclear material in the reactor. But, Godzilla provides a clue to the professor as he is led back to the ocean by a flock of seagulls. Figuring that dinosaurs are distant ancestors of today’s birds, he comes to the conclusion that if a device can emulate the frequency of bird chirping, they can lead Godzilla to his doom.

Return of Godzilla marked the first performance of suit-actor Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla. He would continue to play Godzilla through to Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995).

At the time of the release of Godzilla 1985, I was house-sitting for a friend in Canoga Park, California and on a week’s vacation. One warm summer night, after seeing off my then-girlfriend (and later spouse) home, I bee-lined it to the Van Nuys Drive-In Theater (now demolished) to catch a late screening. This was the first theatrical screening of a Japanese Godzilla movie I went to since King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1963.

Godzilla 1985 was released on August 23, 1985 to 235 North American theaters. It initially wasn’t a hit for New World, but it eventually became a minor money-maker for the company through home video sales.

Although it is somewhat dated and has corny jokes, it plays better today than many of the later entries in the series.

Godzilla 1985 has not been released on DVD as its rights ownership is somewhat in limbo (a long story, believe me). It can be found occasionally on Anchor Bay’s VHS tape through eBay and other sources. It was paired up with the short subject Bambi Meets Godzilla.

It is hard to believe that it’ll be 25 years (this coming summer) that Godzilla 1985 was released.

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"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."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.