Looks like Legendary Pictures “Monsterverse” won’t be the only Godzilla-themed shared universe for much longer. Once Hollywood’s King of the Monsters sequel setting up his 2020 remake with King Kong have come and gone, Toho intends to transform Godzilla into Japan’s very own Marvel cinematic universe.
Godzilla-Movies.com has provided an English translation of an interview that appeared this past week in the Japanese publication “Nikkei Style” with Keiji Ota, Toho’s Chief Godzilla Officer (How do I get that job?), about the future of all things Zilla in his home country. The surprising news begins with an announcement that might prove a disappointment to many G-Fans.
There will never be a Shin Godzilla 2.
Despite being a box office sensation and achieving a level of critical acclaim that typically eludes Godzilladom, including winning the Japanese equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar, Shin Godzilla will forever remain a decidedly unique one-off entry in the storied Godzilla series. As proud as Ota claims they are of Shin Godzilla’s success, Ota and the members of Toho’s Godzilla Strategy Council (Again, how do I get on this council?) have something bigger in mind for the future of the 64-year old franchise:
…a World of Godzilla.
To further quote Ota:
The future of the series and its forwarding developments are very conscious of the method of “shared universe”. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, etc. could all share a single world view much like a Marvel movie where Iron Man and the Hulk can crossover with each other. It is said that each movie can be a possible film production where any one of them could lead a film of their own as the titular character.
So, as of now, this is Toho’s plan: Marvel-style Godzilla features released on a consistent basis every 1-2 years beginning post-2021.
Why must we wait until 2021? Because the deal Toho structured with Legendary Pictures allowing for 2014’s Godzilla, next year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and 2020’s “Monsterverse” crossover event Godzilla vs. Kong gave Toho wiggle room to make Shin Godzilla and the current animated film trilogy but nothing more cinematic until after the deal between the two production companies expires in 2020.
Neither Toho nor Legendary have said anything about how Toho’s planned “World of Godzilla” may impact future plans for Legendary’s “Monsterverse”, or for that matter, if there will even be a “Monsterverse” after King Kong and Godzilla have their historic clash of the titans. In both cases, stay tuned for further details.
Either way, Godzilla fans can rejoice in knowing the king is going to be around for a long, long time to come.
Personally, I’m hoping one of these “World of Godzilla” movies is a Gigan solo movie that finally portrays Gigan as the bad ass kaiju terminator he was always created to be.