'Godzilla' is returning to cinema screens in 2012.

Legendary Pictures is to start work on a new version of the Japanese monster movie this year and a director will be announced soon.

Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary, is looking forward to work on the project - based on the iconic movie series from Japan's Toho Studios - getting underway.

He said: "'Godzilla' is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise.

"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."

It is not the first time the original 1954 version has been remade - in 1998 Roland Emmerich directed a $130 million version of 'Godzilla' with Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno, but it was panned by many long-time fans of the iconic original.