Toho, the original Godzilla movie studio, is prohibited from making another live-action film featuring the King of Monsters until after 2020, when Legendary’s Godzilla vs King Kong hits theaters. But that doesn’t mean the Japanese studio can’t make an animated Godzilla film, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
Godzilla: Monster Planet is an upcoming animated film from Toho that’s a new twist on the classic angry giant lizard tale. In it, mankind and Kaiju go to war in the late 20th Century — a war that lasts for 50 years — and mankind loses. Some humans that were selected by a government-run artificial intelligence escape to outer space with the intention of forming a new home on a planet 11.9 light years away. When some of the people arrive though, they find the living conditions unsuitable and decide to return to Earth. When they do, they discover the planet has aged 20,000 years and is now ruled with an iron fist by Godzilla… who I guess is invincible? You can check out the trailer below, which is in Japanese, but the visuals are what you’re really here for anyway.
The film is the first animated Godzilla feature from Toho, and one thing that’s interesting about it — other than the fact that it looks like an animated sci-fi space opera —is that Godzilla appears to once again be playing the bad guy. The big guy has been more of an antihero in most recent incarnations, but with him siding with other Kaiju and ruthlessly taking over Earth, we’re left with no choice but to root for the humans.
The film will release in theaters in Japan on November 17, and is expected to hit Netflix in the U.S. by early 2018.