Toho has announced that the next installment in their “Godzilla” series will be led by Hideaki Anno, director of the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” series. Anno will be chief director and script writer. Anno will be working alongside storyboard artist Shinji Higuchi, who will be film’s special-effects director. Higuchi is known for directing two live-action film versions of the popular manga series “Shingeki no Kyojin” (“Attack on Titan”) set to be released later this year.
The planned “Godzilla” film will be the 29th installment of Toho’s infamous series, which began in 1954 with the release of the original “Gojira” directed by the legendary team of Ishiro Honda as director and Eiji Tsuburaya in charge of special effects. Toho have confirmed the newest version of its 61-year-old radioactive monster will outsize all previous versions — including the 108-meter-tall version featured in the recent Hollywood production of the series directed by Gareth Edwards.
Anno noted that Toho offered him the chance to take control of their new “Godzilla” film in 2013, but he refused due to scheduling difficulties with his film “Shin Evangelion Gekijoban: ||” (released internationally as “Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0”). Anno reconsidered after repeated offers from Toho and the inclusion of Higuchi in the project, and accepted in late 2013.
Higuchi is no stranger to the “Godzilla” franchise — he began his career in the local film industry working on “The Return of Godzilla” released in 1984. “The time has come for me. It feels like a dream, but I have to make this happen in reality,” he is reported to have said, according to Toho’s official website.
Production of the new film is scheduled for autumn 2015 and the finished product is expected to be released in 2016.