by Chris MaGee
Next to Tishiro Mifune's snarling, scratching Sanjuro and stupendous superhero Ultraman there are few iconic Japanese pop culture characters as Godzilla. The 50-metre tall scaly flame thrower started out as an allegory for the threat of nuclear destruction in Ishiro Honda's 1954 original "Gojira", but through his 28 film appearances in Toho features Godzilla has become Japan's own reptilian savior... that is until Toho mothballed (not Mothra'ed...) the big man after Ryuhei Kitamura's 2004 film "Godzilla: Final Wars". Of course Toho didn't say that they wanted to permanently retire Godzilla from movie screens, just let him settle into the deep sea murk from which he sprang for a decade until 2014; but according to a post over at Bloody Disgusting that may not now be the case.
Apparently Toho has announced a new Godzilla film will be released in Japan in December 2012, two years before the giant lizard was to make his official comeback. Could this have anything to do with the fact that Toho granted Legendary Pictures, Warner Brothers and director Gareth Edwards, the man behind last year's "Monsters", the right to make another North American reboot/ remake/ re-imagining of its most famous franchise? Hard to say, but seeing what an abysmal mess Roland Emmerich's 1998 remake of "Godzilla" was it may follow that Toho doesn't want another such film to shoulder the legacy of Japan's most famous monster on its own. At this its all speculation, but a new Japanese Godzilla film will always be welcome, Toho, thank you very much.