Development of Shin Godzilla
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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.
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 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 official English title of the film, Shin Godzilla.
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 fins. 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.
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.
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 Godzilla 2016 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.
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