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Godzilla could resurge with its own 'shared universe' of Toho monsters: Report

Contributed by
May 22, 2018

Ready for another cinematic universe to come stomping out of the ocean to disrupt your tranquil, familiar Marvel and DC island paradise? Looking around at the film landscape and concluding that cinematic universes are all the rage, the Godzilla people (who, to be fair, know a thing or two about rage) reportedly are targeting just such a model to bring a whole world of reptilian monster movies under a single banner.

In a recent interview with Japan’s Nikkei Style, Toho Co. CEO Keiji Ota revealed that the studio, which created and evolved Godzilla, along with oversized cinematic frenemies like Rodan and Mothra, is looking to the future with plans to debut an MCU-style Godzilla "shared universe."

"After 2021, we're thinking of a potential strategy that publishes Godzilla movies at a rate of at least one every two years, and once every year if possible,” Ota said, per SYFY WIRE’s translation.

The Toho boss went on to note that characters like Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah could all inhabit the same world view under a new “World of Godzilla” banner, much like a Marvel movie in which Iron Man and the Hulk can cross paths, or take turns in headlining.

Hollywood also has recently revisited Godzilla with Gareth Edwards' successful eponymous 2014 movie, which itself is set for a sequel, as well as its own cinematic crossover in the MonsterVerse — the Legendary Entertainment cinematic universe that Gozilla inhabits with King Kong.

If you’ve seen Toho’s 2016 reboot Shin Godzilla (known to English-speaking audiences as Godzilla: Resurgence) — which crushed the Japanese box office but remained elusive in wide release for U.S. audiences until the English-dubbed Blu-ray/digital release came along — then you might be disappointed at where a potential sequel fits into the studio’s idea of a shared universe.

Ota didn’t appear to altogether rule out the possibility of a follow-up, but he did make it sound like a lower priority than finding the right movies to help kick things off. He acknowledged Shin Godzilla’s success, but said the obvious short-term move — to cash in rapidly with a Shin Godzilla 2 follow-up — isn’t as important as establishing a lasting shared universe, saying that he'd prefer to make "a World of Godzilla."

Toho definitely has the characters, the history, and the brand recognition to unite its monster mythologies under one giant crossover marketing umbrella. If you’re a fan, though, does it sound like an appealing idea? Pro or con, shout us your thoughts in the comments — but try not to unleash your atomic breath.