The great international commercial success of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla, which certainly went some way to restoring the monster’s name in American cinema after the dreadful Roland Emmerich travesty, has encouraged Toho, the studio behind the original Godzilla series as well as a range of other fun monster and science fiction pictures [many of them reviewed by yours truly elsewhere on this website], to boost non-Japanese remakes of its properties. As a Toho spokesperson says:
“As a strategic first step to expanding and strengthening the global operations, Toho will be committed to the intellectual property it represents by connecting it to adaptation opportunities and financing its production. Toho intends to grow the business and bolster the presence of Japanese IP.”
Toho’s international sales business has to date largely focused on licensing its motion picture, animation and character properties, but the new emphasis on making its entertainment properties go further reflects the government’s drive to export Japanese culture further, efforts by other companies with Japanese IP, and Toho’s 83-year film industry legacy and its strong finances. This sounds a bit like business gobblygook, but what it basically means is that Toho, sensing that the success of the recent Godzilla may lead to other films based on their output, will have a much stronger say in these films then they would have done before [I’m guessing that there’s also a clause prohibiting Emmerich and Dean Devlin from going anywhere near Toho property] and will also contribute money. This can only be a good thing. The policy takes immediate effect and will see the new team make their market debut next month in Cannes.
Edwards, once he’s done with a certain film taking place in a galaxy far far away, is set to make Godzilla 2 for release on June 8, 2018, co-produced by Legendary and Warner Bros., while a Japanese remake is now also in the works, to be directed and possibly written by anime legends Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. Bring it on!