2004: the 50th anniversary of Godzilla. For the occasion, Toho is pulling out all the stops, going for a large scale production for the occasion. Titled Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), this article tracks the progress of that movie, from its announcement toward its eventual release.
October 21st update
As previously rumored, the next, and supposedly last for the foreseeable future, Godzilla film will have its worldwide premiere in Los Angeles, California, at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The date set for the unveiling is November 29th, 2004. The event will also be christened with the King of the Monsters’ inclusion into Hollywood’s Walk of Fame at 11:30 am on Monday, November the 29th, with director Ryuhei Kitamura and suit actor Tsutomu Kitagawa attending Godzilla’s commemoration. Godzilla is also set to make a large showing during Hollywood’s Christmas Parade, on November 28th, in the form of a promotional suit and a large float intended to promote Godzilla: Final Wars.
September 1st update
Guarby’s has posted seven images, scanned in from a magazine, pertaining to Hedorah, the Smog Monster, and Ebirah, the Sea Monster,’s appearances. The images show close ups of both of the monsters’ faces, along with a shot of Ebirah on a collision course with Hedorah.
August 30th update
Monster Zero has posted a brief, 19 second, preview of the latest Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars. The trailer shows numerous kaiju from the film, including Rodan and Gigan, and also shows a scene from the now famous battle with Godzilla and the American Godzilla, called Zilla in this film, that takes place in Sydney. The scenes in the film are still very early in development, so this doesn’t necessarily dictate what the final product will look like.
Below are screen captures from the TV spot, for those having trouble seeing the video.
Mothra vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Zilla
August 24th update
Monster Zero has translated a news article related to Godzilla: Final Wars which reveals that the new Godzilla film, which has been reported to be the last in at least a decade, will pit the Japanese Godzilla against his American counterpart, from the 1998 film GODZILLA. To avoid confusion, the American Godzilla will be referred to as simply “Zilla” in the film. The historic confrontation will take place in Sydney, Australia, in the film and, in following with his portrayal in his own film, “Zilla” will be computer generated (CGI).
These latest reports also add credence to producer Shogo Tomiyama‘s earlier musing about a Godzilla vs. Godzilla confrontation, and also mean that the earlier rumor which reported Gorosaurus in the production had likely confused the bipedal dinosaur with the American Godzilla.
July 30th update
Guarby has released scans of the new Kumonga and Kamacuras props in action, and fighting Godzilla. One of the scans also reveals the size of the Kamacuras which is 90 meters in height with a mass of 20,000 tons, almost twice the size of the Showa incarnation with a weight comparable to the Showa Godzilla.
July 7th update
Henshin!Online has posted a new report which reveals Monster X to be the first form of the new Ghidorah, dubbed Keizer Ghidorah. The new Ghidorah will walk on four legs, like Desghidorah.
May 24th update
Toho’s official Godzilla site has been updated with a number of never before seen details regarding the latest Godzilla film. Including the final kaiju roster, story details, and sketches of the new designs.
The film’s final kaiju roster appears to be: Godzilla, Gigan, Rodan, Minilla, Mothra (Imago), Kamacuras, Kumonga, Manda, Ebirah, Anguirus, King Caesar, Hedorah and Monster X. This discredits earlier reports of Gorosaurus and Mothra (Larva) from the previous roster. Also, the Gotengo, most likely modeled more after the ship in The War in Space (1977) instead of the one in Atragon (1963), the collapsed star Gorath and the Xiliens from Invasion of Astro- Monster (1965) will make appearances in the film as well.
May 1st update
Shanghai Daily is reporting quite a gamut of spoilers, including the ending, on the upcoming Godzilla movie: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). If it’s true or not, only time will tell; however, they do say at least one questionable fact:
“Toho Pictures has produced 22 movies starring Godzilla since 1954. Hollywood also paid the company to produce its version in 1998.”
22 is pretty far off the total Godzilla movies that Toho has made, which is now at 27 not including Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). 22 is exactly how many films were done before the start of the “Millennium series” in 1999, though, so perhaps they were just looking at a outdated figure. Anyway, here are some highlights from that article by Shanghai Daily, so please stop reading if you wish to avoid spoilers:
“Godzilla is finally going to die – honest. And it’s going to happen in Shanghai. In “Godzilla: Final Wars,” the fictitious green monster that wreaked chaos around the world will lose his final battle to a fire dragon and die by the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong. …Godzilla’s child is killed accidentally by humans, which drives the monster crazy. The reptile-like creature then goes on a massive rampage around the world, according to a local film import company that will assist in the shooting of the local parts. After several rounds of epic encounters, Godzilla faces the fire dragon. The final battle is set to happen on the Bund.
Godzilla’s fury will not be contained to Shanghai however. He will also smash, bash and crash his way through the United States, France, Australia and other countries. ”
April 25th update
It seems that first confirmation on a roster for the new Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars, has finally materialized. Following a rumor that Monster Zero was hosting, and then later confirmed, a total of 14 kaiju names have been dropped, and include:
– King Ghidorah
– King Caesar
– Monster X
There is a chance that the list is not complete, and that there might be more kaiju in the film. It should also be noted that the King Ghidorah featured in the film will have four legs.
March 4th update
CNN has an article up talking about the King of the Monsters’ upcoming “hibernation,” and adds further verification to the nearing end to the Millennium series. CNN quotes Shogo Tomiyama in the article as well, who gives up the estimate of a decade long rest to the Godzilla series. The article can be read here.
March 2nd update
More news has poured in on the 50th anniversary Godzilla film, previously dubbed THE GODZILLA, confirming everything from the director, release date, to possible details on the actual film. Toho’s official Godzilla site has reported that the film is being directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, as others sites had previously reported. Ryuhei Kitamura directed the 2000 film Versus along with the 2003 Toho offering Azumi, but his credits are quite varied and even include directorial work for the upcoming Gamecube game Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. The name Godzilla: Final Wars is also being used by the site for the 28th Godzilla film. Toho is reporting that the movie will release December 11th, 2004.
Monster Zero has several other tidbits of information which they have acquired from translating various news articles. The most interesting of which include:
– A redesigned Godzilla (hinted at being more mobile)
– A monster cast of around 10, names dropped include Mothra along with a possible new monster for the moment dubbed “Monster X”
– A “long time fan favorite” will supposedly make a come back
– Producer Shogo Tomiyama hints that this could be the last Godzilla film for some time and will likely mark the end of the Millennium Series
– Godzilla: Final Wars will not be paired up with a Hamaturo film, as done for the past three Godzilla movies
– Locations in the film will include, among several, New York, Shangai and Paris
– The film will feature a world in which numerous monsters have been born from atomic tests
– Director, Kitamura, wants a Godzilla which can defeat a foe in a single blow
– Wataru Mimua and Tomiyama worked on the story elements of Godzilla: Final Wars before handing the project over to
– Kitamura and Isao Kiriyama, who has worked with Kitamura Azumi (2003), created the final script
– Eiichi Asada, who did the SFX work for Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), will direct the special effects for the 50th anniversary flick.
– Cinematographer will be Takumi Furuya, who did the cinematography on Azumi (2003)
December 14th, 2003 update
Toho has disclosed information of Godzilla’s 50th Anniversary film, which is being tentatively titled simply “THE GODZILLA.”Toho has stated that they are actually in the final stages of developing what will end up being the next Godzilla film. Toho has stated that this Godzilla film will be a larger scale production than what the series is used to. The film, supposedly, is to feature an “all star” cast of both characters and crew; whether this means the inclusion of classic monsters such as Rodan and Anguirus or the ever popular Mothra and King Ghidorah is anyone’s guess. To date, a crew for the film has not been established, save Shogo Tomiyama‘s likely spot as the film’s producer.
The tentative title for this project is in fact “THE GODZILLA,” English spelling of the word Godzilla, not Gojira. According to Toho this was done to drive more interest in the film internationally. Toho is banking on the success of this film to elevate the series, and to create more international awareness.