Toho’s Godzilla Vs. U.S. CG Version

Film icon Godzilla, which celebrated his 50th anniversary this year, will reportedly kick some CG tail in the next and supposedly final installment (for at least a decade) in Toho’s long-running film series. The eagerly awaited Godzilla: Final Wars will have the big G taking on nearly every monster he’s battled in the past, as well as Roland Emmerich’s and Dean Devlin’s ill-received computer-animated mutant iguana from 1998.

Since his 1954 debut, Godzilla has been portrayed by a man in a rubber suit rampaging through miniature Tokyo sets. While the films have been incorporating digital effects in recent years, Japanese powerhouse studio Toho has been dedicated to keeping its star in latex. In Godzilla 2000, which received a U.S. theatrical release, Toho poked some fun at the American Godzilla, which proved that it takes more than state-of-the-art computer wizardry to steal thunder from the original King of the Monsters.

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho will take more jabs at Tri Star’s CG monstrosity that Godzilla fans have dubbed GINO (Godzilla In Name Only). According to reports circulating around the web, the film will have suit Godzilla battling the CG GINO in Sydney, Australia. Ain’t It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com) even has a link to a brief clip of the showdown at www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=18237.

Despite its title, Godzilla: Final Wars is not likely to be the end of the prehistoric brawler’s film career, especially if it performs to its producers’ expectations and grosses more than $100 million in Japan alone. With any luck, such success would warrant a wide release in the U.S. for this 28th and most expensive entry in the franchise. Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus, Azumi) the film is slated to open in Japan this December but probably won’t hit U.S. theaters for at least another year.