Toho plans new Godzilla movie for 2016 release

AP, Kyodo

Godzilla is going on the rampage once more.

And this time the monster will be made in Japan, like the original.

Film studio Toho’s announcement comes after the success earlier this year of Hollywood’s latest Godzilla film, directed by Gareth Edwards, which grossed more than $500 million worldwide.

“We have received earnest requests for the revival from fans. We want to begin production as early as next summer,” a Toho official said. The Tokyo-based company owns the rights to Godzilla.

Toho said in 2004 it had made its last Godzilla film, the 28th in the series featuring the irradiated monster, which first stomped into the world in 1954.

Over the years, Godzilla movies fell out of favor even among Japanese fans.

But the latest Hollywood Godzilla, complete with spikes down its back and a terrifying roar, received relatively favorable reviews in Japan, unlike the 1998 Hollywood movie directed by Roland Emmerich, which purists hated.

Toho said recent innovations in computer graphics were behind its decision to revive Godzilla.

The Toho movie is set for release in 2016, before Edwards releases his sequel for Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers in 2018.

The company has not yet picked a director for the upcoming reboot and declined to say whether it would bring back the man-in-a-rubber suit Godzilla or rely on computer graphics — or both.

Contemporary movies of the genre, such as Toho’s latest, “Parasyte,” about alien creatures taking over human bodies, rely on sophisticated computer graphics — although it may be hard for Toho to match Hollywood’s dazzle.

The widely praised original black and white “Godzilla” was directed by Ishiro Honda.

Other directors took over for subsequent episodes, which at times became absurdly comical, featuring battles with manga-like, cartoonish monsters.

Meanwhile, a 12-meter-tall Godzilla bust is being built on the eighth-floor terrace of a building under construction in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. When the head is officially unveiled next April, the monster will leer down at the renowned entertainment district.