Sign in with your E-Mail & Password

Log in to view your personalized notifications across Scified!

Godzilla Discussion Forums
Godzilla vs. Hedorah Director Yoshimitsu Banno Dies at 86

Godzilla vs. Hedorah Director Yoshimitsu Banno Dies at 86

Scified2017-05-09 18:46:46
20,568 Reads4 CommentsAdd A Comment

On May 7th the last surviving director of the Showa Godzilla series, Yoshimitsu Banno, passed away at 86. Banno is best known for directing the still controversial Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) as well as being an executive producer on Legendary Pictures' Godzilla (2014) reboot.

Banno joined Toho in 1955 and worked closely with many of Japanese cinema's greats, including Mikio Naruse (Floating Clouds [1955]) and Eiji Tsuburaya (Special Effects Director of Godzilla [1954]). [1] He also served as Akira Kurosawa's assistant director on several films including Throne of Blood (1957) and Hidden Fortress (1958). [2]

In 1970 Banno made his directorial debut with Birth of the Japanese Islands. [3] A staged publicity event for Japanese Islands impressed Godzilla series producer Tomoyuki Tanaka so that he was offered the director's chair for Godzilla vs. Hedorah. [2][3]

Although fan consensus is certainly split, no one can deny that Banno's idiosyncratic visual style makes Godzilla vs. Hedorah one of the most unique films in the series. The entry's merits and distinct visual cues are still widely discussed today, with some critics praising it as a high point--Others not so much. Tomoyuki Tanaka was of the latter opinion. [2]

Irate over the final product, Tanaka forbade Banno to direct a Godzilla film again. [2] He would later assistant direct/co-write Toho's Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974) and find work for television productions. [3]

In 2000 Banno opened his company Advanced Audiovisual Productions, specializing in 70mm, IMAX productions. However, his passion for Godzilla never died. After 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars he was given the rights to produce his own IMAX Godzilla short, Godzilla 3D to the MAX. The movie would be a subtle remake of Godzilla vs. Hedorah and include overt references to 9/11. Godzilla was to fight another pollutant beast known as Deathla. [3]

Banno's team attempted to partner with other production companies, seeking funding to produce a story that was constantly in flux. (Likely to make it more appealing for investors.) American effects company Kerner Productions, aka, Kerner Optical, was on board to produce the film, but was unable to secure funding. [3] Banno and Kerner's American producers went to Legendary Pictures for backing. Although Legendary wasn't interested in Banno's movie, they were intrigued by the idea of creating their own. [4][5]

Thus, what is now known to fans as the "Monsterverse" was born and Banno was credited as an executive producer on the 2014 Godzilla. The official Legendary Pictures twitter paid tribute to the filmmaker following his death.

Although he may have been inadvertently responsible for bringing Godzilla back from a 10 year hiatus, Yoshimitsu Banno was still not satisfied. In November of 2013 he claimed he still had every intention of making a sequel to Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Regrettably, the film will never be made. [5]

With love, thoughts and prayers, we wish Banno's friends and loved ones the very best.

Armand's Rancho Del Ceilo - Yoshimitsu Banno, RIP
Dead Central - Rest in Peace: Yoshimitsu Banno
[1] Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the "Big G" - Ryfle, Steve, pg. 163
[2] A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, 2nd Ed. - Kalat, David, pg. 117, 118, 122
[3] Sci-Fi Japan - The Long Evolution of Godzilla 3-D - Aiken, Keith; Godziszewski
[4] Joe for America - Amazing Facts About Godzilla - Conover, Rodney Lee
[5] Cosmic Book News - Hedorah Confirmed for Godzilla 2014 Movie & Smog Monster Sequel?! - McGloin, Matt

If you are a fan of Godzilla, Toho and the Monsterverse and are looking for a welcoming online community to share your passion and engage with other die-hard Godzilla fans, look no further! Join in the Godzilla Movies forum - a dedicated community of Godzilla movie and Monsterverse fans!

Get G-ed Up!

With the upcoming release of Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong, now is a great time to pick your Titan and represent Godzilla or Kong! Check out some products below and click here for even more options!

Godzilla wins 2021 Shirt
Godzilla Hoodie
Kong Wins 2021 Shirt

This article was written By G. H. (Gman) and published on 2017-05-09 18:46:46

More about upcoming Godzilla projects

Godzilla vs. Kong was the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and was the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. Now, the Monsterverse takes a new direction - into TV! On January 20th, 2022 Legendary announced a new live-action Godzilla Monsterverse TV Series which will stream on Apple TV Plus network! Be sure to check Godzilla-Movies often for the latest news and info on the Monsterverse TV Series and all things Toho Godzilla as well!

Stay up to date with the latest news on all things Godzilla, Toho and the Monsterverse also by liking us on Facebook and by following us on Twitter and Instagram! Also, consider subscribing your email to our blog for instant notifications of when new posts are made!

Find more info:
Recent Godzilla / Monsterverse Articles
4 Fan responses to Godzilla vs. Hedorah Director Yoshimitsu Banno Dies at 86

The Hooded Figure

TitanosaurusMember854 XPMay-09-2017 10:12 PM

I honestly never knew that he started the MonsterVerse. Without him, we wouldn't have Shin Godzilla, the anime, and other yet to be future Godzilla movies.

I actually am one of the ones that enjoyed Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Sad though he never got to see his dream of a sequel to happen. He very clearly though was a passionate fan of Godzilla and always will be. 

Rest in peace Yoshimitsu Banno. 

You will be missed.


TitanosaurusMember934 XPMay-09-2017 10:24 PM

R.I.P Mr Banno.

Im Durp

BaragonMember478 XPMay-12-2017 8:52 AM

Godzilla vs Hedorah is my least favorite Godzilla movie, but it's clear that Banno had a lot of love for this franchise and its characters.


So RIP Banno, I didn't agree with your movie but I still have a lot of respect for the work you put into one of my favorite franchises.



TitanosaurusMember667 XPAug-01-2017 11:07 AM

Wow no idea about any of this. R.I.P.

Add A Reply
Log in to Post
Enter Your E-Mail
Enter Your Password

Stay Logged In
Visitor Comments
Scified Network
Godzilla-Movies.comHosted Community
JurassicWorld3.netHosted Community
Alien-Covenant.comHosted Community
Hosted Community
Predator4-Movie.comHosted Community
New Godzilla Forum Topics
Non Stop Casino - Not on GamStop
Highest Forum Ranks Unlocked
G. H. (Gman)
G. H. (Gman)
92% To Next Rank
74% To Next Rank
Cool Godzilla
Cool Godzilla
70% To Next Rank
58% To Next Rank
g-man fan
g-man fan
37% To Next Rank
Non GamStop Site - Casino Gap
Support Us
Latest Godzilla Fandom Activity
Cool Godzilla just cast their vote on the Poll: Rate the movie!
Cool Godzilla just cast their vote on the Poll: best godzilla fighting game
Non GamStop Bets Casinos
NZ Casino Deps - For Real Money
Non GamStop Site - Casino Wise is an information resource for fans looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Godzilla Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Godzilla looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Godzilla: King of the Monsters and its associated names, logos and images are property of and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Godzilla: King of the Monsters's release.

Scified is an entertainment media network covering the latest news on the most popular, upcoming science fiction movies, games and television. All content is property of unless otherwise stated. Images and names of content we promote, discuss, review or report are property of their respective owners. Scified is independantly owned and operated by a team of dedicated sci-fi movie fans, who strive to provide the best information and community experience for other like-minded sci-fi movie enthusiasts.

© 2022