Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Review

Hollywood’s next live-action Godzilla movie is scheduled to hit theaters in 2019, just a few months before its title character turns 65 — an age traditionally associated with retirement for a lot of us frail human beings. This film is the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot, which hit theaters a few months before the character turned 60, the age when AMC moviegoers start collecting senior citizen discounts.

While he may be getting a little long in the tooth by human standards, to write the king of the kaiju off as geriatric would be to ignore his prodigious lifespan. In Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, the 30th Toho production and first-ever animated feature based on Japan’s greatest pop cultural export, that lifespan is established to be at least 20,000 years. As we reported last month, the film is coming to Netflix in 2018 as part of a slate of 12 original anime series that the streaming service plans to release over the course of the year. It already had its opening weekend in Japan, however, and I saw it at Toho Cinemas Shinjuku, a landmark Tokyo movie theater housed in a building topped with a life-size Godzilla head.

So let’s take a deep dive. Here’s what you should know about Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters before you stream it next year.

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Godzilla sequels

The anime film Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters opened in some territories today, but it won’t be the last animated adventure of everyone’s favorite kaiju. Toho Studios is currently developing two Planet of the Monsters sequels, with the intent to create a Godzilla anime trilogy. In other words, Godzilla will continue his never-ending reign of destruction for the foreseeable future.

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pacific rim uprising breakdown 38

A few weeks ago, the internet heard news of a potential spin-off between the Pacific Rim movies and the “MonsterVerse,” the current home of King Kong and Godzilla. And it made sense. After all, both of these series are spearheaded by Legendary Pictures. Both of them involve giant monsters. Sure, they would somehow have to be massaged into the same world, but they’d find a way.

But you should never count your kaiju before they hatch – this crossover has already been nipped in the bud by Legendary Pictures producer Cale Boyter.

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godzilla planet of the monsters trailer

In a world where Godzilla has dominated our pop culture conversation for more than 50 years, it’s a shock that this will be the first time it’s been made into an anime.

The Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters CG-anime hybrid is the byproduct of Netflix, Toho Animation, and Polygon Pictures — part of a new era for both the kaiju monster himself and the world of anime. The reptilian giant was borne from the Japanese movie industry in the 1950s, making his way across the Pacific to the U.S. and back multiple times in live-action. Now, he’s back in Japan in his first anime iteration.

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godzilla vs kong

Godzilla vs. Kong will be the monster movie fight of the century. And director Adam Wingard promises that it will be different from last century’s fight between the two beasts.

The culmination of the Warner Bros. shared MonsterVerse that began with 2014’s Godzilla, as well as more than 50 years of the two classic movie monsters’ pop culture iconography, Godzilla vs. Kong is a modern-day take on a showdown that was already told in 1962’s Japanese kaiju film King Kong vs. Godzilla. But Wingard is eager to set the new Godzilla vs. Kong apart from its campy predecessor.

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trailer round up

Studios drop countless trailers each week, so there will inevitably be many that fall through the cracks. While we at /Film cover all manner of trailers every week, from indie films to sci-fi B-movies and Netflix films, here are a few that we missed.

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Godzilla 2 easter egg

Director Michael Dougherty is hard at work directing Godzilla 2, the next movie in Warner Bros. and Legendary’s MonsterVerse. But while this film will set up an eventual conflict between two cinematic titans in 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong, it will first turn to villains of the past and feature battles between Godzilla and iconic characters like Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.

Thanks to Dougherty, we know Godzilla 2 will also feature a connection to the 1954 original film that started it all. But what does that link mean for this sequel?
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Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi is the latest to join the cast of the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla and the third movie in the Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. MonsterVerse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

But the Chinese actress best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha won’t just be playing monster fodder. Her role will reportedly figure prominently in the MonsterVerse, with Ziyi set to appear in future monster movie installments.

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thomas middleditch

With Trick ‘r Treat and Krampus, director Michael Dougherty showcased a strong eye for casting cool actors in unexpected parts. It already looks like his good taste has extended to his next movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will feature Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown. And now, another name has been added to the cast: Thomas Middleditch, the hilarious, Emmy-nominated star of HBO’s Silicon Valley. And yes, he’s also the guy from those Verizon commercials.

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godzilla vs kong director

Godzilla vs. Kong finally has a director: Adam Wingard.

The director of buzzy horror thrillers like The Guest and You’re Next, and who last helmed Blair Witch and the upcoming Death Note for Netflix, will be taking a monstrously large leap to what’s sure to be one of the biggest blockbusters of its release year. Because come on: it’s Godzilla vs. King Kong.

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