If you're a Godzilla fan it's quite a time to be alive. Legendary's Godzilla (2014) and Toho's Shin Godzilla (2016) reinvigorated the franchise and now, over the next three years, we will be treated to five new films featuring the King of the Monsters. Understandably, there's been some confusion over what Godzilla movies are coming out and when--It's easy to get lost in the waves of information when multiple Godzilla productions are happening at once. So lets ease the confusion for those who need the help:
GODZILLA: PLANET OF THE MONSTERS – November 17th, 2017 (Japanese theaters)
The next Godzilla film will be the first animated feature starring the Monster King. Set in the distant future, Planet of the Monsters is written by award winning Psycho-Pass & Kamen Rider Gaim scribe Gen Urobuchi. The film is produced by Polygon Pictures and Toho Animation, with Toho distributing. It's worth noting that this is not a sequel to either Legendary Pictures' Godzilla or Toho's Shin Godzilla, but exists in its own, brand new continuity. Sci-Fi Japan reports after its Japanese theatrical release it will hit Netflix worldwide either late 2017 or early 2018.
"The final summer of the 20th century… when mankind learns it is no longer the sole ruler of planet Earth.
The planet is beset by the emergence of colossal creatures that roam the Earth, and king among them is “Godzilla”. For a half a century, these beasts engage in ferocious battle with each other and mankind.
Ultimately humanity, unable to compete, prepares for exile from its home planet. In the year 2048, a select few humans are chosen by the central government’s artificial intelligence to set out on hyper-speed interstellar emigration vessel, the Aratrum, on an 11.9 light-year journey for the planet Tau Ceti e. But when they arrive after 20 years of space travel, the remnants of mankind find the environmental conditions on Tau-e to be much worse than expected, and uninhabitable by humans.
On board the vessel is a young man, Haruo. When he was four years old, he saw his parents killed by Godzilla before his eyes, and in the 20 years since he has thought about nothing but returning to Earth and defeating Godzilla. With their chance for escape to another world closed, and living conditions on the ship deteriorating, Haruo spearheads a movement to return to Earth despite the dangers of such a long return trip.
Somehow, the Aratrum makes the return journey in one piece, but the home they return to has become an alien planet. 20,000 years have elapsed, and a new ecosystem has emerged with Godzilla at its apex. Can mankind take back its native planet? Will Haruo get his revenge? Prepare for the earth-shattering roar of a brand new Godzilla, unlike anything heard or seen before!"
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters stars the voice talents of Mamoru Miyano (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Ultraman Zero: The Movie), Takahiro Sakurai (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans), Kana Hanazawa (.hack//Quantum), Yuki Kaji (Attack on Titan), Tomokazu Sugita (Attack on Titan), Junichi Suwabe (Space Dandy), Kenta Miyake (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn), Kenyu Horiuchi (Bleach, One Piece), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) and Kazuya Nakai (Dragon Ball Super). The film is directed by Kobun Shizuno (Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare) & Hiroyuki Seshita (Knights of Sidonia) from a screenplay by Gen Urobuchi (Kamen Rider Gaim).
GODZILLA: PLANET OF THE MONSTERS 2 & 3 – 2018 (tentatively)
At the end of March it was confirmed by the Anime News Network that Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters would be the first of a movie trilogy. Although no release date, cast or crew have been confirmed for the sequels, it's likely that the same team will roll over into the follow-ups. According to a Bandai promotional ad (above), both sequels are scheduled for a 2018 release. That could easily change, but if it holds true it would be the first time since 1964 that two Godzilla movies are released in the same year.
No official titles or synopsis has been revealed.
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS – March 22nd, 2019
Originally set for a June 8th, 2018 release date, director Gareth Edwards stepped down from the production allowing a new team to take over. Led by writer/director Michael Dougherty (Krampus), the highly anticipated sequel to the 2014 film will have a massive five year gap to make up. It may be worth it with Toho favorites Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah joining a Hollywood production for the first time. The film is currently shooting under the working title, Fathom. Legendary Pictures will produce with Warner Brothers distributing.
"The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance."
Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kyle Chandler (Super 8, Friday Night Lights), Vera Farmiga (The Departed), O'Shea Jackson (Straight Outta Compton), Aisha Hinds (If I Stay), Anthony Ramos (Hamilton), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Randy Havens (Stranger Things), Ken Watanabe, (Godzilla), Sally Hawkins (Godzilla), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Bradley Whitford (Get Out, West Wing), Elizabeth Ludlow (The Walking Dead) and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The film will be directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat, Krampus) from his screenplay co-written by Zach Shields (Krampus). Alex Garcia is producing.
GODZILLA VS. KONG – May 22nd, 2020
With Kong: Skull Island expanding the MonsterVerse, Legendary Pictures made it loud and clear where these films were heading. The movie will be a sequel to Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Announced in late 2015, Godzilla vs. Kong will be directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Death Note) based on a writer's room-concocted story led by Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean). After years of Toho attempting a remake, Legendary Pictures will bring the beasts back together nearly 60 years after their initial clash. Legendary Pictures will produce with Warner Brothers distributing.
No official synopsis or cast has been announced. However, Zhang Ziyi is rumored to reprise her role from Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
This is, of course, only what has been announced so far. Depending on how well Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong performs, the MonsterVerse may very well continue beyond 2020. Even if it doesn't, Toho could carry on.
Shin Godzilla co-director Shinji Higuchi has said Toho can't make another Godzilla movie until after 2020. (This is likely due to contractual agreements with Legendary Pictures, but no details were given. Obviously it doesn't apply to animated Godzilla films.) It's unthinkable that Toho would let such an opportunity go to waste. Are follow-ups to both Shin Godzilla and the Godzilla vs. Kong on the horizon? Or something else? Maybe, but these are questions to be answered another time. We have five "Big G" movies to plow through first. Exciting times for Godzilla fans.
Anime News Network
The Hollywood Reporter - Adam Wingard Directing Godzilla vs...
The Hollywood Reporter - Terry Rossio Leads Godzilla vs...
*Fan art by CAMW1N on DeviantArt
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