Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview On Godzilla Locations

Above, the Wako Department store in Ginza in 2001.

by Armand Vaquer

I just completed an email interview with Craig Norris of the University of Tasmania (Australia) on the subject of Godzilla locations.

As you may recall, Mr. Norris and a colleague ordered copies of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan to assist them on their Godzilla research while in Japan this month.

Here is one of the questions, and answer, from the interview:

1. Is there a hierarchy of Godzilla locations? Eg: if you only had two or three locations you could visit what would they be and why?

I don't know if there's a "hierarchy" of Godzilla locations, but there are some that could be considered "iconic" locations. The first I would say would be The Wako Department store in Ginza, Tokyo. That's the building with the clock tower that gets demolished when it gonged the hour in Godzilla's presence. The second one I'd consider "iconic" would be the Kachidoki Bridge on the Sumida River that gets toppled over. Both were from the 1954 movie. The third one would be a toss-up between Osaka Castle in "Godzilla Raids Again" (1955) or the Atami Castle in "King Kong vs. Godzilla" (1962). Those four would be the top of my "must-see" list. I've visited each and think those are most important as they are a mixture of modern Japan and traditional Japan.

Above, the Kachidoki Bridge at the Sumida River in 2005.

I could have also added the National Diet Building, but I thought the Wako Dept. Store building and Kachidoki Bridge left a bigger impression, at least with me.

It will be interesting to see the finished results of their research.

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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.