Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Honda Estate vs. Toho: More Information

by Armand Vaquer

Here's a few more details (and confirmation that there is a legal action pending) from Godzilla historian Ed Godzisewski (right) that was posted at the Monster Zero message board:

Yes, there is a legal case ongoing in Japan. Has been for a while. I have heard about the case from Ryuji for a couple years. The family has preferred to just quietly pursue the case the way it should be done, in court. It all stems from the Japanese system that gives rights to writers (not directors).

The first ruling is due in February.

Looks like we won't have to wait too long.

1 comment:

  1. I guess my question here is - what does the Honda estate hope to gain from this suit? Are they seeking financial compensation from Toho for their use of the character over all these years and/or control over how the character is used from here on out, or are they actually intent on shopping the property to other studios should they win?

    If Toho is ordered to pay millions in owed revenue from past films and licensing ventures, the combination of that financial setback and the fact that they would have to get the Honda estate's permission to use Godzilla from here on out might curtail any plans for future films. That, obviously, would not be a positive thing for the fans.

    Would such a ruling have an effect on the development of Legendary's GODZILLA? We've already waited a long time for cameras to roll on this movie. If the Honda estate proved even more obstinate and difficult to work with than Toho, could the film be held up longer or even shelved altogether?

    On the other hand, if the Honda family were to win outright and gain control over the character, they might be open to licensing opportunities that the suits at Toho have always nixed. GODZILLA VS. GAMERA, perhaps?

    Let's hope this gets sorted out quickly, and with no adverse effect on Godzilla's cinematic future.



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.