Back in August, the legendary Japanese studio Toho announced they were making their first ever Godzilla anime movie, with Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita directing from a script by popular graphic novel and anime movie writer Gen Urobuchi. We haven't had any updates since then, but today Toho has not only announced the first six cast members, but also released the first pieces of concept art. The anime movie will feature the voices of Yuuki Kaji, Takahiro Sakurai, Mamoru Miyano, Junichi Suwabe, Kana Hanazawa and Tomokazu Sugita, although no details were given for their characters.
The cast members and concept art were released on the film's new official website, Godzilla-Anime.com, with Anime News Network revealing that all six cast members will be featured in a stage event at AnimeJapan 2017 on Sunday, March 26. No plot details have been released at this time, but Toho and Polygon Pictures are aiming for a 2017 release date, although an official date hasn't been announced.
Over the years, there have been a number of animated Godzilla TV shows and specials. But this is the first feature length film ever produced with the sole intent of premiering on the big screen in the franchise's 62 year history. This movie comes off the success of Toho's Godzilla: Resurgence, which was released last June in Japan. The Toho produced movie earned $75 million in Japan, the second-highest grossing movie of 2016 in that country, behind the animated blockbuster Your Name, which will be released in the U.S. this coming April. Godizlla: Resurgence, also known as Shin Godzilla, manged to out-gross American hits such as Zootopia, Finding Dory and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in its Japanese release.
The 2014 Godzilla movie from Warner Bros., Legendary and director Gareth Edwards only managed to earn $31.6 million in Japan during its run, but its worldwide success ($529 million from a $160 million budget), inspired Toho to develop Shin Godzilla and this Godzilla anime movie. There is more Godzilla coming to the big screen in the U.S. as well, with Warner Bros. developing Godzilla vs. King Kong, which is set for release on May 29, 2020. That movie will tie into the events of this year's Kong: Skull Island, which hits theaters March 10.
It isn't known how far along production is on Godzilla quite yet, but with the release of this concept art, it's possible the first trailer may be coming soon. While Godzilla: Resurgence/Shin Godzilla wasn't a huge hit in the United States ($1.9 million), it was only in theaters for four weeks, and was only released in 34 theaters. Perhaps if there is enough demand, this Godzilla anime movie may get a much wider release in the United States, but that may depend on how fans react to the first trailer. Take a look at the concept art below, as we wait for more on this new Godzilla movie.