Saturday, April 26, 2014

Huffington Post: "Godzilla's Secret History"

by Armand Vaquer

Poster: Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.

Back in 1998, the TriStar Godzilla (commonly referred to by fans as G.I.N.O. (Godzilla In Name Only)) was released to much-deserved bad reviews by critics and fans. At that time, before the movie was released in May of that year, very little, if anything, was mentioned about the backstory of the Godzilla character in Japan.

This year, with Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Godzilla will hit theaters on May 16 and the media is paying more attention as that release date nears. The media is also taking a look at what led to Godzilla as a stand-in for the atomic bomb. This is very gratifying to see. I don't remember any articles even discussing this aspect 16 years ago.

The Huffington Post has a good article on "Godzilla's Secret History" which fans should take a look at and steer non-fans over to read it. They acknowledge that the Gareth Edwards-directed film will be getting Godzilla back to his roots. That couldn't be said of the Matthew Broderick debacle of 1998.

Here's the first paragraph for a taste on what the article says:
Godzilla is a multicultural icon. If there was a Coca-Cola commercial featuring monsters that sung the national anthem, he'd be singing his part in a mixture of English and Japanese. He's been terrorizing Tokyo for longer than Disneyland has been around. Over the span of 60 years, he's battled Earthlings, space monsters and robots, spawned offspring and chased Matthew Broderick, all while belting out the most iconic roar in film history. He's appeared in 28 Japanese films, a 1998 American film and an upcoming 2014 reboot, countless comic books, novels, video games and TV. That's an astounding feat of sustainability. The daikaiju has nestled in our hearts (and nightmares) carving out a permanent place in the annals of entertainment lore. But even more astounding is Godzilla's secret past. Where did Godzilla come from, and why? In anticipation of Godzilla 2014 hitting theaters May 16 (directed by Gareth Edwards, and starring Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe), here's a brief guide to the monster's origin story. The truth may actually blow your mind. 
Above, the bow of the Lucky Dragon No. 5. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The article won't blow fans' minds, but it does give a good history of Godzilla that fans can pass on to friends who haven't a clue on what the Godzilla character was really all about.  The Lucky Dragon No. 5 story is a major part of the article.

To read "Godzilla's Secret History," go here.

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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.