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Toho, the Japanese Studio Behind Godzilla, Is Expanding in the West

Godzilla!
Godzilla!
Image: Legendary Pictures

Any kaiju fan knows the name Toho. The Japanese studio, which has operated for most of the time the film industry has existed, is best known outside of Japan for its creation and ownership of Godzilla. It’s also one of the biggest names in Japanese film, period, with a hand in a massive number of successful productions both past and present, everything from Kurosawa to Pokemon. Now, it’s expanding in the United States, with the goal, according to Slash Film, of working more closely with Hollywood in the future.

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According to the company’s “Vision 2021 Plan”, Toho International, Inc. is expanding to Los Angeles, with the ultimate goal of enhancing its business around major characters like Godzilla. So far, as Slash Film points out, Toho’s strategy in the West has to been to license such characters, with Legendary currently being in charge of the company’s kaiju-centric enterprises in America, a license it’s set to keep as long as it’s churning out Godzilla movies. After the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, though, it’s not clear how or if that’ll change, or what Toho’s enhanced Western presence will mean for the monster business.

What it does mean is that one of the most important film studios outside of the United States could end up being a much more important player in our film business, which can’t be a bad thing.

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As for Godzilla himself, you can see him next in King of the Monsters, out May 31, 2019.


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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