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New Japanese Godzilla Film Unveils Cast, Title

posted on by Egan Loo

Film distributor TOHO announced on Wednesday the main cast and title for the first new Japanese Godzilla film in 12 years.

Hiroki Hasegawa (live-action Attack on Titan films' Shikishima, live-action Princess Jellyfish's Shū Koibuchi, pictured center in photographs above) plays a person linked to the government when Godzilla attacks modern Japan. Yutaka Takenouchi (Hoshi no Kinka, Calmi Cuori Appassionati, Nagareboshi, left) will play another person linked to the government, and Satomi Ishihara (live-action Attack on Titan's Hans/Hanji, Pokémon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram's Karita, right) will play an American agent.

Hasegawa said it was incredible that he was cast in the Godzilla franchise, which is, without exaggeration, internationally famous. "It asks the question of how Japan would be when directly facing a large crisis, so the film also has some social aspects." He wants to do his best in assuming his role with "hitmakers" Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi.

Takenouchi said that even among the many Godzilla films since the first one 61 years ago, this 29th entry will have the strongest end. He added that he think the film offers a deep message not only to all the numerous fans, but also to the hearts of audiences worldwide and to society.

Ishihara said she screamed in her home when the Godzilla acting offer came. She acknowledged that she is now facing a difficult role. While her stomach aches every day with the pressure, she wants to tackle the filming as the heroine with a sense of responsibility and happiness.

Executive producer Akihiro Yamauchi (Trick, Densha Otoko, Bakuman.) explains that the film's title, Shin Gojira or Shin Godzilla, signifies that it is not a "revival" or a "rebirth." While it can be translated as "New Godzilla," it can also mean "True Godzilla," "God Godzilla," and other connotations. Chief director Hideaki Anno coined the title to incorporate various possible meanings.

Filming began in the Tokyo suburbs in August and will wrap up at the end of October. According to Sankei Sports' source close to the production, the story is mainly set in modern Japan, and America is also involved. The new Godzilla will be the tallest one yet, towering over the 108-meter-tall (about 355-foot-tall) incarnation in Gareth Edwards and Legendary Pictures' 2014 Hollywood film.

Anime director Hideaki Anno and live-action Attack on Titan film director Shinji Higuchi are currently collaborating on the film. Anno is serving as chief director and writer, while Higuchi is directing the new film and is also serving as the special effects director.

Higuchi promised that this will be the scariest Godzilla yet, quoting the horrors of the real world, like 9/11, the March 11 tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima nuclear crisis having stripped the the world of its innocence. The film will use a hybrid of actors moving through miniatures (a staple of the early Godzilla films), computer graphics, and special effects.

TOHO will release the film in Japanese theaters next summer. The film's website will be at the shin-godzilla.jp address.

Higuchi and Anno previously collaborated on "Kyōshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru" (Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo), Ghibli's live-action tokusatsu short. They also worked together on the Evangelion television series and Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise. Higuchi's other special-effect director credits include Japan Sinks, the Gamera films, and the 1984 Godzilla film.

Sources: Eiga.com, Sankei Sports, Oricon via Minna no Evan(gelion) Fan

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