Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi to Direct ‘Godzilla 2016’

Godzilla 2016 from Toho
© 2016 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Top Japanese filmmakers Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi will team up to co-direct “Godzilla 2016”, the new Japanese version of the iconic Godzilla monster movie franchise.

The Toho studio, which licensed remake rights to Warner Bros. for the hit 2014 revival by director Gareth Edwards, produced the seemingly terminal “Godzilla: Final Wars” back in 2004.

But interest was revived by Edward’s 2014 “Godzilla,” which earned $525 million worldwide and JPY3.2 billion ($26 million) in Japan, with Toho and Warner Bros. Japan co-distributing.

“Ever since Hollywood announced that ‘Godzilla’ was to be resurrected, the expectation for another Japanese Godzilla grew. And if we were to newly produce, we looked into Japanese creators who were the most knowledgeable and who had the most passion for Godzilla” said Toho in a statement.

Anno will also be responsible for the screenplay while Higuchi will oversee the picture’s VFX.

The two directors previously collaborated on “God Warrior Appears in Tokyo.” “Their drive to take on such new challenges was exactly what we all had been inspired by,” said Toho.

Anno worked on the animation of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli-produced “Nausicaa in the Valley of Wind.” He later directed anime series including “Gunbuster,” “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water” and the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” series for which he is best most known. He also curated a touring exhibition Tokusatsu — Special Effects Museum.

Higuchi also worked on the “Evangelion” series, before debuting as a feature director with “Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean” in 2005 and scoring a major hit with “The Sinking of Japan.”

Meanwhile, Edwards has been signed to make “Godzilla 2,” which is set for a June 8, 2018, bow, with Legendary and Warner Bros. again co-producing.

In total Toho has produced 28 Godzilla movies since 1954 when Ishiro Honda directed the first. Ryuhei Kitamura’s “Godzilla: Final Wars” earned a disappointing $12 million.

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  1. skyjedi says:

    Anno should finish the fourth evangelion rebuild movie first, you know the one that has been delayed so many times.

  2. Justine says:

    Putting aside the controversy of atomically bombing Japan, it seems grossly unfair for Japan to get nuked twice (1945), and then to see a giant radioactive lizard smashing up Tokyo as nature’s vengeance for atomic weaponry (1954).

    The sense of hopelessness and fear of radiation poisoning has not faded from the Japanese psyche, and was central to the story and protagonists behind Anno’s Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).

    If Anno can weave another story behind the theme that made Evangelion a success, and use the original Godzilla (1954) soundtrack, perhaps Godzilla (2016) will become a classic later on, if not an immediate box office success.

  3. crackers81 says:

    See to me this is terrible news. I really don’t like that their mantra going into this is “we’re going to compete with hollywood!!!……buuuuuuut we’re not going to throw the necessary funds at at”. The 2014 Godzilla flick’s CGI was okay at best and cost so much that Godzilla was barely in the film. You’re not going to do more with less, and that goes triple for the Japanese movie industry which is a generation or two behind Hollywood in terms of what it can do with special effects.

    No one wants a rip off of Hollywood style cinema. We already have that: It’s called Hollywood. If you can’t afford the budget, then do a good old fashioned practical effects film as only Toho really can.

  4. Matt Frank says:

    This is extremely exciting news – Anno and Higuchi are a powerhouse team. Fans have been desperate for Higuchi to helm a Godzilla feature for years now, and his work on the Gamera trilogy from the 90’s is indicative of his capability of showing off amazing giant monster battles.
    While it definitely appears that Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film has audiences split down the middle, I think we’re pretty damn fortunate, as Godzilla fans, that it did so well and renewed interest in the brand. I’m confident that Legendary will take fans’ criticism to heart and ensure that the next film has more monster action, whereas the new Toho production has talent behind it the likes of which a Godzilla production hasn’t had since…well, a VERY long time.

    • Craig says:

      You got that right. I’m very glad Godzilla 2014, at the very least, brought modern-day public attention to such an old icon. And I’m definitely looking forward to both Toho’s 2016 rendition and Godzilla 2.

  5. dekkard55 says:

    Anything Toho produces will be better that Edward’s bait and switch 2014 Godzilla. I’ve never be so disappointed in a movie in my life. I walked out of the theater feeling cheated and had go home and watch original Godzilla 1954 to wash away the bad taste. The only reason why it made money was that they lied to public with their marketing campaign. They advertise a great steak but served fished and hoped we wouldn’t notice. The studio got the last laugh with over $500 million worldwide but I will NOT be running out to see Edwards Godzilla 2 in the theaters..

    • Craig says:

      At least the 2014 movie was better than the POS known as the 1998 movie! That movie completely s**t all over the true image of Godzilla! The 2014 movie did Godzilla justice.

      • Craig says:

        Yes, that’s right, Harvin. Godzilla films barely show Godzilla in it. Some of them even feature Godzilla’s adversaries more than Godzilla itself, just like the 2014 film did! A failure to even acknowledge that fact indicates how much of a Godzilla fan one is.

        And by the way, dekkard55, Godzilla has never been about “city-smashing action” as you’ve been conditioned to think it is thanks to Michael Bay’s films. Godzilla’s meant to be all about the MESSAGE it conveys. The first (and best) Godzilla films did that, and Edwards was doing the same thing.

      • Harvin says:

        Btw im talking to the guy who think Edwards didn’t do the franchise justice.

      • Harvin says:

        If you thonk your a Godzilla fan then your probably the worst fan i have ever seen. Have you ever watched a Godzilla. They all have at least 5-15 minutes of monster screentime. The fact you thought Michael Bay can make a better Godzilla movie proves your a fake fan that know nothing about Godzilla and what makes the franchise great. Action is not important to Godzilla movies.

      • Craig says:

        Yes, Edwards DID Godzilla justice by not making him an iguana who lays eggs, runs away from the military for the most part, barely can catch up to a taxi of all things, and dies to six missiles. That is NOT what Godzilla is. Ever since the original film, Godzilla was always meant to be an allegory of nuclear radiation and how mankind signed its death warrant by creating it in the first place through nuclear experiments. The 2014 film changed the premise a little by making Godzilla a force of nature that’s just being fueled by radiation, but that was just about it. I’d prefer a minor change like that over another 1998 rendition that completely shit all over the original source material.

        No, I’d rather NOT have Michael Bay direct Godzilla 2, especially when Godzilla’s legendary costars Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah are gonna be in it. After what he did to ruin the Transformers franchise, I don’t wanna know what he’d do to their back-stories, and maybe even Godzilla’s.

        As for Guillermo Del Toro, if you’re referring to his work on Pacific Rim, it too did the same thing as Godzilla did in its action sequences. There was always a long period of time between them, lots of buildup, and the sequences themselves were short (admittedly not as short as Godzilla’s, but my point on the time it took between these sequences still stands). I think if Del Toro took Godzilla 2, it wouldn’t make much of a difference, since technically ALL monster movies use that kind of treatment for their action. I wouldn’t mind Del Toro directing Godzilla 2, actually, but considering he’s working on Pacific Rim 2, him working on two monster movies at once would kinda set up too much similarities between both films than comfort.

        Deceptive marketing campaign, huh? I understand the promos portrayed Bryan Cranston as the hero of the movie, not Aaron Taylor-Johnson, but to be honest, I wasn’t all that upset when Cranston’s character died. I still enjoyed what I got and am looking forward to what Edwards will provide in the sequel. Considering Mothra, Rodan, and/or King Ghidorah are in it, plus the fact that he’s a Godzilla fan, I don’t think he’ll waste this opportunity to showcase some awesome fight scenes between them and Godzilla.

      • dekkard55 says:

        You think Edwards did Godzilla justice? Wow! Good luck with that. I would much rather have Michael Bay or Guillermo Del Toro direct Godzilla2. At least we would see some city smashing action. Legendary Pictures should get an academy award for most deceptive marketing campaign for a film.

  6. “God Warrior Appears in Tokyo” is a ten-minute short, designed as a companion piece to Miyazaki’s NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND and shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo in 2012. Shinji Higuchi’s main kaiju credentials and the item on his resume that uniquely qualifies him for this gig is his direction of the special effects for the 1995-99 Gamera trilogy, GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE, GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION and GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS. In the 3rd film, there’s a battle between Gamera (a giant turtle) and Iris in Kyoto Station that looks for all the world like they’d taken a camera crew to the location and shot the battle as it actually happened. That’s how good it looks. And it’s all done with actors in monster suits, onscreen mechanical effects and miniature sets. No CGI. Higuchi also directed a delightful musical with the pop act, Minimoni, that’s partly animated and partly live-action. His 2005 film, THE SINKING OF JAPAN, was a vastly superior remake of a 1973 film. My vain hope is that they don’t use CGI in the new film.

  7. TONY says:

    OH NO.
    How many more are we gonna get?

  8. J.d. Snead says:

    As a true Godzilla fan, & all 30 films in my collection. I want more, never stop making G movies, I just don’t want another Godzilla: Revenge/Megalon horrible movies.

    As a fan, personally I would love to see a US Godzilla vs King Kong.

    • King Kong is 25 feet tall and was killed by biplanes. Godzilla is over 350 feet tall and is indestructible to nuclear weapons. Not a fair fight

      • crackers81 says:

        And then there’s reality where people don’t care for charting vital statistics when they go out to watch a movie about a giant ape and a giant reptile ruining the city. Turn it off once in a while, crap! You’re giving me cancer.

      • Craig says:

        I will have to refer you to “King Kong vs. Godzilla”, a 1962 film produced by Toho that was a crossover between King Kong and Godzilla. Both were hundreds of feet tall in that movie, and King Kong’s strength equaled to that of Godzilla’s. Look up the movie. It’s real, and a U.S. version can certainly be real if Edwards wants it to be real.

  9. Sean Alpha says:

    Reblogged this on Geek Eire and commented:
    O dear lord

  10. IT 2 IT says:

    Franchise slums —unto franchise slums
    ————-unto ever more STALE
    ——————————–decades STALE
    —————————————————franchise slums.

    WHENEVER you’re ready to HURL the PSYCHOPATHS
    who RUN Hollywood.


  11. Sandy Muller says:

    Toho will get the big guy right. It’ll be way better than that LOUD cgi mess of last year.

    • Aaron Savage says:

      The “loud CGI mess of last year” is better than a lot of the Toho films, and earned a respectable $528 million worldwide. Don’t opine such stupid things.

      • Russ Turk says:

        It made $528 million, but the movie was a bait and switch a piece of crap. Godzilla appeared in total for about 7 minutes in the 2 hour film. The rest was generic story featuring the military. The only actor in it that had any sort of emotion was Bryan Cranston’s and they killed him off in the first 20 minutes.

      • morfot says:

        Being better than a lot of Toho films is debatable. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good movie but I didn’t exactly have fun while watching it and I believe it lacks on revisiting value.

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