Good news giant lizard fans- Godzilla 2 is officially going to happen.
The success of the franchise reboot Godzilla earlier this year has led to Legendary Pictures greenlighting a sequel, and they have announced a release date of June 8th 2018. In July at San Diego Comic-Con Legendary also announced that the sequel would feature Godzilla's fellow giant beastie friends, Rodan (a dinosaur), Ghidorah (a dragon) and Mothra (erm, a moth)
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Wood in Godzilla
After over a decade in arrested development, Godzilla was released in May of this year, and was a hit amongst critics and punters. Featuring Bryan Cranston alongside young actors Aaron Taylor-Wood and Elizabeth Olsen (who will both be appearing next in Marvel's Avengers 2: Age of Ultron) the film was set in present day America, Hawaii and Japan and Godzilla appeared as a secret the US government had been hiding for sixty years- a conspiracy theorist's dream, or nightmare, depending on how you look at it.
The Godzilla franchise is one of the most enduring in the world, with over twenty-eight films made in Japan and five in America. The last Japanese film, Godzilla: Final Wars, received extremely mixed reviews, and the last American version, Roland Emmerich's Godzilla in 1998 which starred Matthew Broderick, was panned by critics and even nominated for several Golden Raspberry 'Razzie' Awards, the anthithesis of the Oscars. It's refreshing then to finally have a new Godzilla film that isn't awful.
Director Gareth Edwards will return to direct the sequel, as well as a Star Wars standalone film that has also been announced by Legendary for a 2016 release. Edwards was a relatively unknown director before taking on Godzilla, although his previous work, Monsters, a British sci-fi film, was praised by critics and performed well in cinemas. There is no word on whether or not the film's main cast will return.
Legendary also announced a King Kong prequel entitled Skull Island, so perhaps they're planning another Godzilla vs. King Kong faceoff somewhere down the line. We can only hope!