Sunday, December 4, 2011

Honda Estate vs. Toho Ramifications?

by Armand Vaquer

Above, yours truly with the Godzilla statue at Toho Studios.

The story of the alleged copyright lawsuit against Toho by the heirs of Ishiro Honda over the Godzilla character may have some big ramifications if 1.) the story is true or, 2.), they actually win.

The story does not sound Japanese to me. Maybe in America, perhaps (i.e., Bela Lugosi Jr.'s legal actions over his father's image and The Three Stooges).

If the story is true and Honda's heirs prevail and win the Godzilla copyright from Toho, could we see Noriaki Yuasa's estate taking similar action against Kadokawa Pictures (the successor company to Daiei) over the Showa Gamera and Shusuke Kaneko over the Heisei Gamera? Who knows what (or who) may come out of the woodwork?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, if true.

No comments:

Post a Comment


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.