Godzilla reborn, larger than ever
SHIN Godzilla, the latest film in the Godzilla franchise, features the series' largest Godzilla, at 118.5m tall.
In the movie which opened in Japan cinemas last week, Godzilla launches an assault on Japan with a ferociousness that surpasses that of the past films in the series.
The governments of Japan and the United States face off against each other over how to stop the gigantic creature.
Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara play key characters in the two countries' governments.
Shin Godzilla is the 29th Godzilla film produced in Japan. After the first 1954 movie, Godzilla became best known for onscreen battles against Mothra, King Ghidorah and other kaiju monsters.
But the new film does not follow up on the stories or the settings of the past releases.
Hideaki Anno, who directed the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series, led the Shin Godzilla production team and wrote the script, creating a completely new story.
He was committed to producing Godzilla with only computer-generated imagery.
Hasegawa said he was amazed at the result.
"When I was acting, I could only imagine Godzilla's size.
"When I saw the finished scenes, I was shocked to see how different my imagination and Anno's creativity were."
Hasegawa plays Yaguchi, the deputy chief cabinet secretary who leads the front-line personnel in the battle against Godzilla.
"Yaguchi is a classic Japanese hero," Hasegawa said.
"He shows leadership within an organisation... and becomes someone who symbolises the hope of Japan's future."
The character Kayoco Anne Patterson, played by Ishihara, is a special envoy of the US President and Yaguchi's partner in the story.
In the movie, Kayoco is a daughter of a US senator but has Japanese heritage.
"Her father has power so she's a very confident person," Ishihara said. "But Yaguchi's words make her aware of her Japanese roots."
The title Shin Godzilla embraces various meanings.
"'Shin' can mean 'new', 'god' or 'true'.
"All these elements are included," Hasegawa said.
"This film can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the person who watches it."
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Shin Godzilla opens in Singapore
cinemas on Aug 25.