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Legendary Pictures to Reboot GODZILLA

Back in August of 2009, we received word that Legendary Pictures had an idea to reboot the internationally-known Godzilla franchise. Today, I received a press release from Legendary confirming their intentions to bring the monster back to the big screen.

Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible.  The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release.

Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov called the project a "branded, event film" for the studio, and I'm guessing the announcement of this film being in 3D is not too far down the line.

Let's forget about the 1998 Matthew Broderick flick for now (or better yet, forever) - do you think Godzilla has a chance of being relevant in today's movie landscape? I think Cloverfield proved that a movie like that could succeed, but ironically, I'm not as interested in seeing Godzilla on the big screen as I am to see a sequel to Cloverfield. Keep in mind that I've never been the biggest fan of Godzilla and certainly haven't gone through the extensive archive of his battles against opponents like Mothra, Rodan, and others. So Godzilla fans, let's hear it: are you pumped that Legendary and WB are bringing this project back, or should they leave the giant monster lying dormant in the ocean?

Here's the full press release:

LEGENDARY PICTURES TO DEVELOP AND PRODUCE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE BASED ON TOHO COMPANY’S ICONIC MONSTER, GODZILLA

Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character.  Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide.  Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible.  The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan.

“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 and 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. 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,” comments Hideyuki Takai, President of Toho Co., Ltd. “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. 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,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. 

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will Executive Produce.

About Legendary Pictures

Founded in 2004, Legendary Pictures owns, produces and delivers, on a global basis, some of the world’s most popular intellectual property to the powerful fandom psychographic as well as broader audiences.  With partner Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures’ productions include such global blockbusters as The Dark Knight ($1 billion worldwide), ‘300’ ($456 million worldwide) and The Hangover ($467 million worldwide).  The company has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment.  Among the projects that Legendary is currently developing is an adaptation of the phenomenally successful interactive game universe Warcraft; to be directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman).  Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary is building a library of marquee entertainment properties.

About Toho Company, Ltd.

Founded in 1932 and headquartered in Tokyo, Toho Company, Ltd. is one of the leading entertainment conglomerates in Japan. Toho is best known worldwide as the producer of twenty-eight Godzilla motion pictures, based upon a character the company unleashed on the world back in 1954, and masterpiece films directed by Akira Kurosawa. Toho has been the number one distributor of motion pictures in Japan (both domestic and foreign) for seven consecutive years since 2003.  The company is also, throughout Japan, the leading producer of theatrical works and one of the largest owners of office buildings and theaters.

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