|“||Japan vs. Godzilla. (ニッポン対ゴジラ。)||„|
— Japanese tagline
|“||A god incarnate. A city doomed.||„|
— North American tagline
It was released in Japanese theaters on July 29, 2016, and was also theatrically released in limited runs during late 2016 in 100 international territories, including North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
The Japanese Coast Guard boards a small boat in Tokyo Harbor. Its occupant, a scientist, has vanished, despite the boat's interiors being clean, and nearly untouched, with the scientist's slippers being the only visible remains. Suddenly, the boat rocks violently due to an exterior explosion. Meanwhile, a large amount of what appears to be blood crashes into an underwater tunnel, causing multiple car accidents.
People evacuate while the Japanese government desperately tries to determine what caused the incident. At first they insist that it's impossible for it to have been caused by a living thing, much to the chagrin of certain officials, but the appearance of a large tail in the water changes that. The Prime Minister proceeds to make a press statement, announcing that it's scientifically improbable for the creature to make landfall, however, mid-speech, it does, much to his surprise.
The creature resembles a moray eel with hindlimbs and a dorsal structure. It flops unceasingly down the streets of Tokyo, pushing ships and cars in front of it out of the way, crushing everything in its path as well as climbing on buildings, causing them to collapse. It periodically bleeds out of gill-like openings in its throat. The government meetings continue.
Suddenly, the creature stops moving and collapses in the street. Then, it begins to move, and stretch grotesquely. Its back legs grow and the growth allows the creature to stand up on two feet. The tiny vestigial arms are replaced by much larger, but still small forelimbs, possessing a functional hand. As it stumbles through the city in its new form, the Self-Defense Force arrives to attack it. However, the Prime Minister refuses to allow the attack to begin, as there are still people in the vicinity. The monster roars loudly at the attackers nearby, and then proceeds back to the harbor, destroying a large building as it escapes, and disappears into the sea. Now the government must figure out what has happened, try to prevent it from happening again, and clean the mess up.
Committees are formed. A group of marginal scientists gathers to try to research the monster with what limited knowledge they have. Talks begin with governments around the world, most of all the U.S. government. Due to its large size and rapid mutations, they speculate it requires an enormous amount of energy, not only to move, but to maintain its metabolism. They speculated its energy comes from nuclear fission, a speculation confirmed by traces of radiation that match the creature's trail. Nuclear fission also produces an enormous amount of heat, which is cooled by its fins. They speculated the creature had to retreat to the sea because its rapid mutation used too much energy and thus produced too much heat for its body to cool itself down, thus it retreated to the sea to lower its body temperature to prevent overheating. They also discover its genome has eight times as much DNA as humans. Explaining its ability to self-mutate at will.
Then, appearing in the Tokyo Harbor comes the monster who, based on the missing scientist Goro Maki's research, has been dubbed "Godzilla" by the American military. A further evolved incarnation, Godzilla is more than twice the size it was at its first appearance, with a darker sheen to its skin and a much bulkier body. It slowly enters Tokyo, wreaking havoc with every step, destroying the city with its movement alone. The government struggles to come up with answers and a means to counter the threat. The Self-Defense Force then returns. The Prime Minister reluctantly gives permission to hit Godzilla with everything they have, with which they do. Godzilla, however, maintains an undamaged state, and destroys much of the nation's ground force in the process.
The U.S. government steps in, dropping bombs on Godzilla's back. They detonate, causing much of Godzilla's blood to spill onto the ground, visibly injuring and enraging him. Godzilla's spine suddenly begins to glow an ominous purple, leaving the city lit up by the effect. As Japanese personnel comment on it, Godzilla begins to vomit black and purple fumes, which flow throughout the city around it. Suddenly, in an instant, it ignites the smoke with a large ball of fire-breath, lighting up a large part of the city within seconds, causing immense amounts of destruction from the sheer force of the blast. This wide fire spray is then slowly replaced by a concentrated, high pitched purple beam, which Godzilla aims to the sky, taking out the B2 Bomber that hit it in the first place, much to the shock of the U.S..
Godzilla then stops, and bends over, his back glowing a brighter purple as the remaining B2s drop their payload as an act of "payback". Godzilla then fires multiple beams from his dorsal plates, systematically destroying each missile, while bisecting and destroying the remaining bombers. It then unleashes another torrent of its concentrated, purple atomic breath, cleaving the city's skyline in half like butter, before hitting the helicopter carrying the Prime Minister and other governmental members. Both nations armies are destroyed, and with the city in flames, the government shattered, and many people dead, Godzilla finally begins to cease its attack; the glow on its dorsal plates subsiding as it slowly comes to a stop, freezing in place like a giant statue.
Now there is an even bigger incentive to find Godzilla's secrets and stop it. The places in the city where Godzilla's beams touched have severely high nuclear radiation readings, while the radiation plume caused by its breath and fire are drifting out to sea. They study the immobile Godzilla and find that it is slowly producing nuclear energy. Godzilla runs on nuclear power, and it has depleted all of its power in its recent rampage, which is why it's frozen. It's replenishing its energy to continue, a process that will take a few weeks. In addition, they figure out it possesses a pseudo "radar" system in its body, which is how its dorsal beams were able to destroy each bomb and bomber with pinpoint accuracy.
On top of that, its fins and blood act as a cooling system, and as long as air and water are available to the creature, it will survive. This is coupled with the new knowledge of its asexual reproduction.
The scientists find that Godzilla has more DNA information than any other creature on Earth, at least eight times more than the human genome. It is highly evolved, and may continue to evolve further, with one scientist commenting on how it may sprout wings, provide the opportunity and motive. The U.S. government wants to take over dealings with Godzilla, and begin planning to drop a nuclear bomb on Tokyo in an attempt to kill the monster. They begin a countdown and give the Japanese 2 weeks to evacuate.
The scientists and government formulate a plan in a desperate attempt to avoid another nuke being dropped on the country: the Yashiori Strategy. This strategy involves creating a blood coagulant that would cool Godzilla's internal temperature to the point where he'd freeze, due to the inability to heat himself sufficiently. The team narrowly manages to create the coagulant, with hours left to spare due to Patterson's ability to buy the team time, despite the risks.
They send driverless trains, carrying bombs, to crash into Godzilla's legs who wakes up immediately after. They then use American drones to drop bombs on Godzilla. In defense, it begins shooting beams out of its mouth, spikes, and even its tail, much to the Japanese's shock. This, however, expends Godzilla's energy swiftly, given the sheer number of bombs and bombers Godzilla must strike down, leaving him defenseless as he walks into the line of skyscrapers nearby. The Japanese then knock these multiple large skyscrapers down on Godzilla to stun and pin him to the ground. The first team of pump trucks are then rapidly sent in, and begin to pump the coagulant into Godzilla's mouth. This first attempt results in failure as Godzilla recovers quickly enough to blast the pump truck formation to ashes with his atomic breath, before he stands, roars triumphantly, and begins to walk away. One of the leads of the operation comments on how Godzilla's skin's stiffening.
However, shortly after, a second, larger force of driverless trains are sent en masse towards Godzilla. The overwhelming force of the explosion chains send Godzilla falling forward, sprawled on top of a large building. This allows the second pump truck force to finish what the first group started, pumping the full amount of coagulant into his mouth. Godzilla then suddenly regains his composure and swiftly stands once more, destroying the second pump group as he begins to walk forward again, seemingly unfazed. Godzilla then lets out a loud roar, and suddenly freezes in place, stopped completely in the middle of Tokyo.
It's stated that after this, the Americans' countdown has been paused, but not cancelled; if Godzilla reawakens, Tokyo will be impacted with a nuclear strike. The people of Japan have no choice but to live together and rebuild their country with an immobilized Godzilla. The final shot depicts a frozen Godzilla, and then focuses on his tail. Multiple skeletal, humanoid figures can be seen on the tail's now split open tip, frozen in their seeming escape, all of them possessing Godzilla-esque dorsal plates, before the credits roll.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
- Written by Hideaki Anno
- Produced by Minami Ichikawa, Taichi Ueda, Yoshihiro Sato, Masaya Shibusawa, Kazutoshi Wadakura
- Music by Shiro Sagisu
- Cinematography by Kosuke Yamada
- Edited by Atsuki Sato, Hideaki Anno
- Assistant Directing by Kimiyoshi Adachi
- Special Effects by Shinji Higuchi, Katsuro Onoe
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
The film was revealed through Godzilla.jp. The movie was set to be in production from summer to autumn 2015. In addition, Toho inaugurated "Godzi-Con" to discuss and determine strategies for future Godzilla films, including this one. On March 31, 2015, it was officially confirmed that Hideaki Anno, known for his work on the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, would be writing the screenplay for the film and serve as executive director, and that Shinji Higuchi, who provided the special effects for the Heisei Gamera trilogy, the upcoming Attack on Titan live-action films, and a scene in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, would be the film's director as well as the director of special effects.It was also said that the version of Godzilla in this film would exceed the size of Legendary's Godzilla, making it officially the largest Godzilla ever on film.
In an interview with the Associated Press conducted on July 31, 2015, Shinji Higuchi revealed that Hideaki Anno had recently completed the film's script, and that filming would begin in September. Higuchi stated that he was under strict orders not to reveal any specific details about the film, but he did state that Godzilla would be portrayed in the film using a combination of computer graphics and traditional tokusatsu techniques, a style that Higuchi called "hybrid," which he also utilized to portray the Titans in the recent live-action Attack on Titan film. Higuchi stressed that he wanted to create the most terrifying depiction of Godzilla possible with the resources available to modern Japanese cinema, to reflect the world's recent "loss of innocence" from modern real-life tragedies like the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the tsunami and nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan, which Higuchi called "the real monsters of the world."
In the 2015 Tsuruoka Kamakura Hachiman Paper Lantern Festival, a Godzilla paper lantern signed by Hideaki Anno could be found. It read "・ゴジラ・再上陸 Godzilla Relanding!"
Filming began on September 6, 2015 at the Kamata Railway Station, from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
A smaller scale shoot took place in Yokodai Station in Yokohama, Japan. Filming wrapped up at about 6:00 PM JST.
Another small scale shoot took place in Kamakura Station in Yokohama.
The next large-scale shooting was on September 20, 2015, at the city of Utsunomiya in the Tochigi Prefecture of Japan. The shoot lasted from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM.On September 22, 2015, the film's official title was revealed to be Shin Gojira (シン・ゴジラ?), which translates to New, True, or God Godzilla in English. According to executive producer Akihiro Yamauchi, the title was chosen to exemplify how the film is a "rebirth" or "revival" to the franchise. Hideaki Anno reportedly decided upon the title to bring about various meanings. On the same day, three of the main cast members were also revealed. Hiroki Hasegawa, who played Shikishima in Shinji Higuchi's Attack on Titan, was cast as the lead, a man working for the Japanese government when Godzilla appears. Japanese Academy Award-winning actor Yutaka Takenouchi was cast as another government operative, while actress Satomi Ishihara, who played Hange Zoe in the Attack on Titan film, was cast as an American agent. Toho also launched an official website for the film.
Toho screened a test reel for the film at the annual American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California, which ran from November 4th-11th. It was at this festival that Toho revealed the original official English title of the film: Godzilla: Resurgence.
On December 9, 2015, Katsuro Onoue, special effects director under Shinji Higuchi for the Attack on Titan films, tweeted a teaser poster for the film, featuring a close-up of the new Godzilla's face along with the film's Japanese title and a release date of July 29, 2016. This poster reveal was soon followed by the release of a brief teaser trailer featuring footage from the Kamata Station shoot and the 1954 Godzilla's roar.
The new head design for Godzilla is heavily based on his 1954 design and preserves the traditional maple-leaf shape of his dorsal plates. Unlike previous designs, this Godzilla has countless rows of jagged sharp teeth in his mouth, giving him a much more grotesque and savage appearance. His eyes are also much smaller than previous suits. That same day, it was also revealed that the new Godzilla's official height was 118.5 meters tall, making him officially the tallest Godzilla to appear in a film.
On December 10, Toho's official website revealed that Shiro Sagisu had been selected to compose the film's score. Sagisu had previously worked with both Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, scoring Anno's Neon Genesis Evangelion series and Higuchi's Attack on Titan films.
On January 3, 2016, images of the new Godzilla suit were leaked to the internet.
In March 2016, Toho ran a short interview with the three main cast members of the film during intermissions in their theaters. This interview revealed the names of the actors' characters: Satomi Ishihara's character's name is Kayoko Ann Patterson, Yutaka Takenouchi's is Hideki Akagi, and Hiroki Hasegawa's is Ladou Yaguchi.
On April Fool's Day in Japan (March 31 in the United States), Toho announced a fake Godzilla vs. Evangelion film, even releasing artwork showing Godzilla with Evangelion Unit-01. This April Fool's joke was likely done as a nod to Hideaki Anno's work on both franchises. Toho later revealed the announcement was a prank, but also announced an official collaboration between themselves and Gainax involving Evangelion Unit-01 being featured on exclusive tickets for Shin Godzilla.
On April 13, Toho released an official trailer for the film, showing several of the characters from the film along with Godzilla's full design in action, rendered through CGI. A shorter 32-second version of the trailer was released as well. Toho also updated the film's official website with cast and staff information of the film, as well as a new screenshot of Godzilla in the website's background. Composer Shiro Sagisu's website announced that the soundtrack for Shin Godzilla would go on sale on the film's release date of July 29, and would be sold by King Records.
On May 25, it was announced that the company Intercontinental Film Distributors (H.K.) Ltd., who has distributed various Hollywood films in Hong Kong in theaters and on home video, would be giving Shin Godzilla a theatrical release in Hong Kong starting on August 25. It had recently been confirmed that the film would also be released theatrically in Taiwan starting on August 12. On June 1, the Thai film production and distribution company Sahamongkol Film International Co. Ltd. announced via Twitter that it would be distributing Shin Godzilla theatrically in Thailand starting on July 28, one day ahead of the film's Japanese release.
Shinji Higuchi was present at Tokyo Toy Show on June 9, where he took the stage at Bandai and Tamashii Nations' Godzilla presentation. Accompanied by MireGoji, Higuchi showcased the upcoming S.H. MonsterArts Light Sound Songs Godzilla (1989) figure, and also unveiled the new S.H. MonsterArts Shin Godzilla figure. While at the presentation, Higuchi confirmed that Shin Godzilla was currently in post-production and not yet fully completed, as he and everyone else working on the film were continuing to work until the very end to make something great.
A report published by SciFi Japan on June 13 clarified that Shin Godzilla would not be a sequel to the original 1954 film, and will instead feature a story where Godzilla appears in Japan for the very first time.
On September 2, 2016, Funimation revealed Shin Godzilla's release structure, stating that the movie would get a limited theatrical run starting October 11, through 18 in more than 440 theaters across both the United States and Canada. Alongside this, they also announced two premiere dates for the title, one in Los Angeles for October 3, and one in New York on October 5, one day before New York Comic Con's opening date.
- Japan - July 29, 2016
- Thailand - July 28, 2016
- Taiwan - August 12, 2016
- Philippines - August 24, 2016
- Hong Kong - August 25, 2016
- Macao - August 25, 2016
- Singapore - August 25, 2016
- Malaysia - September 22, 2016
- USA - October 11, 2016 (October 7, 2016 in Columbus)
- Canada - October 12, 2016
- Australia - October 13, 2016
Shin Godzilla was given mostly positive reviews by critics. Rotten Tomatoes have the film a 86% out of 100%. IMDb gave the film a 7.5 out of 10.
On September 16, 2016, the cast expressed their desire for a sequel to the movie, but director Hideaki Anno has said that development of a sequel to the film would be up to Toho.
Notes and references
This is a list of references for Shin Godzilla. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: