A few days ago it was announced that TOHO will be making a new Godzilla film to be released in 2016, but what does this mean for Legendary’s Godzilla films and the franchise as a whole. There have been separate Godzilla films for the US and Japan before, most being re-edited versions and a completely new version from Sony in ’98. Sony’s Godzilla wasn’t considered a success so TOHO making a new film and releasing it the next year wasn’t a big surprise. But Legendary’s Godzilla was a success by most accounts so why would TOHO risk hurting that success or are they looking to capitalize on it.
First TOHO’s new Godzilla film needs to be a leap forward from past efforts, a man in suit Godzilla would most likely not cut it especially with how good CGI has become, Legendary’s Godzilla was done extremely well in this regard, but TOHO’s would also have to be different enough not to confuse fans into thinking it is a sequel or at least related. Many fans felt Legendary’s film gave new life to the series especially with the announcement of two sequels after the film’s debut and the inclusion of Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah for those sequels, the last Japanese efforts were not overly successful which cause the series going into hiatus. TOHO looks to be taking its effort very serious creating a brain trust, so to speak, to make decisions regard the direction of the new film(s) they will make. It is unclear if they are in contact with Legendary on concepts and story ideas, it would be really bad if both film studios made similar films story and character wise.
Toho would probably be better off with new monsters than reworked versions of classic monsters since Legendary will use some of them but the negative to that would be how those new monsters would go over with fans. It will be interesting to see where the TOHO film will start from whether it will use the original film as a starting point or a whole new origin. Legendary’s film did very well in the US but made a good portion of its take internationally, while Japan was part of that it wasn’t a big part of it even though it did well there, TOHO’s film would need to have a good international take to be successful especially if TOHO goes with more modern film making techniques (CGI, etc.).
One positive already is that it will fill the gap for Godzilla fans having to wait till 2018 for Legendary’s sequel to be released. My biggest fear is it will underwhelm fans making TOHO’s effort short lived and possibly hurting Legendary’s film but my hope it both will be very successful and will continue the longest running film series.
"“The time has come for Japan to make a film that will not lose to Hollywood.” Ueda added that Toho hopes to make Godzilla a character that “will represent Japan and be loved around the world” by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics." - Head of the new Godzilla project, veteran producer Taichi Ueda (via Variety).
From Anime News Network via Cinema Today (Japan)
TOHO is producing a new work of its iconic film monster Godzilla for release throughout Japan in 2016. It will be the first Godzilla film by TOHO since 2004's Godzilla Final Wars (pictured right). According to the Cinema Today website, the "legendary" Japanese franchise is undergoing a revival, in response to the heightened fan support after Gareth Edwards and Legendary Pictures' Hollywood Godzilla film became a worldwide hit.
Edwards' film has opened in 63 countries and territories, and has earned over 57 billion yen (about US$470 million) worldwide, including 3.2 billion yen (US$26 million) in Japan alone.
Production of the new film will run from summer to fall of next year, and TOHO is assembling the staff. It will have no direct ties with Edwards' film, but will instead be an entirely new Godzilla film. Edwards and Legendary Pictures are separately planning a sequel to their own film.
TOHO proclaimed, "The time has come to make a film that will not bow down to the Hollywood film," thanks to a combination of rapidly improving filmmaking techniques (as exemplified by the ongoing Parasyte films) and know-how developed over the years in Japan.
TOHO is also inaugurating the Godzilla Conference or "Godzi-con," a organization to discuss and determine the strategy of Godzilla projects — including but not limited to the new film — in response to the growing Godzilla fandom bolstered by Edwards' film. It is now mainly composed of TOHO staff members, but TOHO is considering adding other creators and businesses to explore new project possibilities.
Note: This is not the first time this has been said but the previous time seem to be a rumor this time it seems likely it will happen.
Update: it has been confirmed on the Japanese Godzilla site.