Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla proved to be a monstrous hit summer 2014, and now the King of the Monsters will return to his native Japan. Toho, the studio that created Big G, announced last December that it would be making a new unrelated film, which makes this the third reboot for the franchise excluding the American films. It’ll be the 31st Godzilla film and the 29th created by Toho, which hasn’t released one since 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars.
News on the new film was quiet until last week when Toho released a 30-second video that is the textbook definition of a teaser trailer. Not since Christopher Nolan’s first trailer for The Dark Knight has there been a more mysterious preview for a film.
The 30-second spot is a found-footage-style shot of a panicked crowd running from something in the distance. It ends with a title card and Godzilla’s trademark roar. That’s it; nothing on the plot or characters. Whether the entire film will be done in a found-footage-style, a la Cloverfield, or if this is just a clip from an otherwise traditional movie remains to be seen. Personally, while found footage would be a new direction for the franchise to experiment with, considering Cloverfield’s attempt at it has gotten mixed responses (though I liked it), that may not be the best option. However, if these filmmakers think they can do it well, by all means try it.
Speaking of mixed reactions, the new design for Big G was also revealed when the poster was tweeted out by Japanese rock band Katokutai. Many fans have criticized it for its overlong jawline and googly eyes, saying it “lacks personality.” In my opinion, it looks like a throwback to the original 1954 design used in the original Gojira, but perhaps a bit more realistic. The real test will be how it looks in motion on camera.
Story has it the special effects will be a combination of CGI and practical effects. It sounds like Toho wants the best of both worlds: taking cues from Edwards’ film while also adhering to its “suitmation” roots. Whether this works or not will probably make or break the film.
Regardless, the movie is in great hands since it has two noteworthy directors. Hideki Anno, who also wrote the script, is the co-creator of the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion: a trippy and cerebral giant robot series that deconstructs the “mecha” subgenre. Shinji Higuchi has also worked on anime, but his most recent project is directing the two-part live-action adaptation of the manga/anime Attack on Titan, which told the story of humanity battling cannibalistic giants. Anno has said that this will be “the scariest Godzilla yet,” and given both directors’ track records, it may very well turn out to be true.
Godzilla: Resurgence hits Japanese theatres July 29, 2016. No word yet on an American release.
Go, go Godzilla!