Shin-Gojira/Godzilla: Resurgence Full Design Reveal and Trailer Analysis
by Adam Striker
After months of silence, Toho has finally unveiled a trailer for their latest installment in the Godzilla franchise, Shin Gojira (which will be released internationally under the title Godzilla: Resurgence). While leaked images of a maquette sprung up in early January, Toho had previously released a single red poster with this latest incarnation’s ghastly, disfigured face. It wasn’t until mid-April that Toho broke their silence with a glimpse of their upcoming film.
It is difficult to share my feelings on an entire movie based on a 1-minute long trailer. However, I can see that Shin Gojira will offer conventions that have never been implemented in a Japanese Godzilla film. Japanese media outlet Cinema Today claims that Shin Gojira will portray the title character through the use of CGI–a first for the franchise that essentially popularized the art of suitmation (the use of costumes to portray giant monsters). However, it doesn’t require much thought to realize this. The shot of Godzilla’s tail looming over a city street must have required computer-generated imagery to be pulled off.
In terms of story or plot, little–if anything–was revealed in this trailer. The human characters’ voices are muted, while composer Shirō Sagisu’s haunting composition plays over the footage. What we do know is that Godzilla has seen better days. This incarnation’s skin is rough and malformed. It almost looks charred, and is covered in glowing, red fissures. Several shots feature Godzilla’s tail, which appears to show some exposed bone. A spiked chest, gnarly teeth, small arms, and strikingly soulless eyes top off a design that has already stirred some controversy among Western Godzilla fans.
Appearances aside, this is still the Godzilla that we are familiar with. The JSDF (Japanese Self-Defense Forces) bombard the monster with missiles and shells. As one would suspect, these attacks have no effect on him. His size is also notable. An aerial shot shows Godzilla as he is wading through the city of Tokyo. This incarnation is supposed to be the largest in the franchise’s cinematic history, and it seems to fit that description appropriately. The cinematography displayed in this trailer gives the impression that this Godzilla is very god-like. He walks through areas without stopping, and the camera angles that feature the monster appear to empower him with a mythic quality.
My thoughts on the trailer: I like it. I already believed that directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi knew how to handle a famous character like Godzilla, and this trailer shows that they do. However, I was only slightly disappointed that there was no dialogue. The human characters are just as important as Godzilla, and it is through their experiences that a story will be told in Shin Gojira. It is also left me yearning to know what that story is going to be. However, this may have been intentional, because in the coming months before its release, Toho will most likely be marketing Shin Gojira to audiences. This restraint could keep people curious.
After such a long dry spell, it is doubtful that fans will have to wait long for more content. There are only three months before its release. Later this month, more information about the movie will be disclosed. In late March, the Japanese website Eva Fan reported that there will be a special exhibition at the Nico Nico Super Conference, where the first details about Shin Gojira will be revealed. This event will take place on April 29th, and will be streamed live online.
Shin Gojira will be released in Japanese theaters on July 29th, 2016.
Cinema Today Article (Japanese): HERE
Eva Fan Announcement (Japanese): HERE