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Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film Godzilla was a gamble. The most recent American Godzilla film, released in 1998, is largely looked down upon by series purists and move critics alike. Given that film’s relatively recent failure it did not come as a surprise that for the 2014 reboot of Godzilla, Edwards and Legendary Pictures were only be granted the rights to the title creature by Toho, the Japanese company responsible for the atomic monster and the pantheon of creatures that are part of the franchise.
The success of Godzilla, both critical and financially seems to have inspired confidence from Toho however. Immediately after the new film’s release, fans analyzed the clever Easter eggs and speculated about a potential sequel. During San Diego Comic Con, Godzilla 2, directed again by Gareth Edwards, was officially confirmed. Not only is the reboot getting a sequel, but three classic Toho monsters have been confirmed to make appearances in the upcoming film. Godzilla 2 will feature Mothra, Rodan, and King Gidorah. The only character missing from Toho’s “Big Five” is Mechagodzilla and this early into development nothing should be ruled out.
Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla actually featured an Easter egg reference to Mothra early in the film when the camera pans past a broken terrarium with a Mothra name tag peeling off the side. This Easter egg, among a few others, fueled early speculation and hype about future installments and hopes of classic characters. Some fans were skeptical of any familiar monsters being included because of the deal with 2014 Godzilla, while others simply hoped for more clever Easter eggs. Both groups will now have their hopes more than fulfilled with a sequel packed to the brim with fan favorites. Godzilla 2 will follow the trend of action ensembles set by movies like The Avengers, The Expendables, and the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Mothra, Rodan, and King Gidorah all appeared in solo Toho films before being featured in showdowns with the King of Monsters himself. These types of secondary monsters represent a change in the Godzilla mythos, a time when the ocean dwelling beast transitioned from villain to hero. Edwards’ 2014 version incorporated this by having Godzilla play the role of nature’s balance keeper, thus defeating the ancient monsters ravaging the globe and being hailed as a savior by those who bore witness to their massive battles. The inclusion of three of Godzilla’s most dangerous mortal enemies for the American sequel seems to indicate that the scaly giant will continue playing the role of hero, though perhaps he will be cast as more of a reluctant savior always in this series.
As much speculation as the Comic Con announcement has put to rest, it will also only spark further guessing games by fans and industry publications. Both will have plenty of time to posit theories about the sequel as Godzilla 2 has only begun pre-production, meaning it will most likely not be released for at least two more years, a long wait for fans whose enthusiasm was only boosted by the success of Godzilla’s most recent success.
By Matt Isaacs