Comic-Con may be celebrating its 50th anniversary but 2019 also marks another anniversary, Godzilla turns 65. To celebrate the auspicious occasion, and to promote next year's Godzilla vs. Kong film, Toho, the studio behind the King of Monsters, is making their first appearance at the convention.
Bleeding Cool spoke with Akito Takahashi, Head of Project Management for the Godzilla Strategic Conference, to see how the Con was going and get an idea of what fans can expect from the property in the future.
As a part of the ongoing celebration, fans can now follow Godzilla on social media, @Toho_Godzilla on Twitter and @Godzilla_Toho on Instagram.
Bleeding Cool: Why this year, after so many, has Toho finally decided to come to Comic-Con?
Akito Takahashi (via an interpreter): San Diego Comic-Con is pretty popular in Japan, as massive as it is, and the desire was always there to make an appearance but with the variety of big events this year, one movie having been in theaters, another one on the way, and the 65th anniversary happening, this was finally the best time to come.
BC: Is anything planned for the original, Japanese Godzilla, outside of what Legendary Entertainment has announced for the American Godzilla?
AT: There may be something coming up but we do not know anything specific just yet. We are always trying to do something with the Japanese Godzilla but there is nothing definitively planned at this time.
BC: What are your responsibilities at Toho?
AT: My main job is in animation, including working on My Hero Academia. Godzi-Con, the Godzilla Strategy Conference, is something I also work on with around 20 other people from different sectors of Toho. That is specific to planning the future of the Godzilla franchise.
BC: Aside from Godzilla, Toho is known for a wide variety of other films, many of them classics in the West. If the experience is good this year, is it possible Toho would return to Comic-Con, maybe with an exhibit for Akira Kurosawa?
AT: For the time being it is just Godzilla but we understand that other properties, such as Kurosawa's films, have fans worldwide, and may do something with those down the line. Nothing is planned at this time though.
BC: Shin Godzilla (the 2016 Japanese film) saw Toho collaborate with director Hideaki Anno (creator of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion) and is one of my personal favorite films of the series. Are there any plans for a follow-up to this film or other projects with Anno?
AT: Yes, in a way. We have collaborated on an attraction for Universal Studios Japan which will actually see Godzilla fight Unit 01 from 'Evangelion.' Because of that, we are pretty sure there will be something else in the future, but nothing has yet been decided upon.
BC: What are some of the highlights of your booth this year?
AT: Fans are welcome to take a video with the actual Godzilla prop from the Millennium series of films. We also have a wide variety of props from other films that were actually used on screen. Our other main attraction is the live painting that will be going on throughout the weekend.
Thanks to Akito, and to Toho, for taking the time to talk.