×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TriStar lands monster of deal with ‘Godzilla’

TriStar Pictures is back in blockbuster business. After an extended fallow period, the studio has reached agreement with The Toho Co. for the movie rights to “Godzilla” and has producer Laura Ziskin’s “Cartooned” with director Terry Gilliam on the fast-track development path.

Coupled with the previously reported Zoetrope Prods. project “Frankenstein” and domestic distribution rights to Carolco Pictures/Jim Cameron’s “Spiderman,” the studio appears positioned to roll out a healthy series of “tent pole” movies beginning in summer 1994.

TriStar chairman Mike Medavoy acknowledged that TriStar production executives have been scrambling over the last few months to discover the latest franchise. “It is obvious that TriStar has embarked on the strategy of putting its own large pictures into the mix,” he said.

In acquiring “Godzilla,” TriStar ponied up an upfront payment of $ 300,000 to $ 400,000 for the movie rights to the characters used in Tokyo-based Toho’s first 15 installments of the film series.

The deal also includes lucrative production bonuses for Toho, as well as sequel rights for TriStar.

Producers Cary Woods and Rob Fried are inked to pull “Godzilla” through the development process and into production. Fried started negotiations with Toho for “Godzilla” early this year, after seeing a commercial featuring the creature spawned from nuclear waste.

Fried said TriStar plans to develop an original story for its version of “Godzilla,” which is on fast-track development with best-case-scenario production anticipated in late 1993. He said the theme of TriStar’s “Godzilla” will remain true to the original series–cautioning against nuclear weapons and runaway technology. “Godzilla” will go out to screenwriters and directors over the next few months.

The “Godzilla” acquisition has created speculation that TriStar parent Sony Corp. abandoned its hands-off management policy and pushed the studio to acquire the property.

But producer Woods insisted “Godzilla” was “a clear example of the kind of synergy that can exist when American producers and an American studio want to pursue something that is uniquely Japanese. It is an example where something got done with their help, as opposed to their insistence.”

TriStar is high on the acquisition of “Godzilla” because the its tailor-made for update with 1993 special effects. TriStar has recently moved to build its own in-house special effects studio, as a way of bringing down the cost of technology-driven movies.

In sealing the deal, TriStar vice chairman Ken Lemberger traveled to Tokyo to personally handle the “Godzilla” negotiations.

“Frankenstein,””Cartooned,””Spiderman” and producer Gale Anne Hurd’s “Taking Liberty” are among the other known screenplays in development that TriStar has big-budget dreams pinned on.

More Film

  • Michael B. JordanAFI Awards Luncheon, Los

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan's Hitman Drama 'Silver Bear' Gets Director

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan’s “The Silver Bear” finds a director, biopic “Running for My Life” is in the works, Fox is using new trailer compliance software and the 14-hour “La Flor” gets distribution. DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT Gerard McMurray, director of “The First Purge,” will write and direct Michael B. Jordan’s thriller “The [...]

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, based on Larry Watson’s novel [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

  • Leave No Trace

    Oscar Analysts Are Sincere -- but Often Totally Wrong

    With Oscars arriving Feb. 24, we can expect multiple “who will win/who should win” columns. There will also be a flurry of post-show analyses about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and why members voted the way they did. Since AMPAS never releases polls or voting tallies, these pundits will never be contradicted [...]

  • Green Book spiderman into the spider

    On Eve of Oscars, Variety’s Film Experts Answer Three Pressing Questions

    We continue to live in a divided world, with the current political landscape in the United States a seemingly endless hotbed of tumult and acrimony. Issues of racism, bigotry, diversity and gender equality drive the creative players as well, with Oscar-nominated films parlaying said themes into compelling, thought-provoking cinema. To analyze 2018 in big-screen entertainment, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content