January 10, 2011
Legendary Pictures reports that Gareth Edwards ("Monsters") will direct an update of "Godzilla", based on Toho Studios flame-breathing dinosaur
character, that debuted in 1954.
Legendary is producing the new film for Warner Bros. prepping for a 2012 wide
release. Toho has kept Godzilla alive through two generations of movies, many of which
were only released in Japan. The last time Godzilla arrived in North America, it was for a 50th Anniversary re-release of
the original movie.
Before that, Toho released one of the Japanese films in the United
States as "Godzilla 2000" and in 1998, director Roland Emmerich, with partner Dean Devlin tackled a reinvention of "Godzilla"
for Sony, grossing $379 million worldwide. "Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at
Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman,
CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the 'Godzilla' that we, as fans, would want to see.
We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant
for as long as it has." "Godzilla is a signature Japanese character which we have nurtured over the
years," said Hideyuki Takai, President, Toho Co., Ltd. "It is a great honor to reach an agreement with Legendary Pictures,
the parent to many a blockbuster film, and we are delighted in rebooting the character together to realize its much anticipated
return by fans from all over the world.
"We are anxious to
find out where Godzilla's new stomping will take us."
"Godzilla is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which Warner
Bros. and our partners at Legendary are best known," said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
"We have enjoyed a great deal
of success together to date and this newest opportunity represents yet another chance for us to collaborate on a property
that is very clearly in their wheelhouse..."