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Ken Watanabe joins cast of Hollywood's 2nd go at 'Godzilla'

42 Comments

Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, 53, has joined the cast of the second attempt by Hollywood to make "Godzilla." Filming began in Vancouver this week.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film will be the first 3D version of "Godzilla." Other cast members include David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen. The plot is being kept under wraps for now.

This marks Watanabe's 8th Hollywood movie. Watanabe told Japanese media that as a Godzilla fan himself, he is thrilled to be in the film, Sankei Shimbun reported. He said Godzilla, which has been around in movies since 1954, is part of his childhood memories.

Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures said the film will be released on May 16, 2014.

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42 Comments
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If Honda and Tanaka were still around, this would 100% be about TEPCO Fukushima. Instead, it's about some US military experiment gone awry. Fail. They should have got some real Godzilla actors to add a little credibility. Why not Kumi Mizuno, Akira Kubo, Akira Takarada, or Kenji Sahara? For that matter, why not Russ Tamblyn?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I too, have been a big fan of the lizard since I was a child, Godzilla was so big so much in the states, I thought it was an American movie as a 7 year old, I started to learn how to read and I couldn't read Kanji and asked my mom why I can't read the Kanji and she said, Godzilla is from Japan, I was like..huh? He's not from America? but regardless, Godzilla is a classic, no matter how cheesy the effects are, that makes it all the more better. That last American version from Emmerich was so bad, yeah, the CG was great, but the design, the story plot, ugghh! So I hope with this new movie WB don't botch this, here is the chance to make a really cool movie, they can give it a 21st century life, but in keeping with the classic nostalgia that made Godzilla what he is today.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@shin

If Honda and Tanaka were still around, this would 100% be about TEPCO Fukushima.

That would be an excellent plot, but do you honestly think that the GOJ would stand for it? That would be something. I agree, the story should center more around Japan, there are many Japanese actors that could carry this movie and should IMO and the Americans taking a backside role, they could also make some slight innuendo references about a nuclear facility near the coast of Japan exploded after a huge Tsunami that was triggered by an earthquake...ahem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The plot is being kept under wraps for now.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's about a giant lizard attacking a city...

10 ( +13 / -3 )

shinhiyata, if the plot is under wraps, what makes you think it is about some US military anything? Or just a chance to jab at hollywood?

The era of Japanese film makers who went out on a social and financial limb to make politically conscious films has been over for a long time. I also respect that generation for making films with a point. But today's Japanese film industry is all about making platforms for "kawaii" idols to tell canned predictable stories or silly ones.

What you should be advocating, instead of taking a shot at Hollywood, is for Japan to make a meaningful film about the risks of nuclear technology. As Godzilla originally did. But you would be hard pressed to find a current Japanese director from the mainstream film industry here who would not fill it with brain dead kawaii AKB48 girls or something equally vacuous.

What you should be complaining about is Japan's inability to produce as many good and meaningful films as it once did when directors wanted to say something about the world and not just sell tickets. Japan film industry - Fail.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Juliette Binoche in a comic book movie for 12 year-olds? Thats a long way from the intelligent adult roles shes usually in

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"...he is thrilled to be in the film,..."

And I'm sure thrilled with the sizable Hollywood check he'll be receiving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I grow up watching Godzilla movies and did not have to watch this boring TV is going on this days.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's about a giant lizard attacking a city...

Or about the life of Hideki Matsui.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I love current interpretation of an old theme like Godzilla! Please let the story involve North Korea. We know about the DPRK's nuclear ambition so a mutant breed of a monitor lizard as a result of secret nuclear testing seems relevant & current. After the destruction of the 'mother' Godzilla, the story could end with a shot of a remote coastal testing area in North Korea where a nest of Godzilla eggs are about to hatch & US help to bomb the site is requested by an actor who looks like Kim Jong Un! Of course some of the hatched babies escapes and are captured by an unsuspecting Japanese fishing boat! We know there will a sequel.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Juliette Binoche in a comic book movie for 12 year-olds? Thats a long way from the intelligent adult roles shes usually in

Actors, even Binoche, have to play commercial movies to get some fat money. Besides, last Godzilla was not "comic" at al and I bet this one won't be also. Poor NY, in the last ten years it was devastaded three times by a tsunami, a solar wave, killing ice, Godzilla1, a fantastic huge alien and now Godzilla2. Filmmakers love destroying the beautiful city.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's about a giant lizard attacking a city...

Pu-leeze! It's a giant NOBLE lizard attacking a city ... you've clearly missed all the subtlely of the plot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not interested, the first remake was a total miss, it doesn't have the same charm if it doesn't have cardboard houses, matchbox cars and a visible back zipper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

stop remaking old idea. be smart, creative and make some new ones. no one is going to watch this CRAP and it doesn't in anyway compare to the old Godzilla movies!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, I'm with Dennis. The original was and still is popular for its very retro (and poor) special effects. I would like to see them reproduce this movie with the same effects of a guy in a rubber suit, matchbox cars, cardboard cities and directed by Quiton Tarrentino. Now, there is a challenge!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

While I would love to see a Japanese director at the helm of a Godzilla movie, I want to at least give this movie a chance regardless of who is directing it. I loved the Godzilla of my youth and am happy to see a new version that helps me forget the mess that was made about Godzilla not so many years ago. However, I would like to say in regards to those on here saying Japanese directors aren't doing anything meaningful or good in terms of films.....hello Miike? Shion Sono? Takeshi Kitano? I mean...these are just off the top of my head, but I think it's a huge mistake to think that Japan hasn't contributed to some of the greatest films of our time in the past several years. And also..why does EVERYONE on here rag on AKB48 girls? I may not care for their music, but I've seen their documentaries and whether or not they are trumped up to make them look good or not, I can't help but think that there is a real genuine sense of wanting to DO something with their lives, which is alot more than what most of us strive in our daily existence. Even if it's to sing chewy bubblegum pop songs and act silly, at least they are out there trying to make people smile. Plus...can you imagine if an AKB48 girl DID show up in a Godzilla movie and actually (GULP!) did a great job???? One can hope right? So please..cut the girls some slack. They are part of Japan's Kawaii culture, for better or for worse, and I think make a wonderful contrast to something as dark as a Godzilla movie, and altogether proof that Japan is at least doing SOMETHING in the world besides threatening to kill everyone with Nukes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hope they get it right this time. That first one was a dud.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm guessing the effects will be good because storyline likely to be lame and they have definitely saved money on the talent.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ken Watanabe is an excellent actor...but another Godzilla movie from Hollywood?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kenzilla Watanabe!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Juliette Binoche in a comic book movie for 12 year-olds?

Years ago, they had asked her to be in Jurassic Park and she had say yes. at the condition she could get the role of the biggest dino... so they didn't take her. This time, if they give her the role of Godzilla,,, Also, they always announce so many famous actors while it's only the director's wish list.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Quite the cast! I hope they don't screw this one up as bad as they did the last attempt.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Fukushima disaster and radiation leading into the sea... creates the new Godzilla..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It'll have to go some to be better than Toho's own 2000 - 2005 series of films. They showed what can be done with a suit and CGI effects. Okay "Final Wars" was a bit odd, but the others brought back the sheer power and impact of what monster movies should be...

The Emmerich version was a mess from start to finish - from using the French as the bad guys, to the lousy acting. Toho officially termed monster "Zilla" to distance it from the original Japanese monster, while in some fan circles we call the monster GINO - Godzilla In Name Only. ^_^

Hopefully this one will work, and doesn't fall into the same traps... I think it will involve a runaway reactor after an earthquake, the resulting radiation waking the monster from his sleep... maybe...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With Cranston in it, maybe the fat lizard OD's on some blue meth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Please let this be way better than the first attempt.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please have this Godzilla look like Godzilla.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

will they film at Fukushima?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The last Hollywood "Godzilla" was not Godzilla.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With Cranston in it, maybe the fat lizard OD's on some blue meth.

The young Godzilla seeks to walk in his father's footsteps, while the elder Godzilla regrets the city stomping he did as a youth, seeking out new escapes to hide the inner pain. Yeah... I won't see that one, either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think a fan of the '90s US film has gone on a thumbs-down rampage ^_^

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Watanabe Ken = Good 3D = Bah!

In fact the entire cast looks good, but that doesn't matter -- it's all about the monster. If Godzilla doesn't look right then it is all down hill from there. The Sony Godzilla had several problems, but it was the monster that did them in. It was not Godzilla.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FWIW, according to Wikipedia:

According to Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures, (sic) "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop culturally relevant for as long as it has."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And this is the early promotional graphic:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e0/Godzilla-2010-image.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm probably the only one on the planet, but I really liked the Hollywood Godzilla movie - with the qualification that I deny it was a Godzilla movie. It had an ginormous lizard produced by radiation, which ran amok in a big city - after that all resemblance to Godzilla is done.

I contend a Hollywood treatment of Godzilla isn't even proper thing to do. Yeah, they wanna make a buck; okay, whatever, but Godzilla belongs to Japan for so many reasons it's just wrong, in my mind, for it to come from anywhere else. Oh sure, I'll watch it, and this is an interesting cast, so I expect it to be entertaining at least, but there's no way it's gonna really be Godzilla.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only Japanese man I would date :) He is manly....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice?

Hollywood execs just plain don't "get" Godzilla. All they see are dollar signs, and that was never the motivation behind the creation of the original 1954 film. If you can't seize upon and recreate at least a portion of the original sentiment, don't pretend to by making something that is purely for quick profits.

No. Hollywood is adept at a lot of things, but Japanese giant monster movies is most definitely not one of them. Let it go, WB.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With this and Pacific Rim coming out this year, kaiju are making a come back!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This time use a man in a Godzilla suit, not computer graphics. Computer graphics just doesn't have the warmth of the man in a Godzilla suit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PS One point of the original Godzilla series was to paint the Japanese military in a new light. Fighting monsters and saving people, rather than invading other countries and commiting unspeakable crimes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Everybody loves this guy.. he is Japan's greatest living actor..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the only thing that I liked from the last Godzilla was to see in the credits a song from L'Arc~en~Ciel

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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