Godzilla: King of the Monsters (released as Godzilla II: King of the Monsters in some markets) is a 2019 American epic monster film directed by Michael Dougherty, co-written by Dougherty and Zach Shields, from a story by Max Borenstein, Dougherty, and Shields. A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.
The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi. It is mainly dedicated to executive producer Yoshimitsu Banno and original Godzilla suit performer Haruo Nakajima, who both died in 2017. In the film, humans must rely on Godzilla to defeat King Ghidorah, who has awakened other Titans to destroy the world.
The sequel was green-lit during the opening weekend of Godzilla, with original director Gareth Edwards expected to return. Edwards left the project in May 2016, and Dougherty, who had been hired in October 2016 to re-write the script with Zach Shields, was announced as the director in January 2017. Principal photography began in June 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia and wrapped in September 2017.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released on May 31, 2019, to mixed reviews, with praise for the visual effects, action sequences, cinematography, and musical score but criticism aimed at the pacing, tone, story, and characters. It has grossed over $384 million worldwide against production budget of $170–200 million. A sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, is scheduled for release on March 13, 2020.
The Monarch team follow Godzilla to Antarctica, where Jonah intends to free a three-headed Titan codenamed "Monster Zero", an alleged rival alpha to Godzilla. Emma frees and awakens Monster Zero, which kills several Monarch members, including Dr. Graham, before battling Godzilla and escaping. The team realizes that Emma was not kidnapped by the terrorists, but was secretly working with them. Emma contacts them and argues that the Titans must be awakened in order to heal the Earth from damages that humans have caused.
Jonah and Emma awaken another Titan, Rodan, in Mexico. Monarch lures Rodan into fighting the approaching Monster Zero, but Monster Zero swiftly defeats Rodan before being ambushed by Godzilla, who severs his left head. During the fight, the Navy launches a prototype missile called the "Oxygen Destroyer", seemingly killing Godzilla. Monster Zero, who is completely unaffected, regrows his lost head, and awakens all the other dormant Titans around the world, with Rodan submitting to his rule. Disillusioned and feeling betrayed, Madison disowns her mother.
Through mythological texts, Dr. Ilene Chen discovers that Monster Zero is Ghidorah, an ancient alien seeking to transform the Earth to his own liking. Mothra emerges from her cocoon and flies to Monarch's Bermuda base to communicate with Godzilla, who survived the detonation and is recuperating in an ancient underwater city. Via submarine, the team locates Godzilla's lair, where the whole area is highly radioactive. They deduce that it will take far too long for Godzilla to heal on his own, and decide to detonate a nuclear warhead to speed up the process. Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself by manually detonating the weapon, which revives Godzilla and increases his power.
In Boston, Emma realizes that the destruction that Ghidorah and the other Titans will bring to the world is much worse than what humans could inflict, but Jonah ignores her pleas to turn back. Madison overhears this and steals the Orca. Arriving at Fenway Park, Madison broadcasts a frequency that calms the Titans and unwittingly attracts all of them to her location. Ghidorah lands in Boston to destroy the Orca, with Godzilla arriving with Monarch's assistance to engage it. Mark leads a team to rescue Madison and escape the city after learning that Godzilla's radiation levels are increasing and will lead to a thermonuclear explosion. Mothra arrives to help Godzilla, but is intercepted by Rodan, who she gets the upper hand on. Just as Ghidorah overpowers Godzilla and prepares to kill him, Mothra sacrifices herself and transfers her energy to Godzilla, rapidly healing him. Mark, Emma, and Madison are reunited and reactivate the Orca to lure Ghidorah away from Godzilla. Emma sacrifices herself, giving Mark and Madison time to escape. Godzilla enters a newly-empowered state, glowing red and melting everything around him. In this state, he easily defeats Ghidorah and disintegrates him completely with several nuclear pulses. After Godzilla reverts to his normal state, Rodan and the other Titans arrive and bow down to him.
During the credits, news clippings and Monarch files show that the Titans are helping to heal the planet, a suspected second Mothra egg has been discovered, some of the Titans are converging on Skull Island, and ancient cave paintings show Godzilla battling Kong. In a post-credits scene, Jonah and his forces purchase Ghidorah's severed left head in Mexico.
Gareth Edwards, the director of 2014's Godzilla, stated that he wanted Godzilla to work as a standalone film with a definitive ending, and he opposed suggestions that the ending should leave the film open for a sequel. He said that he had no problem coming back for a sequel if the film did well, but his main concern was delivering a satisfying experience with the current film, "I want a story that begins and ends, and you leave on a high note. That's all we cared about when we were making this; just this film. If this film is good, the others can come, but let's just pay attention to this and not get sidetracked by other things."
After a successful opening of $103 million internationally, Legendary green-lit the Godzilla sequel, with plans to produce a trilogy and Edwards attached to direct. At the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2014, Legendary confirmed that they had acquired the rights to Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah from Toho. A short teaser clip showing concept art of all three with the ending tagline "Let them fight" was shown. Other details of their appearances in the sequels were not announced. In August 2014, Legendary announced that the sequel would be released on June 8, 2018, and that Godzilla writer Max Borenstein would return to write the screenplay.
In April 2015, Aaron Taylor-Johnson stated that he was unsure if he would reprise his role for the sequel and that his return depended on Edwards' decision. In October 2015, Legendary announced plans to unite Godzilla and King Kong in a film titled Godzilla vs. Kong, set for a 2020 release date. Legendary is creating a shared cinematic franchise "centered around Monarch" that "brings together Godzilla and ... King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new." While Legendary will maintain its home at Universal Pictures, it will continue to collaborate with Warner Bros. for the franchise.
In May 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Godzilla 2 had been pushed back from its original June 2018 release date to March 22, 2019, and shortly afterward, that Edwards had left the sequel to work on smaller scale projects. Edwards also felt that Legendary "needed to get on with things" instead of waiting for him to finish work on Rogue One, but expressed his hope to work on Godzilla again one day.
In October 2016, it was announced that Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields (both of whom had worked on Krampus) would write the screenplay for Godzilla 2. A day later, it was reported that Dougherty was also in negotiations to direct Godzilla 2. That same month, Legendary announced that production would also take place at parent company Wanda's Qingdao Movie Metropolis facility in Qingdao, China, along with Pacific Rim: Uprising.
In December 2016, Legendary announced that the official title for Godzilla 2 would be Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In January 2017, Dougherty was officially confirmed as the director. Dougherty stated that he was offered to direct first before being offered to re-write the script. When asked about his reaction to being asked to direct, Dougherty stated, "'Yes.' That was my reaction very, very quickly. I felt flattered, honored...and that continues to this day. It was a dream come true. And lots of pressure. Immense, immense pressure." Dougherty described the film as:
"The world is reacting to Godzilla in the same way we would react to any other terrifying incident, in that we are overreacting, but there's paranoia and endless speculation about whether he is the only one out there or whether we're threatened by others like his kind."
While Dougherty loved the 2014 film's slow-build, he said that he would "take the gloves off for this film. No holding back." While comparing King of the Monsters to the 2014 film, Dougherty said "I would call (my movie) the Aliens to Gareth's Alien." Dougherty elaborated by noting the balance between serious and "fun, tongue-in-cheek moments" from Aliens and that King of the Monsters would take a similar approach.
In September 2014, it was reported that Max Borenstein would return to write the script. While promoting Kong: Skull Island, Borenstein mentioned that one thing he aimed to do in the Godzilla sequel is make Godzilla more empathetic for the audience:
"When [Godzilla] blows his blue flame down the throat of the other creature—a creature we never empathized with in any way—we're empathizing with Godzilla. That's the thing about the movie that I'm most proud of, and I think Gareth did an amazing job pulling that off. I think that's what sets up our Godzilla franchise in a way that the second Godzilla movie can pick up on to begin to make Godzilla a more relatable, emphatic figure. But it needed that groundwork because you don't immediately invest emotionally in something that looks like a giant dragon or lizard."
Legendary's only mandate was to include Monarch, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. For Dougherty's script, he and his team "started over from scratch". Dougherty began with a rough two-page treatment that contained basic beats and rough sketches of the characters. Subsequently, a writer's room was assembled that was ran by Dougherty and co-writer/executive producer Zach Shields, with Borenstein participating. Ten writers contributed to building on the treatment. The script took a year to come together. Dougherty also changed, revised, and improved lines during filming and post-production. He felt the struggles of writing the script were balancing the monster spectacle "while still creating a story with human characters that we care about." While the previous film focused on Ford with Monarch in the background, Dougherty wanted the film to be focused on Monarch, feeling there was an opportunity to craft the organization as a group of heroes. Due to this, the film became an ensemble piece.
Dougherty and Shields chose a human story line where the science fiction elements could be replaced with themes such as climate change or eco-terrorism and stand out on its own without the monsters. Dougherty felt that the third act proved the most challenging in terms of writing as many of the human and monster story arcs converged and needed to be resolved. Shields confirmed that Emma's speech to Monarch went through several rewrites. Shields and Dougherty wanted the speech to present a moral question to audiences whether they would put their faith in humanity or Mother Nature.
"So the concept we're running with is that this world belonged to them. If anything, we're the invasive species, and we've simply rediscovered something that’s always been there and that they are in some ways, the old gods. The first gods. And that's something we’re also trying to bring to this film for a more mythological, almost biblical, backdrop to the creatures."
- Dougherty on his approach for the monsters.
The film reclassifies the monsters' designation from "MUTOs" to "Titans". For the monsters, Dougherty wanted their designs to emit a godly presence and evoke a sense of worship, stating, "Primitive man saw these creatures, and you want to give them a presence that would make him drop to his knees and bow to this god...It can't just look like big dinosaurs. Jurassic Park has that covered. These have to be distinct. They have to be their own thing. They're Titans."
The director instructed the designers to look at the original designs from every era and "distill those silhouettes and those key traits into something more modern." It was important for the director that the Titans were not just treated as monsters but "very large animals with a distinct thought process."
For Godzilla, Dougherty wished to put back the "God in Godzilla". He liked the design that Gareth Edwards and Matt Allsopp conceived but wanted to tweak it by adding the dorsal plates of the 1954 iteration, as well as making the claws and feet bigger to make Godzilla look like a more powerful predator. The director had the sound design team expand on Godzilla's roar by making it sound closer to the roars of the 1954 incarnation, stating, "I think they did a great job with Godzilla’s roar in the first movie. I pushed them a little bit further to bring it even closer to the (1954) original even more."
For Rodan, elements of volcanic rock were added to the scales and skin color to make Rodan look capable of living inside of a volcano. Dougherty wanted Rodan's design to resemble something that "Mother Nature could have created." The designers were instructed to not just look at Pteranodons but at various birds such as vultures, eagles, and hawks due to birds being similar to dinosaurs. Dougherty described Rodan as a "bit of a rogue... you never quite know where his loyalties lie". The director further described Rodan as a "massive A-bomb" that brings "speed and ferocity." Tom Woodruff Jr. and Amalgamated Dynamics provided the design for Rodan.
For Mothra, Dougherty wanted to create something that was "beautiful, and feminine, and elegant, and looked like a true goddess, but also dangerous if she had to be." He attempted to remain faithful to the color palette of the original 1961 incarnation and retain the eye-spots on her wings. The eye-spots were designed to resemble Godzilla's eyes in order to create a connection between Mothra and Godzilla. Mothra was designed to resemble real moths and given longer legs in order to defend herself against other monsters, another attribute inspired by moths.
Dougherty researched various moth species and discovered that some looked "scary" and "predatory". He wished to maintain a sense of realism for Mothra, stating, "...the approach for Mothra is to create an insectoid, huge creature that looks believable from every angle, and especially in motion." The director found Mothra the most difficult Titan to design because he wished to avoid making Mothra look like a blown-up moth. Legacy Effects provided the design for Mothra.
For King Ghidorah, Dougherty wanted to create a "unique" design that still resembled King Ghidorah, and worked closely with Toho to make sure the new design respected past incarnations. Each head was given its own personality, with the center being the alpha and the others its lackeys. He studied various animals, specifically king cobras, in order to add a sense of realism to the design. The designers were instructed to look at different scales from various reptiles to avoid having Ghidorah's scales looking similar to Godzilla or the original King Ghidorah.
The director told the design team to maintain an Eastern dragon influence for Ghidorah and to avoid any Western dragon influence, stating, "They’re not traditional western dragons. So those were marching orders from the beginning... We don’t want it to look like Game of Thrones’ dragons." Legacy Effects also provided the design for Ghidorah. While noting that the film is not a comedy, Dougherty likened Ghidorah to Rip Van Winkle, having a sense of curiosity, and cruelty. Producer Alex Garcia described Ghidorah as "not part of the natural order."
Dougherty confirmed that the film would feature original, non-Toho monsters. The names of the non-Toho Titans were revealed as Baphomet, Typhon, Abaddon, Bunyip, Methuselah (a mountain-backed creature), Behemoth (a mammoth-like creature), Scylla (a giant spider), Kraken, Leviathan, and Mokele-Mbembe. For the roars, the director felt it was important "getting the noises right." He gave the sound designers a "super cut" of the monster roars from the Shōwa Godzilla films, and had them start from there. He stated that the monsters would have new roars that would resemble the original incarnations. Dougherty had the Shōwa roars on a massive speaker system to use on-set for scenes where actors had to run from or react to the monsters.
In late January 2017, Millie Bobby Brown was the first to be cast for the film, in her feature film debut. In February 2017, Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga were cast as the parents to Brown's character. In March 2017, it was reported that O'Shea Jackson Jr. was in talks for a role in the film. In April 2017, Aisha Hinds was confirmed to join the cast of the film.
In May 2017, Anthony Ramos, Randy Havens, Thomas Middleditch, and Charles Dance were added to the cast, and Sally Hawkins was confirmed to return. A press release confirmed Watanabe's return for the sequel. In June 2017, Bradley Whitford and Zhang Ziyi were added to the cast, with the latter playing a "major role" in the MonsterVerse.
In July 2017, Elizabeth Ludlow was added to the cast. In April 2018, Jason Liles, Alan Maxson, and Richard Dorton were cast to provide the performance capture for the heads of King Ghidorah, with Dorton performing the left head, Liles performing the middle head, and Maxson performing the right head. Other actors perform the body. Liles also provided the performance capture for Rodan.
Matthew E. Cunningham was hired as a Senior Illustrator during the research and development stage. Cunningham designed most of the vehicles after the storyboard artist worked with Dougherty. Senior conceptual designer George Hull provided a series of concept paintings of vehicles and monster imagery. Production designer Scott Chambliss managed all the art directors. Artists would sometimes show concept art to the writers, producers, and director however, Chambliss had final say on what would be shown to Dougherty and the producers. After the illustrations were approved, they were delivered for pre-vis. The visual effects used concept art and pre-vis as a reference. Legacy Effects, who had worked on Edwards' Godzilla, were brought back to provide additional concept art.
Principal photography began on June 19, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia under the working title Fathom. Dougherty confirmed that the film would feature practical effects and creature designs by Tom Woodruff, Jr. Lawrence Sher had been confirmed as director of photography. Parts of the film were shot in the Historic Center of Mexico City between August 19–22, 2017. Dougherty announced the film had wrapped production on September 27, 2017.
Visual effects for the film were provided by Moving Picture Company, DNEG, Method Studios, Raynault VFX, Rodeo FX and Ollin VFX. Guillaume Rocheron was the main visual effects supervisor. In November 2018, post-production on the film officially ended. Dougherty said that an earlier cut of the film was three hours long. Dougherty affectionately referred to the three-hour cut as Godzilla: The Miniseries. He considered splitting the film into two parts but decided against it, feeling that the final cut is faithful to the core of his original vision.
On July 21, 2018, Dougherty revealed that Bear McCreary would compose the film's score, incorporating themes from Akira Ifukube's previous Godzilla scores. Regarding his involvement, McCreary stated, "I am thrilled to be the composer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and honored beyond words to have the opportunity to contribute to one of cinema's longest-running musical legacies." McCreary further expanded on his plans and involvement, stating;
"I've known Michael Dougherty for a long time, as we both run in the same film-nerd circles. I have always appreciated his love of film music, chatting with him for hours on end over the years about the scores we both love. I was thrilled for him when he landed the gig to direct Godzilla, because I knew what it meant to him. When he later asked me to join the project, I was overwhelmed with excitement, and awe, grateful for the chance to join him in contributing to the legacy of our favorite monster. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to incorporate classic [Akira] Ifukube themes, and yet I think fans will be excited to hear how they have evolved. There are some fun surprises in store. Fitting the material and Michael's visionary film, this score is the most massive I have ever written, and I can't wait for fans to experience it!"
The first trailer featured a rearrangement of Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune by Michael Afanasyev for Imagine Music. The Beautiful TV spot and final trailer featured two different renditions of "Over the Rainbow". An alternate mix of Nessun dorma was featured in the extended IMAX preview. LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" was featured in the Exclusive Final Look trailer.
In November 2018, a sample of McCreary's Godzilla theme was leaked online after it was used during a panel at Tokyo Comic Con. In April 2019, WaterTower Music released two tracks from the soundtrack, "Old Rivals", composed by McCreary, and a cover of Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla" by Serj Tankian. Brendon Small, Gene Hoglan, and other members of Dethklok contributed to the Tankian cover.
McCreary called the cover "the most audacious piece of music" he had produced in his career, citing the orchestra, choir, taiko chanting, taiko drumming, heavy metal rhythm section, Hoglan’s double-kick drums, and Tankian's vocals used to produce the track. McCreary stated "For [the character] Godzilla, I chose to incorporate and adapt the legendary Akira Ifukube’s iconic theme, and for Mothra, Yūji Koseki’s immortal 'Mothra’s Song'."
The Japanese band Alexandros contributed the single "Pray" for the film's Japanese release. On this decision, Dougherty commented, "we feel incredibly fortunate to have had [Alexandros] contribute such an anthemic song that captures not only the gravitas of the film, but also perfectly complements its dramatic conclusion." The single was released on May 13, 2019.
All tracks written by Bear McCreary, except where noted. The score is also conducted by McCreary.
In June 2017, Legendary's official Twitter account for Kong: Skull Island began posting videos revealing a timeline and background information of Monarch's discoveries, which teased elements for Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. During the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary revealed an image of a stone sculpture featuring Mothra, two larvae, and an egg.
On July 12, 2018, two first-look images featuring Godzilla unleashing his atomic breath skyward, and Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga, were released, along with a few plot details. On July 18, 2018, a teaser clip was released featuring Brown, and the viral Monarch website went live with documents providing information on the monsters. On July 21, 2018, the first trailer was shown at San Diego Comic-Con and later released online that same day. In October 2018, Legendary Comics held a panel titled Godzilla: Secrets of the MonsterVerse at the L.A. Comic Con, which presented a sneak peek at the prequel comic Godzilla: Aftershock.
In November 2018, a panel for the film was held at the Tokyo Comic-Con where Dougherty revealed concept art, a teaser for an upcoming trailer, and the S.H.MonsterArts figures with designs of the Titans. That same month, Dougherty posted a new image of Godzilla from the film on Twitter with a caption from the Book of Job originally concerning the Leviathan.
In early December 2018, teaser clips of Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah from a then-upcoming trailer were released online. On December 9, 2018, a new trailer premiered at Comic Con Experience. On December 10, 2018, the film's first teaser poster and CCXP trailer were released. On December 13, 2018, character posters for Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah were released. In January 2019, Dougherty released a new image of King Ghidorah via Twitter, and in February 2019, four new character posters of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah were released to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
In March 2019, the film was featured on the cover of Total Film which revealed exclusive photos and information. An extended preview was exclusively presented at WonderCon and CinemaCon, later in the month. Warner Bros. attached the extended preview to all IMAX screenings of Shazam! and The Curse of La Llorona, while US theater chain AMC Theatres (of which the parent company of Legendary, Wanda Group, are a majority stakeholder in) attached the preview to their IMAX screenings of Avengers: Endgame. In April 2019, the main theatrical poster was released online. On April 21, 2019, the extended preview was released on HBO's streaming services, and then on April 23, 2019, the final trailer was released online.
The Chinese investor and film marketer Huahua Media invested an undisclosed sum to market the film in China. The deal also grants the company participation in the film's box office. In May 2019, a Godzilla head was built on top of the Cinerama Dome to promote the film. That same month, the IMAX and RealD 3D posters were released. Robin Lopez created several TV Spots, titled Robzilla: King of the Mascots, promoting the film and the NBA Playoffs. The website Joe created a mock-trailer, titled Pugzilla: King of the Dogsters, by replacing the Titans with cats and dogs. The video received approval from Dougherty, who shared it on his Twitter. On May 22, 2019, a clip featuring Brown and Ghidorah premiered on The Tonight Show. On May 23, 2019, a new Chinese poster was released.
A prequel graphic novel, Godzilla: Aftershock, was released in May 2019. Aftershock was written by Arvid Nelson and illustrated by Drew Edward Johnson. S.H. MonsterArts figures of kaiju in the movie were released for sale in June 2019. The film's novelization was released on May 31, 2019; the art book The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released on June 4, 2019. NECA, Jakks Pacific, and Bandai all produced toy lines for the film featuring its monsters.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released on May 31, 2019, in 2D, 3D, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where it was distributed by Toho. The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 8, 2018. However, in May 2016, it was pushed back to March 22, 2019, and later again to its current release date. The film was released in ScreenX formats in some markets.
In the United States, the film was given a PG-13 rating for "sequences of monster action, violence, and destruction, and for some language." In April 2019, a private screening was held for the press at Toho Studios in Tokyo, which was followed by a 30-minute Q&A with Dougherty and Ken Watanabe. In early May 2019, advanced screenings were held for audiences ahead of the film's release, and on May 17, 2019, a VIP press screening was held in Los Angeles at the AMC Century City theater. The film had its red carpet premiere in Beijing on May 13, 2019. It then had its second red carpet premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on May 18, 2019.
A group of Taiko drummers delivered a performance signaling the opening of the ceremony prior to the actors' arrival. Prior to the Hollywood premiere, Warner Bros. hosted a block party. A green-screen photo booth was made available that allowed attendees to be placed in scenes from the film. Regal Cinemas offered collectible tickets to IMAX attendees, along with a mini-poster of the ticket image. The collectible tickets were offered in two sizes: Standard (measuring 4” x 7.5”) and Godzilla-sized (5.125” x 9.5″). In June 2019, it was announced that the film would receive a one month theatrical extension in China.
The film is scheduled to be released on Digital HD on August 6, 2019 and on DVD, Bluray, and 4K Ultra HD on August 27, 2019. The 4K release will feature HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision high dynamic range, and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Best Buy will release a retail exclusive of its own for the 4K UHD Combo steelbook release.
As of July 28, 2019, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has grossed $109.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $275.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $385.1 million. The film had a production budget of $170–200 million, and an additional $100–150 million were spent on marketing. It is estimated the film would have needed to gross $550–600 million in order to break-even.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Rocketman and Ma, and was projected to gross $55–65 million from 4,108 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $19.6 million on its first day, including $6.3 million from Thursday night previews, which was lower than the $9.3 million made by the 2014 film but more than Kong: Skull Island's $3.7 million. It went on to debut to $47.8 million, finishing first at the weekend box office but below expectations. Deadline Hollywood said the film "lacked urgency," having debuted its first trailer over a year before the film's release, and not separating its appearance from previous Godzilla films. The film fell 67% in its second weekend to $15.5 million, finishing in fourth, and then to $8.1 million the following weekend, finishing seventh.
Worldwide, the film was initially projected to earn around $180 million from 75 other territories in its opening weekend, for a global total of $230–235 million. It was speculated that the amount could go higher if the film over-performed in China, where it was projected to debut to $75–90 million. The film held early previews in China on May 25, 2019, where it grossed $2.5 million. King of the Monsters made $12.7 million from 51 countries on Thursday and $31.4 million from 75 countries on Friday, for a cume of $48.2 million through Friday. In China, the film grossed $54.15 million through Friday and Saturday. The film ended up grossing a total of $130 million internationally and $177.8 million including North American tallies, far below projections. Its largest markets were China ($70 million), the United Kingdom ($4.4 million), France ($2.6 million) and South Korea ($2.2 million). The film dropped 64% to $47.1 million in its second weekend of international play, for a 10-day running total of $213.7 million.
Cranial scans indicate each of Ghidorah's heads possess different levels of cognitive function and possible independent thought. The middle head is the most intelligent, acting as the alpha, while the left and right heads are more akin to its lackeys.
Mothra was designed to resemble real moths and given longer legs in order to defend herself against other monsters, a quality real moths can do.
Michael Dougherty created Behemoth (which is also a biblical reference) as a companion mammal for Kong, feeling that too many Toho monsters were reptiles or insects. A mammoth was chosen because of Dougherty's fascination with woolly mammoths and because he wanted a big, furry creature that looked like it could have "survived during the Ice Age", elements of sloth and primate were also added to make Behemoth look more than just being a giant mammoth.
Despite there now being 35 Godzilla films since 1954, this film marks the first time Rodan and Adult Mothra have fought.
Rodan's origins are unclear, but he is presumably an ancient creature, due to being depicted in what appears to be an ancient cave painting. Similar paintings exist of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah, suggesting Rodan either appeared alongside them in the past or is prophesied to appear alongside them in the future. According to Monarch, Rodan is spoken of in legends, with his name referenced within many ancient temples in volcanically active regions. In 1991, Rodan was discovered by Monarch in pyrostasis in the magma inside the Isla de Mara volcano in Mexico.
King Ghidorah was the antagonist in an early draft of the script in Godzilla (2014), having crashed in the Arctic during the last Ice Age and being kept frozen in the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Depository (a cover by MONARCH), before escaping and fighting Godzilla in San Francisco. He was removed by Gareth Edwards, who felt that Ghidorah (being extraterrestrial) did not fit the film's "wrath of nature" theme, and to avoid similarities with the popular alien film Transformers (2007). Ghidorah will, however, appear in this film.
According to Monarch Sciences, Ghidorah (like his arch-rival Godzilla) has been alive for centuries and influenced the depiction of numerous mythological creatures (such as the Rainbow Serpent and the Hydra) which were in fact sightings of him. This trait where monsters had inspired humanity to create mystical creatures from the real world is very similar to the cases seen in Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera Trilogy and his Godzilla. There are more claims of similarities between his works and monsters in the previous film. An idea for Ghidorah to battle Godzilla underwater, as seen in the concept arts released at Tokyo Comic-Con, was also originally introduced to the series within Kaneko's work.
Michael Dougherty knew from the beginning that King Ghidorah origin should be off planet. There was a little bit more to the scene where they discover his name and his origin, where it was sort of debated whether he was from space or whether he was created by man. "So originally in that scene it was sort of more open ended, the idea that they still weren't 100 percent sure what the records they discovered were pointing to, but ultimately, we decided to sort of plant our flag in the extraterrestrial concept because I think that's the concept that most Godzilla fans love and embrace. The notion that he is extraterrestrial means that he could be potentially be more disruptive to our ecosystem".
When asked if the "hollow Earth" civilization that prays at Godzilla's altar was new to the mythology, or was it an inversion of something he found going back to the Toho films, co-writer and director Michael Dougherty stated: "If you do go back and look at the entire library, there are sort of occasional references to lost civilizations. I mean, Mothra's followers are a perfect example, and so are Kong's followers. Mothra's egg tends to be housed in a mysterious temple surrounded by a singing and dancing troupe that's always trying to get her to hatch. So these creatures have a long history of being perceived as gods and deities. So it made sense to me that the Alpha of the group himself would also have a history, a deeper connection, to some ancient civilization that figured out how to spark and maintain a sort of symbiotic relationship with him, probably for their own protection. The same way that there are small fish that swim underneath a shark, or the tiny bird that pecks insects off elephants or rhinoceroses, human beings would be the tiny animals that seek protection under a much larger animal that simply puts up with their presence."
Michael Dougherty revealed in an interview that Dr. Ilene and her twin are very much the Shobijin. And this would would have been revealed in a credits scene - that unfortunately didn't get made because they ran out of time - where the the adult twins would enter an ancient temple where a new set of five-year-old twins would be singing to the new Mothra egg that was mentioned in the credits.
Mothra arrives later to the Final Battle despite being last seen around Godzilla's location and being capable of flight. The credits reveal at some point she laid an egg before joining the final battle. This was confirmed by Doughty on twitter to be the case.
Monarch's cryptid profile describes Mothra's origins as follows: "From erased Nazca lines to the hidden Temple of the Moth, the name "Mothra" is woven throughout the most secret mythologies of our planet. The folklore and fairy tales tell of a winged creature of blinding light, an angel of the clouds whose god-like luminescence has the power to shatter the sky. Ancient spirit tablets discovered in the mountain jungles of the Yunnan Province portray a giant winged alpha of the Lepidoptera order. In all of our findings, human civilization is pictographically shown in poses that imply deification of the so-called "Queen of the Monsters", suggesting that the creature was once a benign part of the natural order. When Monarch containment crews discovered the live Titan chrysalis within the Chinese myth site, Dr. Emma Russell was quickly dispatched to closely monitor the creature that lay dormant within it. A quickening sonar pulse suggests the creature is awakening. If she ever emerges from her ancient slumber, a superspecies that once illuminated the sky will be reborn as Mothra. Pupal DNA samples suggest a remarkable, multi-stage evolution. On reaching adulthood, Mothra's gigantic thorax is capable of emitting beta-wave bioluminescence which can be projected through the intricate patterns on its wings and weaponized into blinding "god rays". As one of the deadliest and most beautiful natural phenomena in Earth's history, no wonder this devastating guardian angel was worshipped as a goddess by the ancient human civilization blessed to witness her."
During a slideshow montage of all the numerous Titans that Monarch knows about, the scientific name shown for Kong is Megaprimatus Kong, which was his scientific name in supplementary material of King Kong (2005).
Mike Dougherty revaled that the right head of Ghidorah is the most-aggressive and bloodthirsty of the three, though that doesn't quite come across. Likely he's the most eager to fight and the smartest in combat. When the middle head roars out a challenge to Godzilla the right head's Quizzical Tilt can be seen as him sizing up his opponent and trying to analyze the situation, and later before Ghidorah flees the Antarctica battle, the right head can be seen spitefully shaking his head. He's also the first to notice important things in battle, such as the speakers in Fenway Park or the electrical transformer.
Godzilla: The Planet Eater (GODZILLA 星を喰う者 Gojira: Hoshi o Kuu Mono, also known as Godzilla Part 3: The Planet Eater) is a 2018 Japanese computer-animated science fiction kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho Animation and animated by Polygon Pictures, in association with Netflix. It is the 34th film in the Godzilla franchise, the 32nd Godzilla film produced by Toho, and the third and final entry in the anime trilogy. It is a sequel to Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and is co-directed by Kōbun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita. The film was released theatrically in Japan on November 9, 2018, and released worldwide on Netflix on January 9, 2019.
Haruo is taken to a remote area by Miana, explaining her people have no concept of hatred and that their concept of life revolves around "winning" (surviving and making life) or "losing" (dying and disappearing). She tells Haruo that he is "losing", and offers to sleep with him before he turns her down in her attempt to undress him. While Haruo assumed Miana was the one who treated his wounds, he learns it was actually her twin sister Maina and ends up sleeping with her. Meanwhile, Miana discovers Metphies telepathically communicating with Endurph, the Exif briefly reveals his plans before capturing her as she telepathically contacts Haruo and Maina.
Metphies later conducts a ritual with his followers in conjunction with Endurph to summon their god, Ghidorah, to defeat Godzilla. Ghidorah manifests as a shadow on Earth and partially through singularities, devouring Metphies's followers and destroying the Aratrum. Ghidorah then proceeds to attack Godzilla, who is helpless against the intangible monster as its heads bite Godzilla and drain his energy. Dr. Martin concludes that Ghidorah's true form exists in another plane of existence and is being guided by someone in their universe, Haruo finding it to be Metphies who had replaced his right eye with the amulet he repaired with the nanometal. Metphies proceeds to reveal that his people devoted themselves to Ghidorah since learning the absolute truth that their universe is finite and fated to destruction, having worked to offer the monster planets to feed on. Proceeding to telepathically assault Haruo, Metphies explains that the human's hatred towards Godzilla made him an ideal offering and tells Haruo that he must submit himself to Ghidorah as its witness to enable its full manifestation.
Maina and Dr. Martin use the Houtuan god's egg to psychically reach Haruo and reveal how to stop Ghidorah, Haruo learning that Metphies orchestrated the deaths of the Tau Ceti e exploration party so they can be "saved". At the same time, Haruo recalls the charm he lost the day he fled from Earth as a boy. Its image of flowers reminds him of his namesake, meaning "Spring", and the power of hope to overcome despair. Haruo then breaks free and cracks Metphies' amulet, causing Ghidorah to become affected by Earth's physics and be ultimately defeated by Godzilla. Metphies dies telling Haruo that Ghidorah will always be watching him as long as he lives.
Time passes as survivors bury their weapons and integrate into Houtua society, with Maina pregnant with Haruo's child. Dr. Martin tells Haruo that he got the last remaining Vulture mech working, having discovered how to use Mechagodzilla's Nanometal in Yuko's body as a tool to rebuild civilization as it was. Haruo's right eye stings, hearing Metphies's voice that this turn of events would ensure Ghidorah's eventual return to their reality. Taking Yuko with him, telling Miana that there are times when people face a day where they choose to fight a losing battle, Haruo provokes Godzilla into destroying him and all traces of the nanometal for the good of Houtua.
In a post-credits scene, one of the twins watches a group of children conduct a ritual honoring Haruo, placing their prayers under an effigy.
(Characters - Japanese - English)
The English dubbed version was produced by Post Haste Digital.
Takayuki Hattori returned to compose the soundtrack, marking it his fifth Godzilla film score. XAI also returned to perform the film's theme song Live and Die.
In May 2018, a teaser poster revealed the film's title, release date, and potential appearance of King Ghidorah. In July 2018, the film's first teaser trailer was released. In September 2018, the film's theatrical poster was released. In October 2018, the full trailer was released.
Godzilla: The Planet Eater premiered as the closing film at the Tokyo International Film Festival on November 3, 2018, and was given a theatrical release in Japan on November 9, 2018. The film was released worldwide on Netflix on January 9, 2019.
The Meg is a 2018 science fiction thriller film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis, and follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long (23 m) Megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
The Walt Disney Studios originally purchased the film rights to the book in the 1990s, but after several years in development hell, the rights landed at Warner Bros. The film was eventually greenlit in 2015. Turteltaub and much of the cast joined by September 2016, and filming began the following month in New Zealand and ended in Sanya City of China in January 2017.
A Chinese-American co-production, The Meg was released in both countries on August 10, 2018, in RealD 3D. It has grossed over $465 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, with some describing it as an entertaining B-movie and others calling it "neither good enough nor bad enough" to be fun.
James "Mac" Mackreides, another crew member at the station, suggests sending Taylor down to attempt a rescue, citing the similarity to his story. Despite Heller's objections, Zhang and Mac decide to travel to Thailand to recruit Taylor anyway. Suyin attempts the rescue herself, but a colossal squid intervenes. Before it can kill her, a massive shark kills it. Agreeing to help, Taylor reaches the trapped submersible, saving Lori and The Wall. However, when the giant shark returns, Toshi sacrifices himself by closing the hatch door and detaching the rescue vessel, allowing Taylor, Lori, and The Wall to escape safely while he diverts the shark's attention to his sub, causing it to be driven into a thermal vent, causing an explosion.
Back at Mana One, the crew discovers that the shark is a Megalodon, the largest shark ever known, believed to be extinct for millions of years. Meanwhile Suyin's daughter goes to the large glass leading to a beautiful underwater view of the ocean, and sees the Megalodon through the glass, and is petrified. When Suyin comes down with Jonas, they see a whale being eaten alive by the massive shark. The crew then realize that it has escaped from the depths of the trench by swimming through a hole in the thermocline created by the thermal vent explosion, briefly raising the temperature enough for it to safely pass. The group decides to track and poison the Megalodon, which they succeed in doing. While injecting the Megalodon with etorphine, Suyin's oxygen mask gets compromised, but Taylor revives her with CPR. Despite initial success, Taylor comments that the teeth don’t match up with the previous attack. Shortly after, a colossal Megalodon emerges from the water and kills The Wall, Heller, and Dr. Zhang, capsizing the boat and devours the smaller Megalodon. The surviving crew returns to Mana One in two dinghies. Morris announces that he has informed local governments and naval forces, but it is out of their hands.
At nightfall, Morris attempts to destroy the Megalodon himself by ordering a helicopter crew to drop modified depth charges at it, citing that the creature's actions could result in lawsuits. He approaches the carcass of the supposed Megalodon in a boat but discovers it's a whale. When the Megalodon approaches, the boat accelerates, causing Morris to fall overboard and be eaten by the Megalodon. Taylor and the remaining Mana One crew discover Morris’ deception and resolve to track and kill the shark, only to realize that it is en route to a crowded beach on the Sanya Bay.
The Megalodon kills several beachgoers before the Mana One crew plays audio of a whale call to divert the shark's attention towards them. Taylor and Suyin attempt to destroy the Megalodon with rigged torpedoes, to no avail, and in the process, Taylor's submersible is severely damaged. Taylor manages to cut the Megalodon with parts of his sub and stab it in the eye with a harpoon. Due to the presence of blood, multiple sharks in the area notice the blood and devour the Megalodon, killing it. During the fight, Suyin was able to evacuate everyone to a boat where a Chinese couple is getting married. Taylor gets on the boat, and he and Suyin consider taking a vacation.
The rights to the novel were initially acquired by Disney's Hollywood Pictures in 1996. Around that time, Tom Wheeler was hired to adapt the book into a screenplay, but, having decided that his script wasn't good enough, the studio hired Jeffrey Boam to write a new draft. Boam's script was later rejected for the same reason. By 1999 the project had stalled and the rights reverted back to Steve Alten, the book's author.
In 2005, reports surfaced that the project was being developed by New Line Cinema, with an estimated budget of $75 million, and a slated release of summer 2006. Names attached to the production included Jan de Bont as director, Guillermo Del Toro as producer and Shane Salerno as screenwriter. However, New Line later cancelled the project due to budgetary concerns. The rights reverted to Alten again, but the film remained in development hell.
In 2015, it was announced that the film was now moving forward at Warner Bros., with a new script written by Dean Georgaris. By June of that year, Eli Roth was reported to be in talks to direct, but, due to creative differences, Roth was replaced by Jon Turteltaub in early 2016. Jason Statham and much of the cast joined in August and September 2016.
Principal photography on the film began on October 13, 2016 in West Auckland, New Zealand. Filming ended on January 4, 2017 in Sanya City of Hainan, China.
Released by Gravity Pictures in China and by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States, The Meg was originally scheduled to open March 2, 2018. Warner and Gravity then said that the film would be released during the 2018 Chinese New Year period in China, a week-long annual holiday that kicked off on February 16, 2018. The film was later pushed back to its eventual date of August 10, 2018, in 3D and IMAX.
The first official trailer was released on April 9, 2018. The studio spent $140 million on global prints and advertisement for the film.
As of September 23, 2018, The Meg has grossed $140.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $377.3 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $517.7 million. With a production budget between $130–178 million, and another $140 million spent on advertisement, the film needed to gross at least $400 million in order to break-even.
In the United States and Canada, The Meg was released alongside Slender Man and BlacKkKlansman, and was originally projected to gross $20–22 million from 4,118 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $4 million from Thursday night previews, leading analysts to predict it would outperform its low-$20 million projections. After making $16.5 million on its first day, weekend estimates were raised to $40 million. It went on to debut to $45.4 million, topping the box office and marking the best solo opening of Statham's career, as well as Turteltaub. It made $21.5 million in its second weekend and $13 million in its third, finishing second behind Crazy Rich Asians both times.
In other territories, the film debuted to $101.5 million from 96 countries, for a worldwide opening of $146.9 million. In China, a co-producer of the film, it grossed $50.3 million from 12,650 screens, ranked 3 in the opening weekend. Other top openings were Mexico ($6.2 million), Russia ($5 million), the United Kingdom ($4.4 million), Spain ($2.4 million) and the Philippines ($2 million).
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (GODZILLA 決戦機動増殖都市 Gojira: Kessen Kidō Zōshoku Toshi, also known as Godzilla Part 2: City on the Edge of Battle) is a 2018 Japanese computer-animated science fiction kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho Animation and animated by Polygon Pictures, in association with Netflix. It is the 33rd film in the Godzilla franchise, the 31st Godzilla film produced by Toho, and the second entry in the anime trilogy. It is a sequel to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and is co-directed by Kōbun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita. The film was released theatrically in Japan on May 18, 2018 and released worldwide on Netflix on July 18, 2018.
They are then attacked by a pack of Servums, but Metphies arrives with some other survivors and drives them off.
Galu-Gu explains that the nanotechnology that built Mechagodzilla somehow survived and in the past 20,000 years, it has steadily self-replicated and expanded itself. With this fact, the Bilusaludo tell Haruo and the rest that they can win against Godzilla with the nanometal, which prompts Haruo and the rest of the crew to remain on Earth and continue the original plan to defeat Godzilla. They manage to make contact with the Aratrum, which takes the few crew members who wished to leave and agrees to stay in orbit. Tracing the source of an energy signature they detected, they discover the nano-materials have rebuilt the former facility that held Mechagodzilla, which Galu-Gu dubs as "Mechagodzilla City".
The twins part ways, but warn Haruo that the nanometal is toxic; the Bilusaludo assure the group that the technology is harmless to them. The team soon discovers that even though Mechagodzilla was destroyed, half of its head survived and has reconstructed and expanded the original facility it was held in. Galu-Gu manages to gain access to Mechagodzilla's surviving brain and has it build all necessary materials for them to use in order to trap Godzilla within the city, then cover it with nanometal, before finishing it off with EMP harpoons.
Godzilla awakens and quickly advances on the city, which forces Galu-Gu to sacrifice the city's defenses in order to divert power to finish building the harpoon. Haruo, Yuko, and Belu-be battle Godzilla with aerial Vulture suits in order to slow it down. The trio managed to hold Godzilla long enough for the city to complete its construction and proceed to lure Godzilla into the trap. Godzilla survives the attack and overheats the facility. Galu-Gu refuses to lose and decides to fuse with the nanometal.
While the remaining Bilusaludo embrace the fusion, the humans are appalled by it and escape the city. The three Vultures begin to fuse with their pilots, against Yuko's will. To Galu-Gu's bewilderment, the nanometal seems to have no effect on Haruo and fails to assimilate him. Metphies warns Haruo that if it is not stopped, Mechagodzilla City will consume the entire planet. Galu-Gu argues that in order to defeat Godzilla, they must become greater than humanity. Haruo is conflicted, but ultimately chooses to win the battle with his humanity intact. He destroys the command center, along with Galu-Gu, which deactivates the nanometal but sets Godzilla free, who proceeds to destroy the city. Haruo tends to Yuko, who is unable to wake from her comatose state, while the surviving humans hide in a cave with Metphies as everything burns around them.
In a post-credits scene that flashes back to an earlier scene, Metphies explains to Haruo that a monster, more powerful than Godzilla, destroyed his planet, and reveals that the monster's name is "Ghidorah"
(Characters - Japanese - English)
The second installment in the anime trilogy was announced in a second post-credits scene in the theatrical release of the film revealing the film's Japanese title, poster featuring Mechagodzilla and the film's 2018 release date. The film's Japanese title was revealed as Gojira: Kessen Kidō Zōshoku Toshi (translations varied from Godzilla: Battle Mobile Breeding City to Godzilla: The City Mechanized for the Final Battle), while the English title was later revealed as Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. In March 2018, the film's official website revealed a new poster, plot details, and that singer XAI will return to perform the film's theme song The Sky Falls. The English dub was produced by Post Haste Digital.
Takayuki Hattori will return to compose the soundtrack, marking it his fourth Godzilla film score. XAI will also return to perform the film's theme song The Sky Falls. On his work on the film, Hattori stated:
"18 years after Godzilla 2000, I am glad to be back in the world of the new Godzilla which was opened by Shin Godzilla. This is the first animated film in the history of Godzilla, and I am excited to be able to take on the challenge while at the same time I feel it is a very big mission. I think this will be a Godzilla movie that you can’t possibly imagine. I expressed in music my own feelings about the characters and the overwhelming presence of Godzilla created by the two directors, Mr. Shizuno and Mr. Seshita." - Takayuki Hattori, Toho Press Notes
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle was given a theatrical release in Japan on May 18, 2018 and released worldwide on Netflix on July 18, 2018.
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle was released in 158 theaters in Japan and reached eighth place at the box office.
In May 2018, a teaser poster was released for the third and final film in the anime trilogy, titled Godzilla: The Planet Eater. The poster also hints at the appearance of King Ghidorah, whose name is spoken within the movie, and revealed the film is scheduled for a November 9, 2018 release.
Rampage is a 2018 American science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton, and loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It follows a primatologist named Davis Okoye, who must team up with George, a white gorilla who turns into a raging creature of enormous size following a rogue experiment, in order to stop two other giant monsters. It is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015).
Principal photography began in April 2017 in Chicago. The film was released in the United States on April 13, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema, in 2D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats. It has grossed $286 million worldwide, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2018. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Johnson and Morgan's performances and the visual effects, and disapproval of the writing and faithlessness to the source material; it is the best reviewed video game film of all-time, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
She had hoped to advance CRISPR research as a potential cure for disease but discovered that Energyne planned to use it as a biological weapon. The company fired her and sent her to prison for attempting to expose them. George escapes from captivity and goes on a rampage at the preserve. Davis calms him down, but George is captured by a government team led by Agent Harvey Russell and is put on a plane. Meanwhile, Claire and her brother Brett send a squad of mercenaries led by Burke to capture the mutated wolf, Ralph, but they are all killed.
Claire, hoping to capture Ralph and use George to kill Kate so they can cover up their plans, uses a massive transmitter atop the Willis Tower to lure the animals, who have been engineered to respond aggressively to a certain sound frequency, to Chicago. George reacts violently to the sound and crashes the plane. Davis, Kate and Agent Russell manage to parachute from the plane before it crashes. George, who survived the crash, joins Ralph as they make their way to Chicago. Davis and Kate convince Russell to help them steal a helicopter so they can get ahead of George.
By the time they arrive, George and Ralph are attacking the city. The military are overwhelmed when the mutated crocodile, Lizzie, arrives and causes more casualties. Davis and Kate attempt to steal a serum with the hope they can turn the mutated animals back to normal. They are able to reach Energyne headquarters at the Willis Tower and steal a handful of serums, but they are caught by Claire and Brett. Claire reveals that the serum only eliminates the animals' aggressiveness rather than revert them to their normal sizes, and she shoots Davis, though he survives. When George climbs up to the top of the building and causes chaos, Claire orders Davis to distract him while she attempts to escape with Kate held at gunpoint. During the escape, Kate slips the serum into Claire's handbag and pushes her towards George, who eats the terrorist alive, and thus the serum. George and the other animals destroy the transmitter, and consequently, the entire building topples to the ground, which Davis and Kate survive by hovering in a damaged helicopter over the falling building.
With George returned to his normal personality, Davis stays to help him defeat the other two animals while Kate flees to prevent the military from dropping a MOAB bomb on the city. Russell is able to take a laptop of incriminating evidence from Brett before the latter is crushed by falling rubble. George and Davis trick Ralph into flying into Lizzie's jaws, which decapitate him, then George kills Lizzie by impaling her with a metal bar. With the threat neutralized, the airstrike is called off, and George helps in clearing the city of debris.
Warner Bros. acquired the film adaptation rights to the 1986 arcade game Rampage in 2009, as part of their acquisition of Midway Games for $33 million. The project was announced in November 2011, with John Rickard set as a producer. In June 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Dwayne Johnson was set to star, re-teaming with New Line and producer Beau Flynn, while the studio was looking for a director to start production in mid-2016. In July, it was reported that New Line was in talks with Brad Peyton to direct and produce. Peyton later stated that the film would "be a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you'd expect." Between January and July 2017, the rest of the supporting cast was assembled.
Principal photography on the film began on April 17, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. The film also shot in Atlanta, Georgia.
The visual effects were primarily provided by Weta Digital. Effects supervisor Erik Winquist and a small crew travelled to Chicago to create a better model of the Chicago Loop that would be destroyed in the climactic battle, learning the building materials and architecture styles. Up to 15,000 photographs were taken with 3D scanners, while motion cameras covered downtown Chicago. As reference for the building destruction, the artists studied both the World Trade Center attacks and implosions of buildings affected by the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in Weta's hometown of Wellington. Given Weta had plenty of experience creating animated apes in King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its sequels, it helped the studio create George "in a much shorter time than it may have 10 years ago," according to Winquist. Motion capture coach Terry Notary even took a break from Avengers: Infinity War, which was also filmed in Atlanta, to help Jason Liles in his performance as George. On the other hand, the lack of motion capture for Ralph and Lizzie let the animators go loose with how these monsters were portrayed, such as "a wolf that has porcupine spines and wings".
Rampage was released on April 13, 2018, in 3D and IMAX, by Warner Bros. Pictures, after initially being set for release a week later, on April 20. The release date was moved up after Avengers: Infinity War had also shifted its release up by a week, to April 27, so as to provide Rampage with a two-week cushion. The film was coincidently released 3 weeks after Pacific Rim Uprising, another American Kaiju film.
As part of the promotion, a new version of the arcade game, playing more as a redemption game, was made available on Dave & Buster's.
Rampage grossed $99.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $326.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $426.2 million, against combined production and marketing budget of around $260 million.
In the United States and Canada, Rampage was released alongside the openings of Truth or Dare and Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, as well as the wide expansion of Isle of Dogs, and was projected to gross $35–$40 million from 3,950 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $11.5 million on its first day (including $2.4 million from Thursday night previews), $13.9 million on Saturday, and a total of $34.5 million over the weekend, finishing first at the box office. Like many films starring Johnson, the audience demographics were diverse, with 43% being Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 19% African American and 14% Asian. The film dropped 41% in its sophomore weekend to $21 million, finishing second behind A Quiet Place, which was in its third week. In its third weekend the film fell 64% to $7.1 million, finishing fourth. It fell 35% in its fourth weekend, grossing $4.6 million and finishing fifth. In its fifth weekend it fell just 27% and grossed $3.3 million and finished seventh.
Internationally, the film opened day-in-date in 41 markets, and made $25.4 million over its first two days. In China, where it was projected to have a $60 million debut, it made $15.7 million in its first day, the third-ever highest for a Warner Bros. film. It went on to have a foreign debut of $114.1 million (for a global total of $148.6 million) in 61 countries. Its top markets were China ($55 million), the UK ($5.7 million), Korea ($5.7 million), Mexico ($4.8 million) and Malaysia ($3.5 million). In its second weekend overseas, it again topped the international box office with $57 million crossing $200 million, in which China brings $106 million alone. In China it grossed $27 million in its sophomore weekend dropping 50%, but nonetheless topped the box office. In its third frame overseas, it fell 72.6% and grossed $16.2 million from 61 markets. In its fourth weekend overseas, it grossed $13.7 million from 63 markets. In France it opened at No.2 behind Infinity War with $2.3M. In China it has grossed $156 million to make it Warner Bros.' second-biggest film ever in the market. It fell just 6% in France in its second weekend and has a total gross of $4.8 million. It opened in Germany with $1.6 million and ranking No.2 at the box office. As of May 20, the film's largest markets after China were Mexico ($12.8 million), United Kingdom ($12.4 million), Korea ($11.2 million) and Malaysia ($7.9 million). It opens in Japan on May 18 as its final market. The film was released in Japan on May 18, 2018 and debuted to $1.8 million.
In an April 14, 2018, interview, director Brad Peyton was asked if the rat in the beginning of the film was based on Larry from the Atari Lynx port of the original game. Peyton responded, "We didn't name him Larry, but I'm going to use that, if there is a sequel, I'm going to make the rat's name Larry."
Pacific Rim: Uprising is a 2018 American science fiction film directed by Steven S. DeKnight (in his feature-film directorial debut) and written by DeKnight, Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin. It is the sequel to the 2013 film Pacific Rim, with Guillermo del Toro, the director of the original, serving as a producer. The sequel stars John Boyega (also making his producer debut), as well as Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, and Zhang Jin, with Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Burn Gorman returning from the original film. Set in the year 2035, the plot follows humanity again fighting Kaiju, giant monsters set on destroying the world.
Principal photography began in November 2016 in Australia. The film was released in the United States on March 23, 2018, by Universal Pictures, in 2D, Real D 3D, IMAX 3D and IMAX, and has grossed $266 million worldwide, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 2018. It received mixed reviews from critics; with some calling the film inferior to del Toro's first film and a "tedious watch", criticizing the script, humor and direction, and others praising it as "fun, goofy entertainment", while praising the visual effects and performances of Boyega and Spaeny.
Jake and Nate travel to the area in their own Jaeger, but Obsidian Fury destroys the complex and engages them in battle. Upon destroying its reactor, they find that Obsidian Fury was controlled by a Kaiju's secondary brain, which testing shows was grown on Earth.
When the drones reach their respective locations, they are taken over by cloned Kaiju brains and simultaneously attack Shatterdomes worldwide, inflicting heavy casualties on the PPDC forces and incapacitating almost all Jaegers. Hermann Gottlieb seeks out Geiszler for help, only to discover that Geiszler is the mastermind behind the attack. Geiszler’s mind has been taken over by the Precursors, the alien race who created the Kaiju, due to his regularly drifting with Kaiju brains. Seeking to destroy the world for the Precursors, Geiszler, now the Precursor Emissary, commands the drone-Kaiju hybrids to open new breaches all over the world.
Although Shao is able to destroy the hybrids, three powerful Kaiju - Raijin, Hakuja and Shrikethorn - emerge from the breaches and unite in Tokyo. The team realizes that the Precursors' goal is to activate the Ring of Fire by detonating Mount Fuji with the Kaiju's chemically reactive blood, spreading toxic gas into the atmosphere and wiping out all life on Earth, terraforming the planet for Precursor colonization.
The cadets are mobilized while Gottlieb and Shao repair the PPDC's four remaining Jaegers; Gottlieb invents Kaiju-blood-powered rockets, which launch the team to Tokyo. Although the Jaegers initially repel the Kaiju, the Precursor Emissary merges them into one gigantic beast that quickly overpowers the team, killing Suresh, wounding Nate, and leaving Gipsy Avenger the only operational Jaeger. Jake and Amara pilot it against the "Mega Kaiju," with Shao remote piloting Amara's small, single-pilot Jaeger Scrapper aiding them by locating and welding a rocket to "Gipsy's" right hand and sending the larger Jaeger into the Mega Kaiju which kills the creature. Jake and Amara survives by transferring into "Scrapper" prior to the collision. Nate takes the Precursor Emissary into custody.
The captive Precursor Emissary threatens that his masters will attack the world over and over again. Jake replies that next time, humanity will be the ones attacking the Precursors.
In 2012, prior to the first film's release, del Toro noted that he had ideas for a sequel, noting in 2014 that he had been working on a script with Zak Penn for several months. In June 2014, del Toro stated that he would direct the sequel, and that it would be released by Universal Pictures, Legendary's new financing and distribution partner, on April 7, 2017. In July 2015, it was reported that filming was expected to begin in November, though production was halted following conflicts between Universal and Legendary. As the sequel's future became unclear, Universal indefinitely delayed the film. Still determined to have the film made, del Toro kept working and by that October announced that he had presented the studio with a script and a budget.
After the sale of Legendary to Chinese Wanda Group for $3.5 billion, observers noted an increased likelihood of Pacific Rim 2's production being revitalized because the first film was so successful in China.
In February 2016, the studio, and del Toro himself via Twitter, announced that Steven S. DeKnight would take over directing duties, with a new script written by Jon Spaihts, marking DeKnight's feature directorial debut. del Toro remained on the project as a producer. Derek Connolly was brought in on May 12, 2016, to rewrite the script again.
Cast announcements began in June 2016, with John Boyega accepting a role, and news that Scott Eastwood was in talks appearing later that month. Further announcements took place in September and November. A notable absence from the cast was Charlie Hunnam, who could not join the project because of his scheduling conflicts with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Principal photography on the film began on November 9, 2016, in Australia. On December 14, 2016, the official title was revealed to be Pacific Rim Uprising. In February 2017, three new Jaegers for the film were revealed. On March 8, 2017, filming started in China.Filming was completed on March 30, 2017.
Composer John Paesano was originally slated to be writing the score for the film, replacing the first film's composer Ramin Djawadi. However, in January 2018, it was announced that Paesano had been replaced by Lorne Balfe.
Legendary Comics released Pacific Rim: Aftermath on January 17. 2018. The six-issue comic book series serves as a bridge between the two films.
Pacific Rim Uprising was released on March 23, 2018 in the United States, in 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D, by Universal Pictures. Originally scheduled for release on April 7, 2017, the date was postponed multiple times. The film was pushed back to August 4, 2017, then to February 23, 2018, and one final time to March 23.
Pacific Rim Uprising grossed $59.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $230.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $290.1 million. Due to a production budget between $150–175 million, and at least another $140 million spent on total promotion and advertisement, the film needed to gross at least $350 million worldwide in order to break even.
In the United States and Canada, Pacific Rim Uprising was released alongside Midnight Sun, Sherlock Gnomes, Unsane, and Paul, Apostle of Christ, and was projected to gross $22–29 million from 3,703 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $2.35 million from Thursday night previews, down from the original's $3.5 million, and $10.4 million on its first day (including previews). It went on to debut to $28 million, becoming the first film to dethrone Black Panther (which made $16.7 million in its sixth week) for the top spot. It fell 67% to $9.2 million in its second weekend, finishing 5th.
In Korea, the film ranked first on March 22, with 82,486 admissions. In China, the film opened at number one, grossing $21.36 million on its first day and $25.84 million on its second, for a two-day gross of $48.59 million. It went on to have a debut of $65 million in the country, as well as $6.9 million in Korea, $6.8 million in Russia and $4.9 million in Mexico, for an international opening weekend of $122.5 million.
Pacific Rim Uprising is a springboard for a cinematic universe, where DeKnight revealed "If enough people show up to this, we've already talked about the plot of the third movie, and how the end of the third movie would expand the universe to a Star Wars/Star Trek-style [franchise or series] where you can go in many, many different directions... You can go main canon, you can go spin-offs, you can go one-offs. Yeah, that's the plan." DeKnight also talked about the possibility of a crossover with the MonsterVerse, as co-writer T.S. Nowlin is a member of its writers room.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (GODZILLA 怪獣惑星 Gojira: Kaijū Wakusei, also known as Godzilla Part 1: Planet of the Monsters and Godzilla: Monster Planet for short) is a 2017 Japanese computer-animated science fiction kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho Animation and animated by Polygon Pictures, in association with Netflix. It is the 32nd film in the Godzilla franchise, the 30th Godzilla film produced by Toho, and the first animated film in the franchise. It is the first film in the anime trilogy and is co-directed by Kōbun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita. The film was released theatrically in Japan on November 17, 2017 and released worldwide on Netflix on January 17, 2018.
Metphies, an Exif priest, visits Haruo, where he hands him classified data regarding Godzilla. Haruo anonymously publishes an essay detailing Godzilla's weak points, which convinces the central committee to return to Earth after concluding that finding another habitable planet seems unlikely. Upon returning to Earth, the Aratrum sends recon drones to scout the Earth which reveal that Godzilla is still alive.
Metphies explains to the committee that they cannot co-exist with Godzilla and suggests killing it. He also explains that the anonymous essay was the result of a thorough investigation, promising to reveal the author under the condition that Haruo is released. Haruo is released on bail and explains to the committee that a certain unknown organ in Godzilla's body can emit a high frequency electromagnetic pulse that generates an asymmetrical permeable shield. Haruo proposes shoving an EMP probe within the cracked organ before it regenerates so Godzilla can implode. However, Haruo stresses that close quarters combat would be needed for accurately coordinated attacks in order to find its weak organ, as well as 600 people.
The committee reluctantly accepts Haruo's plan. However, upon landing two battalions on Earth, it is discovered that 20,000 years have passed and that Godzilla's presence has radically altered Earth's biosphere. The battalions are attacked by a group of flying creatures called Servums that exhibit biological similarities to Godzilla, causing critical damage to several of the landing ships. Leland, the company's commander, orders a retreat but Metphies stresses that they would need to rendezvous with Companies D and E through a pass in an area Godzilla frequents.
The group mobilizes and soon encounter Godzilla. Haruo proceeds with the original plan on his own and attacks Godzilla. Leland manages to provoke Godzilla to use its atomic breath, but at the cost of his life. Leland's actions reveal that Godzilla's weak point is its dorsal fins. Command falls to Metphies, who promotes Haruo to commander. In a speech, Haruo convinces the remaining survivors to continue with the plan and defeat Godzilla.
The group attacks Godzilla and manage to trap it within a collapsed mountain pass. EMP probes are drilled into Godzilla's dorsal fins which causes it to implode. Commenting after the apparent victory, the group's environmental biologist Martin Lazzari theorizes that this Godzilla may be different from the one that drove humanity away, believing it to be an offspring. Subsequently, the original Godzilla, which has grown exponentially to 300m in height, emerges from beneath a nearby mountain and destroys most of the remaining crew. Trapped beneath rubble, Haruo watches Godzilla leave, vowing to kill it.
In a post-credits scene, Haruo wakes up in a secluded area, finding an indigenous girl next to him.
(Characters - Japanese - English)
In August 2016, Toho announced that an animated Godzilla film was being developed, targeted for a 2017 release. Gen Urobuchi is the writer, and Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita are the directors. The film is animated by Polygon Pictures. In January 2017, Urobuchi announced the main cast who will star the film on his twitter account. In March 26, 2017, Toho announced that the film would be the first film in a new trilogy.
About the production, co-director Shizuno stated, "From the start, we had the blessing of Toho to not be constrained by previous entries in the franchise, and with the freedom of imagination offered by animation I feel we have come up with a cool new form for Godzilla." On Godzilla's new design, co-director Seshita stated, "With his masses of muscle fibers and unique body tissue to support his enormous bulk, this is an extraordinarily rugged-looking physique. It was an overwhelming presence that reverberated through the whole project, like a fearsome deity that even we who created it must prostrate ourselves before. That is our Godzilla."
A stage event for the film was held at AnimeJapan 2017 on March 26, 2017. The film's directors are scheduled to attend the Annecy International Animation Film Festival to reveal more details regarding the film. In June 2017, a new poster detailing Godzilla's design was revealed with the tagline "Despair Evolves". On August 16, 2017, a new trailer and poster were released with the tagline "Who will go extinct — humans, or Godzilla?"
In March 2017, it was announced that the film will be streamed in 190 countries via Netflix following the film's Japanese theatrical release. Greg Peters, President of Netflix Japan stated, "Working with the best creators such as Toho in bringing Godzilla to Netflix users in over 190 countries marks a major milestone for us". That same month, a teaser poster revealed that the film will be released theatrically in Japan on November 17, 2017.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters reached #3 at the box office on its opening weekend, earning ¥103 million from 71,200 admissions within two days and is projected to earn an additional ¥500 million.
Brian Ashcraft of the Kotaku website felt that the characters "aren’t all that interesting" but did state that the "anime version of Godzilla is surprisingly effective and frightening" and that despite his complaints, the "overall experience was good" and "It’s not a perfect picture, but it was a powerful proof of concept: Godzilla works as an anime." Matt Schley from The Japan Times praised the film's CG animation, stating, "even skeptics will admit the 3-D version of the king of the monsters looks pretty darn cool" but felt the film wasn't "nearly as thematically ambitious as its predecessor" and concluded by stating, "But still, with its impressive 3-D animation and action sequences, 'Planet of the Monsters' has the makings of something interesting."
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is the first film in a planned trilogy. The second film in the trilogy, titled Gojira: Kessen Kidō Zōshoku Toshi, (translations vary from Godzilla: Battle Mobile Breeding City to Godzilla: The City Mechanized for the Final Battle) is scheduled to be released in May 2018 and set to feature Mechagodzilla.
This is the first animated Godzilla film, but not the first animated adaptation of the franchise. The first was an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1978. A series of four educational OVAs titled Get Going! Godzilland that featured Godzilla and several other monsters were released in 1994 and 1996. Another American animated series, this time based on the 1998 American Godzilla film, ran from 1998 to 2000.
Released theatrically in Japan, distributed through Netflix's online service in other regions. This in theory allows for a wider distribution, since most Japanese films only get very limited and often belated releases internationally. For example the franchise's previous Japanese entry, Shin Godzilla (2016) was a blockbuster hit in its home, but it was only screened in a few foreign territories, mostly as a limited theatrical run, and in some cases over a year after its original release.
Originally envisioned as an anime series, but the success of Shin Godzilla (2016)'s Japanese theatrical release convinced the creators to combine the narrative into a trilogy of movies and put them into cinemas in Japan.
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, and Derek Connolly from a story by John Gatins. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and serves as the second film in Legendary's MonsterVerse. The film stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, and John C. Reilly. The film follows a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific and encounter terrifying creatures and the mighty Kong.
Principal photography took place from October 2015 to March 2016 in Hawaii and various locations around Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island premiered on February 28, 2017, in London and was released in the United States on March 10, 2017, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and in Dolby Cinemas. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $566 million worldwide against its $185 million budget. A crossover sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, is set for release on May 22, 2020.
Packard regroups with some of the scattered survivors, including his door gunner Reles, pilot Glenn Mills, Cole, Landsat employee Steve Woodward, and Randa. After being confronted by Packard, Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch, which was trying to prove the existence of monsters and determine their threat to humanity. The other survivors (Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko, and Landsat employee Victor Nieves) try to get to a rendezvous point to meet a resupply team arriving in three days' time. They encounter the local Iwi natives and an older Marlow. He reveals that the ape is Kong, the island's guardian, worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting the island's inhabitants from many predators, including reptilian underground monsters dubbed "Skullcrawlers". He informs them that Kong attacked and destroyed the air unit because their seismology explosives would bring the Skullcrawlers to the surface, and they are responsible for killing Kong's ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. He also tells them that he and Ikari became friends, but Ikari was killed by a Skullcrawler some time ago.
Packard's group begins making their way to Chapman, whose helicopter crash-landed elsewhere. Meanwhile, Chapman is ambushed and eaten by a Skullcrawler. Conrad's group helps Marlow complete a boat built from parts scavenged from Marlow and Ikari's downed planes. They ride the boat down the river, and manage to secure communication with Packard's group, but the boat is attacked by pterosaur-like creatures which kill Nieves. They regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, though his true objective is to find and kill Kong, who he perceives as an enemy due to killing his men.
Marlow leads the two groups to a mass grave littered with the bones of Kong's kin. There, the same Skullcrawler that killed Chapman attacks the group, killing Randa and many soldiers before dying in a flammable gas explosion triggered by Weaver. Learning about Chapman's death, a vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and becomes even more determined to kill him. The two groups part ways, with Packard's group laying a trap for Kong, while the non-military personnel head back to the boat. While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and, seeing his true benevolent nature, they resolve to save him.
As Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong, Packard's group uses the remaining seismic explosives to lure him in. Kong charges to the lake, where they manage to incapacitate him with ignited napalm, though Woodward is killed. Conrad's group arrives and persuades the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard refuses to stand down. A massive Skullcrawler emerges from the lake and Packard is crushed to death by a recovering Kong. The Skullcrawler overpowers Kong and chases the humans. Cole is killed in a failed suicide bomb attempt to kill it, but Kong returns to rescue the others and battles the beast. Weaver gets knocked into the marsh during the fight but Kong saves her from drowning. Then, he kills the Skullcrawler by ripping out its innards and allows the survivors to leave the island.
During the credits, Marlow returns home, reuniting with his wife, meeting his son for the first time, and watching a Chicago Cubs game on television. In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are detained by Monarch and informed by Brooks and San that Skull Island is just the beginning and that Kong is not the only monster king to roam the world. As proof, they are shown archive footage of cave paintings depicting Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah.
Initially announced by Legendary Pictures at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, Universal Pictures was to be the distributor. The job of distribution would, however in 2015 move to Warner Brothers in order for them to make a King Kong-Godzilla crossover film.
Legendary offered Joe Cornish the job of directing the film, while previous King Kong helmer Peter Jackson suggested Guillermo del Toro. In September 2014, the studio announced that Jordan Vogt-Roberts would direct the film.
The script saw a number of screenwriters attached before filming. Seeking the continuity between the King Kong and Godzilla worlds, Max Borenstein (writer of 2014's Godzilla) wrote the first draft, while John Gatins was hired to write the second draft. Borenstein's initial influence was Apocalypse Now, revealing, "What popped into my head for the paradigm of the movie was Apocalypse Now. That’s obviously a war movie, but I liked the idea of people moving upriver to face a misunderstood force that they think of as a villain, but ultimately they come to realize is much more complicated." It was later revealed that Dan Gilroy had also collaborated on the Borenstein and Gatins draft. On August 18, 2015, it was confirmed that Derek Connolly was also doing script rewrites. Borenstein worked a final pass on the screenplay before shooting began, and credited the screenplay to all of the writers, saying, "It was definitely collaborative in terms of what’s on the screen, though none of us worked together. There are pieces of my work in there as well as the work of the other two writers and John Gatins, who was credited for story. Everybody had a really good hand in it."
In April 2016, artist Joe DeVito sued producers of the film for using elements of his Skull Island universe, which he claimed that he created and the producers used without his permission.
Director Vogt-Roberts stated that he wanted Kong to look simple and iconic enough that a third grader could draw him, and the image would still be recognizable. Vogt-Roberts also wanted Kong to feel like a "lonely god, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island," and took the design back to the 1933 incarnation, where Kong was presented as a "bipedal creature that walks in an upright position." Vogt-Roberts additionally stated, "If anything, our Kong is meant to be a throwback to the ’33 version. [Kong] was a movie monster, so we worked really hard to take some of the elements of the ’33 version, some of those exaggerated features, some of those cartoonish and iconic qualities, and then make them their own…We created something that to some degree served as a throwback to the inspiration for what started all of this, but then also [had] it be a fully unique and different creature that — I would like to think — is fully contained and identifiable as the 2017 version of King Kong. I think there are very modern elements to him, yet hopefully he feels very timeless at the same time."
Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke helped influence the design and approach of the monsters, Vogt-Roberts stated, "Miyazaki[‘s] Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that. So a big thing [was] trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful and horrifying at the same time." However, biophysical analysis of Kong and other creatures concludes that although biophysically they are viable, the ecosystem of the island could not support them.
The two-armed pit lizard from the 1933 King Kong film was used as a reference for the Skullcrawlers. They were also inspired by a number of other cinematic creatures; Vogt-Roberts stated, "That creature, beyond being a reference to a creature from the 1933 film, is also this crazy fusion of all of the influences throughout my life – like the first angel from Evangelion, and No-Face from Spirited Away, and Cubone from Pokémon."
At the same time of the announcement of Vogt-Roberts as director, the studio also announced that Tom Hiddleston would play the lead role. For a time both, JK Simmons and Michael Keaton were attached to roles however both left due to scheduling difficulties. . On July 23, 2015, Brie Larson was cast in the film to play the female lead. On August 5, 2015, it was announced that Corey Hawkins was cast in the film to play a supporting role. On August 6, 2015, Deadline.com reported that the studio was in early talks with Samuel L. Jackson to replace the role which Simmons vacated, while John C. Reilly was being eyed for Keaton's role, but not offered it yet. Tom Wilkinson was also offered a role in the film.
On August 20, 2015, Toby Kebbell joined the cast of the film, while Jackson and Reilly were confirmed for roles. On August 25, 2015, Jason Mitchell joined the cast, to play a pilot. On September 25, 2015, John Goodman was cast to play Randa, a government official and leader of an expedition, and Thomas Mann was also cast. On October 1, 2015, John Ortiz and Shea Whigham were added to the cast in unspecified roles. On October 13, 2015, Eugene Cordero joined the film, and on November 2, 2015, it was announced Will Brittain had joined the cast, portraying a pilot, in one of the last key leads in the film. In May 2016, Toby Kebbell revealed that Terry Notary would portray Kong through motion capture, and that Kebbell provided some guidance for Kong's motion capture sequences.
Principal photography on the film began on October 19, 2015, and concluded on March 18, 2016. Filming took place in the northern portion of Vietnam, including Tràng An, Vân Long and Tam Cốc (Ninh Bình Province), Hạ Long Bay (Quảng Ninh Province), and at the entrance of Tú Làn Caves System (Tân Hoá, Trung Hoá Village, Minh Hoá District Quảng Bình Province), the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and Australia's Gold Coast. Locations included Honolulu's Chinatown, and at the Kualoa Ranch and Waikane Valley (Ohulehule Forest Conservancy) on Oahu. In mid-January 2016, filming started in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Vogt-Roberts has cited a number of films that inspired Kong: Skull Island, stating, "If I were going to break it down for people, I’d say you obviously have Apocalypse Now and just the era of ‘70s filmmaking, with films like The Conversation, too. Also Platoon was an inspiration, and the South Korean film The Host as well. The entire Neon Genesis Evangelion series was a big influence." Vogt-Roberts also cited Princess Mononoke as an influence on the approach and design of the monsters. He cited Sachiel from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cubone from Pokémon, No-Face from Spirited Away, and a creature from the 1933 King Kong as inspirations for the Skullcrawlers.
The film's score was composed by Henry Jackman. To fit the '70s period of the film, Jackman blended '70s psychedelic guitars into the score. Regarding the music used in the film, Vogt-Roberts stated, "I wanted to use songs from the Vietnam era and a myriad of hits from the '70s... this provides a striking dichotomy, sets the tone and gives us great moments of fun."
Kong: Skull Island was originally set for a November 4, 2016, release, but in December 2014, the date was moved from November 4, 2016 to March 10, 2017. The new release date coincides with the franchise's 84th anniversary. It was released in 3D and IMAX 3D, as well as in Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range, and Dolby Atmos sound in Dolby Cinemas. The film premiered at the Cineworld Empire Leicester Square in London on February 28, 2017.
Kong: Skull Island has grossed $168 million in the United States and Canada and $398.6 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $566.6 million. Made on a production budget of $185 million, with about $136 million more spent on global marketing costs, the film needed to make at least $450–500 million worldwide in order to break even.
In the United States and Canada, Kong: Skull Island was projected to gross $40–50 million in its opening weekend, as well as a worldwide debut of $110–135 million. The film made $20.2 million on its first day from 3,846 theaters, including $3.7 million it made from Thursday night previews. In total, the film earned a better-than-expected $61 million on its opening weekend, defying the film's initial projection by 35%. In IMAX, it made $7.6 million from 382 theaters, repping 12.5% of the film's total opening weekend. In its second weekend the film grossed $27.8 million (a drop of 54.4%), finishing second at the box office behind newcomer Beauty and the Beast.
Internationally, the film debuted with $85.1 million from 20,900 screens in 65 markets. It opened in every market except Japan and China. In IMAX, the film scored the fourth-biggest March release with $4.8 million from 672 theaters (the second biggest without China in it). The biggest openings came from the United Kingdom, Ireland ($7.6 million), South Korea ($7.4 million), Russia ($6.2 million), Mexico ($5.7 million), France ($4.1 million), Taiwan ($3.6 million), Australia ($3.6 million), Brazil ($3.4 million), Germany ($3.4 million), Malaysia ($2.65 million), India ($2.4 million), Spain ($1.6 million) and Italy ($1.6 million), while in Vietnam (where the film was primarily shot and centered on), it scored the biggest opening of all time there with $2.5 million. This was a week following a huge model of the primate outside the theater caught on fire at the film's premiere. The film would eventually open in China with $71.6 million (its largest international market) and in Japan with $3.5 million, where the film was released as King Kong: Giant God of Skull Island (Kingu Kongu: Dokurotou no Kyoshin). After its overseas run, the film would gross US$398 million internationally.
Kong: Skull Island received generally positive reviews from critics. On the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 300 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune lauded the film, giving it three-and-a-half stars out of four: "I saw little in [Vogt-Roberts'] first feature to indicate the deftness and buoyant spirit he brings to Skull Island. This time, the money's on the screen, but it bought a really good movie, too." Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a positive review, noting, "Kong: Skull Island is still a hoot. It was a movie that was not at all on my radar as something I was dying to see and yet I had way too much fun watching it. I just wished it had embraced its craziness just a little bit more. (But, yes, there’s still plenty of crazy to go around.)" Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review as well, stating that "all the requisite elements are served up here in ideal proportion, and the time just flies by, which can rarely be said for films of this nature." Kyle Anderson of Nerdist News found the film entertaining but flawed, saying, "It's certainly not a perfect movie, and a lot of the characters feel like sketches more than fully-fledged people, but it roars along enjoyably from start to finish." Math Blaster of actionawards.blogspot.com gave the movie 3.5 stars out of 4 praising the films cast and CGI naming the film superior to Godzilla.
Conversely, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film one out of five stars. In his negative review, he described the movie as a "fantastically muddled and exasperatingly dull quasi-update of the King Kong story." Matthew Lickona of The San Diego Reader also gave the film one out of five stars, writing: "It’s fun to watch [the monsters] in action, but on the human side, the film is clumsily written, over-cast and underacted, with only frustrated soldier Samuel L. Jackson striking the right tone of crazy amid the chaos." Chris Klimek of NPR mentions how "Kong is at its mediocre best when it pretends to be a nature documentary about Skull Island's bizarro flora and fauna," but lamented how "every time the movie threatens to get interesting, one of its hordes of ersatz, non-animated characters shows up and starts talking again." Anthony Lane of The New Yorker noted that what the film "yearns to be, is a pop-culture Apocalypse Now, with the human foe removed, the political parable toned down, and the gonzo elements jacked up." J.R. Jones questioned the film's setting, saying "this Jurassic Park knockoff takes place neither in the Depression era, which gave us the original King Kong, nor in the present, when satellite photos would surely alert us to the existence of a 100-foot gorilla. Instead—and for no reason I can fathom, except perhaps the classic-rock tunes desired for the soundtrack—the story takes place in 1973, when the Vietnam war is winding down and President Nixon is being driven from office."
Several critics have commented on Larson's role in the movie, having recently won an Oscar for Room, with Michael Salfino of The Wall Street Journal remarking that "a starring role in a popcorn movie on the heels of a passion project can open up an actor to ridicule."
Kong: Skull Island was released on HD Digital on June 20, 2017, and on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on July 18, 2017. The film debuted at the top of the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart for the week ending on July 23, 2017. As of August 2017, Kong: Skull Island sold $26.7 million worth of DVD's in North America.
The magnificent scenes of mountains, rivers, and grass field were mostly shot in Vietnam (including Ninh Binh and Quang Binh). Jordan Vogt-Roberts and the cast members said they were the most beautiful places that they've ever been.
Sets were built at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, near the same filming locations as Jurassic World (2015).
The names of Marlow and Conrad are likely references to Joseph Conrad and the lead character, Marlow, from Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness. The novella, as well as the Vietnam War film it inspired, Apocalypse Now (1979), are thematic and visual inspirations for this movie. Heart of Darkness was also read by a character in an earlier King Kong (2005).
Marlow's mention of "really big ants that sound like birds" is undoubtedly a reference to Them! (1954), a science fiction film about giant ants. Clips of another 50's sci-fi movie about extra-large insects, The Beginning of the End (1957), are shown in the exposition. The latter movie features grasshoppers filmed walking across a photograph of a building, in an attempt to depict a plague of gigantic insects invading Chicago.
The Sker Buffalo resembles a larger version of a Yak but its horns resemble moose antlers and it bears close similarities to Cape Buffalo and the Philippine Water Buffalo (also known as a carabao).
Actor and stuntman Terry Notary motion-captures an ape in both this and the "Planet of the Apes" series where he plays Rocket.
Toby Kebbell did motion capture work as an ape (Koba) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) with Andy Serkis, who did motion capture work as Caesar. Andy Serkis played King Kong in King Kong (2005).
Colossal is a 2016 science fiction black comedy film directed and written by Nacho Vigalondo. The film stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson, telling a story about Gloria, an unemployed young writer played by Hathaway, who is unwittingly causing a giant monster to wreak havoc halfway across the world.
The film's world premiere was at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on April 7, 2017 by Neon, the company's first release. Filmed in six weeks on a budget of $15 million in Vancouver, the film received mostly positive reviews but only grossed $4 million at the box office.
Gloria ultimately tries to make amends by having the monster spell out an apology in Korean, to the delight of the South Koreans and the media, and begins to avoid both the playground and alcohol.
After spending the night with Joel, Gloria discovers that a drunken Oscar is using the robot to taunt South Korea. After a tense confrontation, Gloria manages to make him leave. Oscar is jealous, believing that something happened between Gloria and Joel. Later that night at the bar, he drunkenly insults his friends and demands that Gloria drinks, then orders her to by threatening to return to the playground if she does not. The next morning, a sobered-up Oscar confesses his remorse and pleads with Gloria to forgive him. Gloria accepts his apology, but Oscar's controlling attitude becomes clear.
Tim shows up in town on a pretense in order to see Gloria. Oscar provokes a confrontation that ends with him setting off a large firework inside the bar. He follows this up by boasting that, no matter how he behaves, he knows that Gloria will remain under his thumb. He later shows up at Gloria's house, telling her he is there to prevent her from going back to New York with Tim.
A flashback reveals how Gloria and Oscar are able to manifest their avatars in South Korea: a freak lightning flash struck both of them, a toy robot and a toy reptilian monster while they were passing through the playground when they were children. Gloria also realizes that Oscar has always been violent and manipulative because he hates himself, and resolves to leave town with Tim. Oscar, in response, heads for the playground. When Gloria follows, Oscar assaults her, leaving her on the ground while he terrorizes Seoul.
Upon returning to her house, Gloria comes up with a plan to stop Oscar. She flies to South Korea, apologizing to Tim for not coming with him. Once again at 8:05 am, U.S. time, Oscar causes the giant robot to manifest in Seoul. As she heads towards Oscar's avatar, Gloria causes her monster to appear again, this time at the playground back home. Clutching Oscar in her hand, Gloria's monster throws Oscar off into the distance, causing the giant robot to be launched into the sky, disappearing from Seoul.
Her mission accomplished, Gloria retreats to an empty bar in Seoul. Settling into her seat, Gloria promises the young waitress an incredible story. Offered a drink, Gloria simply lets out a long sigh.
Hathaway was the first actress to sign on at a time when the project had no financial backing. Hathaway heard about the script after finding herself "in a little bit of an artistic no man's land" for inspiration. Director Jonathan Demme screened for her a copy of A Field in England, after which Hathaway decided that it represented exactly the type of movie she wanted to make. After asking her representation to see a similar script that she could join, she was sent the Colossal script. Hathaway found herself attracted to the genre-hopping nature of the script, later comparing it to Being John Malkovich, one of her favorite films.
Prior to the start of filming, Japanese company Toho brought a lawsuit against Voltage Pictures for unauthorized usage of Godzilla's image and stills from previous Godzilla films in emails and press documents sent to potential investors. A settlement was reached that October.
Principal photography on the film also began that month in Vancouver, and ended on November 25, 2015. No motion captured footage was used for the creation of the monster; rather, footage of Hathaway acting out her parts was given to the CG team, who used this as reference points. The CG artists, as opposed to Vigalondo, were responsible for the look of the monster itself. Vigalondo stated that this was partly due to his lack of artistic skill and partly due to him "[wanting] them to feel like characters that felt like a part of the genre we're playing with".
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2016. Shortly after, an unnamed Chinese company acquired distribution rights to the film, which was later announced as Neon, a newly-founded distribution company. The film went on to screen at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017. The film was released on April 7, 2017. It grossed $3,189,184 in the U.S. market and $1,151,575 in other markets, totaling $4,340,759.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 80% based on 194 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Colossal's singular strangeness can be disorienting, but viewers who hang on may find that its genre-defying execution—and Anne Hathaway's performance—is well worth the ride." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 70 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz awarded Colossal 3.5 out of 4 stars, saying "the cast is quietly superb, that the movie always knows what it is and what it wants to say." IGN awarded it 7.0 out of 10, saying "It isn't always successful, but when the film works, it's a blast—another completely original and unique genre mash-up from the mad mind of Nacho Vigalondo." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded it 3.5 out of 4, saying "Colossal is seriously unmissable".
Jake Coyle writing for the Associated Press gave it 2 out of 4 stars, saying "The one-trick act of 'Colossal' becomes tiresome even as its leads—particularly an excellent Hathaway—work to find some depth in the story." Mark Jenkins of NPR said "The longer the movie runs, the more its novelty fades. The tone wavers, and plot holes that appeared small at the halfway point start looking like chasms." Rex Reed of the New York Observer gave it 0 out of 4 stars, saying the film was "almost as unwatchable as it incomprehensible".
Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ Shin Gojira, also known as Godzilla: Resurgence) is a 2016 Japanese kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho and Cine Bazar and distributed by Toho. It is the 31st installment in the Godzilla franchise, the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho, and Toho's third reboot of the franchise. The film is co-directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, with the screenplay by Anno and special effects directed by Higuchi. The film stars Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara and reimagines Godzilla's origins in modern Japan.
In December 2014, Toho announced plans for a new domestic Godzilla film. Anno and Higuchi were announced as directors in March 2015. Principal photography began in September and ended in October with the special effects work following in November that year. Inspiration for the film was drawn from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Shin Godzilla had its premiere at the Hotel Gracery in Shinjuku, Tokyo on July 25, 2016 and was released nationwide on July 29, 2016, in IMAX, 4DX, and MX4D. It received acclaim from Japanese critics and mixed to positive reviews from Western critics. The film was the highest-grossing live-action Japanese film of 2016 and is the highest-grossing Japanese-produced Godzilla film. At the 40th Japan Academy Prize, it was nominated for 11 nominations and won seven, including Picture of the Year and Director of the Year.
The creature, named Godzilla after Maki's research, reappears, now twice its original size, and makes landfall near Kamakura en route for Tokyo. The Japan Self-Defense Forces mobilize, but their attacks have no effect and they are forced to withdraw to protect civilians. The U.S. intervenes based on defending their embassy, prompting the evacuation of civilians and government officials. U.S. B-2 bombers bombard Godzilla; Godzilla responds with highly destructive atomic rays fired from its mouth and dorsal fins, which hit and destroy the helicopter carrying the top government officials. The battle leaves radiation fallout and destruction in a huge part of Tokyo. After depleting its energy, Godzilla enters a dormant state and becomes immobile.
Yaguchi's team discovers that Godzilla's fins and blood work as a cooling system and theorize that they could use a coagulating agent to freeze it. After analyzing tissue samples, they find that Godzilla is an ever-evolving creature, able to reproduce asexually. The United Nations, aware of this, informs Japan that they will allow the use of thermonuclear weapons against Godzilla. Evacuations are ordered in multiple prefectures. Unwilling to see nuclear weapons detonated in Japan again, Patterson decides to use her political connections to buy time for Yaguchi's team, who the interim government has little faith in. Yaguchi's team has a breakthrough and procure the means to conduct their deep freeze plan through international cooperation.
Hours before the planned nuclear attack, Japan enacts the deep freeze plan. Godzilla is provoked into using its atomic breath with a large number of drones until it depletes. The team then detonates explosives in nearby buildings, knocking Godzilla down and giving the tankers full of coagulant access to inject it into Godzilla's mouth. Though many people are killed in the process, Godzilla is frozen solid. In the aftermath, it is discovered that the Godzilla fallout has a very short half-life and that the Tokyo can be reconstructed. The international community agrees to cancel the strike but has the new Japanese government agree that, in the event of Godzilla's reawakening, an immediate thermonuclear strike will be executed. Godzilla's tail shows humanoid Godzilla-like creatures frozen in the middle of emerging.
Whereas the original Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Shin Godzilla drew inspiration from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Many critics noted similarities to those events. Mark Schilling of The Japan Times wrote that the Godzilla creature serves "as an ambulatory tsunami, earthquake and nuclear reactor, leaving radioactive contamination in his wake". Roland Kelts, the author of Japanamerica, felt that the "mobilizing blue-suited civil servants and piles of broken planks and debris quite nakedly echo scenes of the aftermath of the great Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster." Matt Alt of The New Yorker drew similar parallels with "the sight of blue-jumpsuited government spokesmen convening emergency press conferences ... [and] a stunned man quietly regarding mountains of debris, something that could have been lifted straight out of television footage of the hardest-hit regions up north. Even the sight of the radioactive monster's massive tail swishing over residential streets evokes memories of the fallout sent wafting over towns and cities in the course of Fukushima Daiichi's meltdown."
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had spoken positively of the film's pro-nationalist themes, stating, "I think that [Godzilla’s] popularity is rooted in the unwavering support that the public has for the Self-Defense Forces."
In December 2014, Toho announced plans for a new Godzilla film targeted for a 2016 release, stating, "This is very good timing after the success of the American version this year: if not now, then when? The licensing contract we have with Legendary places no restrictions on us making domestic versions." The new film will have no ties to Legendary's MonsterVerse and instead will serve as a reboot to the Toho series. Minami Ichikawa will serve as the film's production manager and Taiji Ueda as the film's project leader. Ueda confirmed that the screenplay is in development and filming has been planned for a summer 2015 shoot. Toho will additionally put together a project team, known as "Godzilla Conference" or "Godzi-con", to formulate future projects.
In March 2015, Toho announced that the film would be co-directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (who both collaborated on the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion), in addition to Anno writing the screenplay and Higuchi directing the film's special effects. In addition, Toho announced that the film will begin filming in the fall of 2015 set for a summer 2016 release. Promotional artwork of the new Godzilla's footprint was also released, with Toho confirming that their new Godzilla will surpass Legendary Pictures' Godzilla as the tallest incarnation to date.
Toho had approached Anno in January 2013 to direct the reboot but Anno initially declined due to falling into depression after completing Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, stating, "A representative from Toho contacted me directly, saying, 'We'd like to direct a new Godzilla film.' At the time, I was still recovering from EVA 3.0, and right on the spot, flatly refused the offer, 'It's impossible. Even to begin work on the next EVA is impossible.'" However, Toho's sincerity and his longtime friend and co-director, Shinji Higuchi, eventually convinced him to accept the offer in March 2013. Anno had also refused the offer due to a lack of confidence, stating, "I refused [the offer] since I didn't have confidence that I could exceed the first film or come close to equaling it. But I thought that if I were to come close even a little, I would have to do the same thing [as the first film]."
Mahiro Maeda provided the new design for Godzilla while Takayuki Takeya provided the maquette. Director Higuchi stated that he intended to provide the "most terrifying Godzilla that Japan's cutting-edge special-effects movie-making can muster." A variety of techniques such as puppets, animatronics, and digital effects were initially considered and an upper-body animatronic was produced but went unused after Toho decided to create a completely CG Godzilla, VFX Supervisor Atsuki Sato stated, "CG production had already been determined when I began participating. In the end, it was the best option to allow quick edits as creative visions changed and produced a high quality film." A colorless maquette was built for CG animators to use as a reference and render the CG Godzilla model. Mansai Nomura provided the motion capture performance for Godzilla.
Principal photography began on September 1, 2015, with a large on-location film shoot at Kamata station in Tokyo under the working title "Shin Gojira". On September 23, 2015, Toho revealed the film's official title as Shin Gojira and that the film will star Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara. Producer Akihiro Yamauchi stated that the title Shin Gojira was chosen for the film due to the variety of meanings it conveys, such as either "new" (新), "true" (真), or "God" (神). Yamauchi also confirmed that the film has been planned for quite some time, stating, "It's been in the works a long time. It's not like it was produced just because of the Hollywood Godzilla".
Principal photography wrapped at the end of October 2015, with special effects work scheduled for November 2015. In November 2015, without any prior announcement, Toho screened a promo reel at the American Film Market for a potential sale for overseas markets, marketing the film (for a while) as Godzilla Resurgence.
Shiro Sagisu scored the film. There are also various remixes of "Decisive Battle" from Sagisu's Neon Genesis Evangelion score. The film also includes several pieces from previous Godzilla films composed by Akira Ifukube. Anno had decided to use Ifukube's music while writing the screenplay and attempted to adapt the old Ifukube tracks to modern stereo settings but the task proved too daunting and eventually settled on using the mono mixes instead. The soundtrack was released on July 30, 2016, and sold 8,427 copies in 2 weeks.
Shin Godzilla was released on July 29, 2016, in Japan in over 350 theaters and 446 screens. It had its red carpet premiere on July 25, 2016. The premiere took place in Tokyo along Kabuki-cho Central Road, with a red carpet from the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, the hotel which has the large Godzilla head peering over, 118.5 metres in length, the same distance as the height of Godzilla.
In April 2016, New World Cinemas was named one of the distributors to release the film in the United States, however, in June 2016, New World Cinemas clarified on their official Facebook that "New World Cinemas are not the distributors for the new Godzilla Film. The mistake was make because we said Godzilla coming soon. This was merely a post to promote Godzilla as we too are big fans. We apologise for any confusion regarding this film."
In July 2016, Toho announced that the film had been sold to 100 territories (including Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America) in 19 days after opening to foreign sales and will be released in Taiwan on August 12, the Philippines on August 24, Hong Kong and Macao on August 25, and Thailand on September 8. At the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Funimation would distribute the film for North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean for a late 2016 release as Shin Godzilla, instead of Godzilla Resurgence, at the insistence of Toho. In early September, Funimation officially announced that the film was to be given a one-week limited release in the United States and Canada from October 11–18 on 440 screens, in Japanese with English subtitles, making it the first Japanese Godzilla film to receive a theatrical North American release since Godzilla 2000. Funimation hosted two North American premieres for the film, one premiere on October 3 in Los Angeles and the other on October 5 in New York. Due to popular demand, Funimation extended the film's North American theatrical run with encore screenings for October 22 and select theaters offering daily screenings through October 27.
A release for the United Kingdom was cancelled after Altitude Films, the distributor for that territory, dropped rights to the film after a showing at a FrightFest event in Glasgow on February 24. Toho did not allow any more screenings in the UK, according to a tweet made by The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, until it was revealed by the Film Distributors' Association on June 13 that National Amusements will release it in UK theaters starting July 26. However, it was later revealed that the UK rights to Shin Godzilla are held by Manga Entertainment (who once held the rights to the VHS releases of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Mothra in the UK), and have announced a theatrical showing of the film for August 10 across the UK.
In December 2015, Toho unveiled the film's first teaser trailer and teaser poster revealing Toho's new Godzilla design and the film's July 29, 2016, release date. Chunichi Sports reported the size of the new Godzilla to be 118.5 metres (389 ft) tall, over 10 metres (33 ft) taller than Legendary's Godzilla, which is 108.2 metres (355 ft) tall.
In January 2016, images of the Godzilla suit were leaked online. In late March 2016, it was announced that Toho's Godzilla and Anno's Evangelion intellectual properties will form a "maximum collaboration" for merchandise in April 2016. In mid-April 2016, Toho revealed the complete design of the new Godzilla and that it is a completely CG-generated character, as well as a new trailer, details regarding the principal and supporting characters, and that the film will be released in IMAX, 4DX, and MX4D formats for its domestic release.
For summer 2016, the Namja Town amusement park held special Godzilla cross-promotion activities. The park unveiled a new virtual reality game, the food court produced kaiju-inspired food dishes, and a Godzilla foot on display as though it had crashed through the roof of the attached Sunshine City Alpa shopping center. Sports equipment manufacturer Reebok released limited-edition Godzilla sneakers featuring a black reptilian skin pattern and either red or glow-in-the-dark green coloring in Japan. In early 2017, Universal Studios Japan featured a temporary 4D Shin Godzilla attraction as part of its Universal Cool Japan 2017 program as well as the addition of music from the film to the tracklist of the Hollywood Dream – The Ride roller coaster.
Shin Godzilla was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan on March 22, 2017. It was released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital on August 1, 2017 in North America with a full English dub.
In Japan Shin Godzilla earned ￥625 million (US$6.1 million) on its opening weekend and was number one at the box office for that weekend, placing Finding Dory at second place and One Piece Film: Gold at third place, and earned 23% more than 2014's Godzilla when it opened in Japan. It was more than triple the first weekend's gross of 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars, the previous Toho film in the series, which in the end grossed US$12.3 million. The film remained at number one during its second weekend and was projected to finish at US$40 million domestically. The film dropped to second place during its third weekend, topped by The Secret Life of Pets, earning US$33.5 million after 17 days, topping the estimates for both 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars and 2014's Godzilla. The film reached ￥5.3 billion (US$51.63 million) a month after its release, topping the earnings for Anno's previous film Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, which earned ￥5,267,373,350.
On its sixth weekend, the film climbed back to number two, topped by Your Name, with an earning of US$3.2 million, bringing the film's total domestic gross to US$60 million from 4.1 million admissions. After exiting the top ten in late September, the film has grossed nearly US$77 million from 5.6 million admissions. Shin Godzilla became the highest grossing live-action Japanese film for 2016, and the second highest grossing film in Japan for the year.
In the United States and Canada, the film grossed US$1.9 million during its limited 31 day run. Outside of Japan and North America, the film was released in a handful of International markets. In Taiwan, it grossed US$264,235; in Australia it grossed US$84,090; in New Zealand it grossed US$13,892; in Thailand it grossed US$322,061; in South Korea it grossed US$36,915; and in Spain it grossed US$8,031. The film grossed ¥82.5 billion domestically and US$78 million worldwide.
Shin Godzilla received widespread acclaim from Japanese critics and mixed to positive reviews from Western critics. The special effects and new depiction of Godzilla were praised but the film was criticized for its long scenes and confusing dialogue between the politicians, military, and authorities, and introducing too many characters and subplots. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a rating of 84% based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's consensus reads, "Godzilla Resurgence offers a refreshingly low-fi – and altogether entertaining – return to the monster's classic creature-feature roots." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Japanese pop culture site RO65 called the film a "masterpiece of unprecedented filmmaking", feeling that the film retains a "strong respect for the fundamental message within Godzilla". Oricon Style praised directors Hideaki Anno's and Shinji Higuchi's realistic approach and the film's reality vs. idealism themes, calling the film a "world class" Godzilla film. Cinema Today called the film a "thrilling experience" and a "masterpiece", feeling that the film was a return to form similar to 2004's Dawn of the Dead. Kazuo Ozaki from Eiga.com praised the film as well, stating, "Hollywood, even with all its money, can’t approach this kind of perfection" while Koichi Irikura from Cinema Today called it a "birth of a masterpiece that boldly announces the revival of a Japanese Godzilla". Brian Ashcraft from Kotaku felt the film was a "letdown", though he praised the film's special effects and social reflection of Japan, he criticized the film's depiction of the human characters, stating, "I wish the movie explored the relationships between the politicians and the researchers more instead of glossing over it" and concluded that "This isn’t one of the best Godzilla films ever made, but it's certainly not one of the worst by any stretch, either. Godzilla Resurgence is a series of compelling ideas in a so-so Godzilla movie."
Ollie Barder from Forbes was surprised at "how good" the film was, praising Anno's classic Gainax motifs, though he was not completely fond of Godzilla's new design, feeling that the "googly" eyes made Godzilla look silly but Barder did feel that the design was more "organic and menacing" than previous incarnations and praised the film's depiction of Godzilla, stating, "I really liked the way Godzilla is handled in this new movie, as it feels a lot more like the God Soldier short that both Anno and Higuchi worked on" and concluded by stating that he "really enjoyed" the film and that it had a "far more coherent plot" than 2014's Godzilla. Marcus Goh from Yahoo felt that the film was a better reimagining than 2014's Godzilla, though he criticized parts of Godzilla's design and the protagonists' plan to stop Godzilla, Goh regardless gave the film a 3.1 score out of 5 and concluded that the film "preserves the feel of Godzilla movies while updating it with modern responses."
Jay Hawkinson from Bloody Disgusting called the film a "very good Godzilla movie that teeters on greatness," however, he felt the film's drama "didn't always work" and some of the English delivery felt "canned and often corny", particularly Satomi Ishihara's character who he thought was "convincing" at times but a "hard sell in her role", but did praise the film's battle scenes, Shiro Sagisu's score, and the film's homages to the franchise, and concluded by stating that "Shin Godzilla may be a reboot sans the rubber suit we’ve grown to love but it's unquestionably Godzilla." Elizabeth Kerr from The Hollywood Reporter felt that Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi did "the big guy justice", feeling that they "have created a Godzilla for this era" but felt that "all the telling (or reading) rather than showing reduces the story's overall impact" but concluded by stating that "there's an intangible quality to this Godzilla that Edwards (Emmerich doesn’t count) never quite captured, and which is always welcome". Matt Schley from Otaku USA called the film "A match made in kaiju heaven", praising Anno's directing stating, "It's also a reminder, after years in the Evangelion reboot woods, that Anno is one of Japan's most unique directorial voices in either animation or live-action filmmaking", though he felt the special effects weren't as impressive as 2014's Godzilla, Schley did feel that the film's CG "gets the job done, though there are a couple questionable shots" and concluded by stating that "Hideaki Anno has achieved a successful resurgence for both the Big G and himself."
The only Japanese live-action Godzilla movie in which the monster was realized almost completely through CGI, abandoning the traditional suitmation effects. However, according to effects supervisor Atsuki Sato, Godzilla's skin was deliberately made to look like rubber as opposed to realistic animal skin, and his movements were performed via motion capture, adding a live performance element to the animation. Some of Godzilla's interactions with the environment were achieved via pushing a prop through miniatures, and the final shot of the monster is actually a sculpture instead of a digital effect, so the physical effects weren't entirely done away with.
This film was given a special advanced release in the United States on October 11-18, 2016, when it was shown in its original Japanese version (with English subtitles) and under a semi-translation of its original Japanese title, "Shin Godzilla".
The B-2 Spirit stealth bombers that appear in the film against Godzilla are identified with the onscreen subtitles as being from the 509th Operations Group. The 509th is a descendant unit of the (in)famous World War 2-era 509th Composite Group, well-known as being the unit that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Today, the 509th is the sole U.S. Air Force unit equipped with the B-2 and is based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Godzilla was portrayed in motion capture by Mansai Nomura, a Kyogen (traditional Japanese comic theatre) actor. To realize Godzilla's slow movements, a 10-kilo weight was strapped behind him, and he incorporated the technique of the traditional Japanese dance into his performance.