Godzilla is Already Back to Thumb His Nose at America

The pattern now seems familiar to anyone who follows Godzilla films. In 1995, during what is referred to as the Heisei era of Godzilla, the title monster was killed off by his own internal nuclear fire during the finale of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. In 1998, Sony elected to make an American version of the film, called simply Godzilla, helmed by action-meister Roland Emmerich. It was not well-received, despite making money, and remains, to this day, a rather notorious film in the history of Hollywood blockbusters. 

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Toho, the Japanese studio behind Godzilla, elected to show up the Americans and brought Godzilla back in a proper canonical film called Godzilla 2000, ushering in the Millennium era of Godzilla. During this era, in 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, everyone’s favorite nuclear gorilla-whale was even seen killing off the monster from the 1998 film. It was the shortest fight in Godzilla film history. Final Wars was also intended to be the last word on Godzilla. 

America came back in 2014, however, with a new film, also called Godzilla, directed by Gavin Edwards. This new American Godzilla was decent enough, was also a hit, and plans for a sequel were immediately put into effect. Toho, in response to the 2014 American film, once again elected to reclaim their own cultural icon, and, as of this month, have already released Godzilla Resurgence (a.k.a. Shin Gojira), the first film in a new era of Godzilla, as yet unnamed.

Funimation, the company behind Dragonball Z, has announced that Godzilla Resurgence will be released in American theaters as early as the end of this year, hoping to unseat the new American films as the “official” version. It is directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, the makers of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The next American Godzilla film, also directed by Gavin Edwards, is set for release in 2018.

We now have two warring Godzilla franchises. Christmas came early this year. 

Top Image: Toho

Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon. He also contributes to Legion of Leia and to Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.