Tuesday, June 26, 2012

20 Years of "Godzilla vs. Mothra"

by Armand Vaquer
An example on how quickly time marches on is by noting that 2012 marks 20 years since Toho's Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) was produced and released.  It was released in Japan on December 12, 1992. Here's what Wikipedia says about it:
Godzilla vs. Mothra (ゴジラ対モスラ Gojira tai Mosura) is a 1992 Japanese Science Fiction Kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Takao Okawara with special effects by Koichi Kawakita, the film starred Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi and Akiji Kobayashi. The 19th installment in the Godzilla series of films, the film remains the highest grossing film of the entire Godzilla series (unadjusted for inflation). [I'd hazard a guess that King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) is still the boxoffice champ if adjusted for inflation. - A.]  After the success of the previous year's Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Toho decided to bring back their second most famous creation Mothra into the new series. Composer Akira Ifukube's score won a Japanese Academy Award. The film was the second highest grossing film in Japan in 1993, second only to the Hollywood film Jurassic Park.  
The film was released straight to video in the United States in 1998 by Tristar as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth.
Photo by Armand Vaquer.
The movie also introduced a new kaiju: Battra.  The big battle in the movie took place on the oceanfront of Yokohama, Japan.   The structures demolished include the Cosmo Clock Ferris Wheel at the Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park and the crescent-shaped InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel (photo above).  These are covered on pages 19-20 of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan (which will also tell you how to get there).

 It is somewhat incredible that this year will mark 20 years since the movie was made and released. Time does fly by!

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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.