The long awaited Return Of Godzilla is finally coming stateside to Blu-ray and DVD later this year, and the journey has been a long and arduous one.
The Return of Godzilla was released in 1984 as a direct sequel to the original Godzilla. That wouldn't be that big a deal except that the Godzilla franchise had already gone through 14 other movies. Return ignored those and instead started a new set of movies that lasted until 1995.
The reason why its taken so long for the film to come to video, according to SciFiJapan, is mostly bad contracts. The film released in Japan initially, and then was dubbed in English by Toho. The stateside rights were held by New World Pictures, but they later folded in 1997. After the contract expired, Toho still was uneasy about releasing the film since there were issues with the original contract. Last year Toho joined up with Kraken Releasing, and now finally fans will get to complete their collections.
Matt Greenfield, Kraken Co-Founder, and Managing Director, said: “I’ve been waiting for the rights to become available for a long time. I’ve been a huge Godzilla fan since I was a kid, and if I recall correctly, the first time I actually asked about this title was about twenty years ago when ADV Films was licensing DESTROY ALL MONSTERS and GUNHED [Greenfield’s previous label]. Needless to say, the rights weren’t clear at the time, and they weren’t still clear when Kraken acquired GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH, GIGAN, and EBIRAH. That was two years ago, and since then it’s just been a waiting game, checking in with the folks at Toho every time I was in Tokyo until they finally gave the all clear.”
Now that the deal is done, Greenfield cound't be happier.
“I’ve been working with anime and Japanese live action films for nearly 25 years now… long enough that I now automatically type a ( R ) after the name Godzilla®… and this is one of the films that’s always been on my kaiju to-do bucket list.” he said. “I’m really thrilled to be able to cross it off, along with our previous 3 Godzilla® releases, and hope a whole new generation of North American fans will find these amazing films to be just as thrilling and enjoyable as I did when I first saw them.”
The Return of Godzilla releases in North America on September 13th.