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“This is very good timing after the success of the American version this year: if not now, then when? The licensing contract we have with Legendary places no restrictions on us making domestic versions,” a Toho staffer told The Hollywood Reporter.
Japan’s Internet giant SoftBank invested $250 million in Legendary in Oct following the breakdown of negotiations to buy DreamWorks Animation.
Budget, cast and director for what will be the 29th installment from Toho have yet to be decided, according to the studio. Production is slated to begin in summer 2015 and the film will be aimed at the global market.
Although Toho concedes it can’t match $200 million Hollywood-size budget, advances in CG will allow it to create a film that can stand alongside such productions, according to a release from the studio.
The first Godzilla film was released by Toho in 1954, with the last from the storied Japanese studio Godzilla: Final Wars coming exactly half a century later in 2004. The franchise has been recognized by the Guinness World Records 2015 as the longest running in global cinematic history.
Toho also announced the formation of a Godzilla Strategic Conference (Godzi-Con), consisting of executives and directors that will look for ways to leverage the Godzilla brand through merchandising and other activities. The launch of Godzi-Con suggests that Toho is planning on creating a new Godzilla series, though the studio will not confirm anything beyond the 2016 film.
Edwards is set to direct the next Legendary Godzilla film, set for release in 2018.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek