Written By Ken Hulsey
Sources: Anime News Network, Avery Battles, Yuki Morita
While Legendary Pictures is finishing up on their production of a 60th anniversary Godzilla film here in the states back in Japan Kadokawa studios is in the early stages of production on a 50th anniversary Gamera movie. The plans for this new film were revealed recently when the Japanese retailer Amiami listed an advertisement for the upcoming Summer issue of Newtype magazine that has the exclusive scoop on the details. The issue will reportedly contain storyboard images and other pre-production art. Until now a 50th anniversary Gamera film had been speculated but not confirmed.
In recent years Kadokawa has shown a great interest in resurrecting the fantasy film franchises' of Daiei starting with 2010's 'Daimajin Kanon, a television drama based on the studio's Daimajin trilogy produced in the late 1960s.
Many fans of the Japanese giant monster genre (kaiju-eiga) consider Kadokawa's three Heisei era (1995 - 1999) to be the best ever produced. That being said the last Gamera movie, the 2006 release 'Gamera: The Brave' failed to recapture that glory. It will be interesting to see just what Kadokawa will have up it's sleeve to try and keep pace with Legendary's 'Godzilla' and the new bread of Kaiju films being produced in Japan as of late.
Like all classic monster movies, it is the folly of man that unleashes a ginormous beast upon the world. This time it is literal fallout from the Cold War — a Soviet bomber is shot down over U.S. airspace in the Arctic Ocean, with the massive radiation from the resultant atomic explosion awakening the ancient, gargantuan Gamera. A long-forgotten legend of the lost continent of Atlantis, the 200-foot-long, fire-eating turtle isn't in a good mood, and proving impervious to all manmade weapons, the colossal chelonian smashes a cataclysmic swath across the globe. But when he arrives in Tokyo, a small boy forms an odd connection with him, allowing authorities to unleash “Plan Z.”
The classic Gamera was directed Noriaki Yuasa, who helmed all seven of the original Gamera entries in the Showa era series between 1965 and 1971, and stars Eiji Funakoshi (Fires On The Plain), Harumi Kiritachi, Junichiro Yamashiko and Jutaro Hojo (Wrath of Daimajin). The subsequent franchise was more kid-friendly (yet ironically bloodier) than Godzilla, who became less menacing and more cuddly himself during the Sixties. The Gamera series was creative in the monstrous nemeses that it pitted against the towering turtle, the most famous being the flying, pointy-headed Gyaos, who was resurrected for the successful trio of movies in the Heisei-era.