You can't keep a giant, city-wrecking lizard down for very long!
As the Godzilla franchise turns 68-years-old this week, series curator Toho has teased a brand-new outing with the atomic-breathing kaiju that originally served as a dire warning of proliferation of nuclear arms in the devastating aftermath of World War II. Toho didn't give up much information on the mystery title (its first adventure with the gargantuan beastie since 2016's Shin Godzilla) beyond the reveal of a serpentine logo and an official release date of Nov. 3, 2023.
"Godzilla’s long history has shaped the world of pop culture and monster fandom for nearly 70 years,” Lora Cohn — Managing Director of Toho International, the L.A.-based subsidiary of film, theater production and distribution company Toho — said in a statement published by CNBC. Since 1954, more than 30 features centered around the iconic behemoth and his rogues gallery have been produced.
During a 1971 interview, original Godzilla director Honda Ishiro explained how his profound disdain for atomic weapons fueled the creation of a cinematic legend. "It's horrifying to make such terrible weapons and use them on one city and then another," he said. "It was that feeling, for me as a director, that meant I didn't hesitate one bit to make Godzilla come alive in the film."
The Americanized version of the Godzilla property continues to go strong with Warner Bros. and Legendary's ever-expanding "Monsterverse" franchise, which now comprises four big screen titles: Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014), Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island (2017), Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong (2021).
Despite a hybrid release in theaters and on HBO Max, Godzilla's monster mash smackdown with the simian ruler of Skull Island brought in nearly $500 million at the worldwide box office, flying directly in the face of dampened ticket sales caused by the COVID-19 health crisis. A fifth movie (code-named "Son of Kong") is currently in development with Wingard slated to return as director.
In addition, a spinoff series at Apple TV+ was announced earlier this year. So far, the project (dubbed Godzilla and the Titans) has cast the likes of Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Ren Watabe, Kiersey Clemons, Joe Tippett and Elisa Lasowski.