This past week, Japanese publication Nikkei Style released an interview with Keiji Ota--Toho's Chief Godzilla Officer over Goji-kon, or the Godzilla Strategy Council launched in October 2014. The council was created to help decide where to take the future of the Godzilla franchise. Thanks to Gormaru Island's translations, we have a better idea of where Mr. Ota hopes to take Godzilla next.
"...after 2021, we're thinking of a potential strategy that [releases] Godzilla movies uninterrupted at a rate of every 2 years, although there is a preference for a yearly pace as well." said Ota. He continued, hoping to expand Toho's Godzilla franchise into a cinematic universe, inspired by Marvel.
The future of the series and its forwarding developments are very conscious of the method of "shared universe". Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, etc. could all share a single world view much like a Marvel movie where Iron Man and the Hulk can crossover with each other.
It is said that each movie can be a possible film production where any one of them could lead a film of their own as the titular character.
The idea of kaiju spin-offs that star Mothra or King Ghidorah was rumored earlier this year, but this is the first Ota has spoken openly about it. However, it looks as though a Toho Godzilla universe will not include 2016's smash hit and Japanese Academy Award winning, Shin Godzilla.
Shin Godzilla was a huge hit, but instead of thinking of doing the obvious idea of making a Shin Godzilla 2, instead think about a world that can be used for a long time, I'd rather make a World of Godzilla.
Ota continued to talk about the merchandising restrictions on overseas markets due to their deal with Warner Brothers and Legendary. However, in future, Toho hopes to do that themselves. You can read the entire translation by Gormaru Island here.
Mr. Ota doesn't mention how or if these plans will effect Legendary Pictures' Monsterverse, post-2020. Shin Godzilla co-director Shinji Higuchi said the deal between Toho and Legendary ends after 2020, hence why no one has spoken for the Monsterverse beyond that year.
Additionally, some industry insiders postulate Legendary could be in hot water with its current Chinese owner Wanda. Recently hit with financial woes, Wanda has been shedding some assets and Legendary could potentially find itself on the chopping block. Ultimately, there's no information as to how Legendary will proceed in the future or what will happen to the Monsterverse.
Toho, however, seems completely dedicated to expanding the Godzilla franchise after 2020. With the tentative plan of a new film every two years and a fresh "World of Godzilla", it's clear the Godzilla franchise will be here for awhile with or without Legendary Pictures.
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