While we’re certainly fans of Legendary’s new Godzilla reboot series, and are especially looking forward to its 2020 crossover with King Kong, nothing tops the Japanese version of Gojira. Japanese studio Toho created Godzilla back in 1954 and have continued making films through 2016’s Shin Godzilla. And while Toho is prevented from making another live-action Godzilla film until after 2020 due to Legendary’s franchise (though they can keep churning out anime films), it sounds like the studio has some big plans in the works for 2021.
Most had assumed that Shin Godzilla would receive a proper sequel when the time came, but now, it looks like Toho has something bigger in mind. Specifically, they’re looking to create a Kaiju-filled expanded cinematic universe, possibly bringing us back to the days when creatures like Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidora all starred in their own films before squaring off against the King of Monsters himself.
“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,” Keiji Ota of Toho told Nikkei Style, according to Bloody Disgusting. “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.” Ota then added that this universe would come at the expense of a Shin Godzilla sequel, stating, “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.”
While “shared universe” is the current buzzword being tossed around Hollywood these days, and even Ota crediting Marvel for its creation, it’s worth noting that Toho was basically doing the same thing with their Kaiju movies 50 years ago. So this isn’t really an example of Toho succumbing to current trends, but rather a return to form for the studio that basically invented Kaiju — and we’re pretty excited about it.