Toho is planning a new Japanese Godzilla movie. That’s exciting! But before you get depressed and start worrying if it’s going to stink or not, here’s some good news. The creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion is going to helm and write the picture. Ho ho ho ho!
That’s right, Hideaki Anno is slated to write as well as serve as the “chief director,” overseeing the entire project. According to Jiji Press, the news was announced on March 31. Reportedly, when Anno was first offered the picture, he turned it down, saying, “It’s impossible. I also have Evangelion to do.” However, he came around to the idea of doing the film, as a way to express gratitude for all movies that came before and to help bring back science fiction movies in Japan.
Anno, who is also known for animating one of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’s most difficult scenes, will be working with Shinji Higuchi, a top special effects artist who is now directing the Attack on Titan live-action film. Cinra.net reports that for the upcoming Godzilla movie, Higuchi will be credited as “director” and “special effects director.”
This sounds like it will be a big project, so I imagine Toho is bringing both on to help divide the workload. These two men go way back, so hopefully, that will make for a smooth production for Japan’s first Godzilla feature film in well over a decade.
Higuchi has a wealth of special effects experience, cutting his teeth on 1984’s The Return of Godzilla and working on those wonderful Gamera movies Daiei released in the 1990s. He also co-founded Gainax, which created Evangelion, and if you haven’t guessed by now, his name, Shinji, was used to name the Eva character Shinji Ikari.
The upcoming Godzilla film won’t be Anno’s first turn at live-action directing. Previously, he helmed Love & Pop, which I liked, and Cutie Honey, which I thought was so-so. And then, of course, there’s all he has done on the highly influential Evangelion franchise. So, yeah, some of his live-action work has been spotty, but I feel like Godzilla is in good hands, and Toho is serious about making a great kaiju movie.
The next Japanese Godzilla film is slated for 2016.