by Michelle “Ms. Geek” Klein-Hass
Evangelion auteur Hideaki Anno has teamed up with the Live-Action Attack on Titan director Shinji Higuchi to craft Japan’s response to last year’s Hollywood reboot of Godzilla. A year before that, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim burst forth on the screen.
It really does look like we are in the midst of a Kaiju film renaissance. Certainly Pacific Rim and Godzilla (2014) were quite impressive, and Shin Gojira, (New Godzilla, Pure Godzilla) the Anno-directed reboot of Godzilla for Toho Company, Ltd, seems promising. However, Hollywood Godzilla producers Legendary Pictures made some big announcements at New York Comic-Con last weekend. Gamera is returning as well, with a proof-of-concept trailer screening at the same convention.
So what does Legendary have in mind for the future?
Legendary seems to have taken a page from the Marvel/Disney playbook, and have announced three films going in front of the lens in the next few years: Kong: Skull Island in 2017, Godzilla 2 in 2018, and most controversially, Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020.
The fanboy tempest surrounding the third announced film is approaching hurricane status. The Godzilla from the 2014 film is 100 meters (300 feet) tall. The Kong from the most recent King Kong reboot is only 20 meters (60 feet) tall. The fanboys are skeptical of the matchup. According to them, such a pairup resembles more that between Bambi and Godzilla that Marv Newland animated in 1969 instead of the original brawl between King Kong and Godzilla from 1962.
Clearly something’s going to have to give. We’re going to need a bigger Kong, or a smaller Godzilla.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific...
Shin Gojira is currently in production in Tokyo. There's been some location shooting in Tokyo, with lots and lots of extras. However, it is quite likely that such shoots will be an exception rather than the rule, as the combination of CGI and practical effects envisioned by Anno and Higuchi requires a more controlled environment than a location shoot in busy Tokyo. There's not been many pictures taken of the filming, but at least we know who the principal human actors are:
Left to right: Hiroki Hasagawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara.
Hasagawa and Ishihara were part of the cast of the live-action Attack on Titan, while Takenouchi is best known for his work in J-Drama.
There is even less information floating about regarding the Gamera reboot, except for the fact that the proof-of-concept trailer screened at New York Comic-Con. Most of the copies of the trailer have been scrubbed from YouTube, but the Monstrosities Kaiju VLog has managed to keep their copy up, as it was excerpted as part of their review of the trailer. Check it out.
Finally, back at Legendary...
The Pacific Rim sequel, Maelstrom, is not exactly "on the bubble," but it's nowhere close to production, either. Both Guillermo del Toro and Legendary bigwigs say that there will eventually be a sequel to the hit film, but financial considerations have delayed things. However, nearly everyone who was a part of the first film are cheering del Toro and Maelstrom on. It will probably happen...eventually. The question is, what will American audiences see first: the last Rebuild of Evangelion film or Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom? Place your bets, ladies and gents...