When Japan's Toho Studios let the GODZILLA franchise go dormant after 1995's GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH, it was partially because Tri-Star had the rights to make a trilogy of American Godzilla movies and Toho didn't want to keep making Godzilla movies at the same time, competing with their own character and potentially over-saturating the market. After the poor reception Roland Emmerich's GODZILLA received in 1998, Toho revived the series with GODZILLA 2000, adding a total of six more entries to the series before again deciding to take a break after 2004's GODZILLA: FINAL WARS.
FINAL WARS was the last time Godzilla stomped around on the big screen until Hollywood made their second attempt at doing the property justice with Gareth Edwards' 2014 film. But even though a sequel to that is in development for a 2018 release, Toho isn't going to just step aside while Hollywood makes Godzilla movies this time. They have their own Godzilla project in the works that will have nothing to do with the Edwards GODZILLA.
Set to be released in 2016, Toho's twenty-ninth Godzilla film will be co-directed by Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno and will be shot over the next few months. An online casting call is seeking extras to work in the Tokyo area from September through November.
Although Godzilla has often been portrayed as a hero in his movies, it sounds like Higuchi and Anno will be taking him back to his horrific roots. Animator/designer Mahiro Maeda and sculptor Takayuki Takeya are said to be working on a frightening design for the King of the Monsters that's based on his appearance in the original 1954 GODZILLA, and in a recent AP interview Higuchi promised that the film will feature the most terrifying version of Godzilla possible.
Traditional suitmation will again be employed to bring Godzilla to the screen, but this time it will be mixed with cutting edge digital effects like those Higuchi used on ATTACK ON TITAN.
The work combines computer graphics with manipulating a towering doll of rippling red muscle that resembles a giant biological anatomy chart, as well as special-effects filmmaking, using actors moving through miniatures, to depict grotesquely enlarged humans.
Applying to Godzilla that kind of technology, which Higuchi calls "hybrid," has never been attempted in Japan.
Aside from the obvious fact that it will show Godzilla causing destruction in Japan, GODZILLA 2016 is shrouded in secrecy, but the fandom Higuchi expresses in the interview (he counts himself among the top 50 Godzilla fans in the world) makes it sound quite promising. As someone who was disappointed with the Edwards GODZILLA, I have much higher hopes for a Toho production than I do for an American sequel.