By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - He's dark and lumbering, crashing through cities and destroying them with swipes of his massive tail and blasts of radioactive breath. Godzilla is back on the rampage, roaring and stomping, for the first time in ten years. But the much-anticipated return of Japan's most famous and beloved monster, 60 years and 28 movies after he first rose from the depths following a hydrogen bomb test, has been filmed not in the land of his birth but in the United States - and analysts say there is a chance he may never go back to his homeland. For in the wake of the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, when a tsunami tore through the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and touched off meltdowns that spewed radiation over a wide swathe of countryside, Godzilla and his traditional anti-nuclear subtext may simply be too touchy a subject for any Japanese film maker to handle. "Godzilla gains his strength from nuclear power and he spews radiation everywhere," said Toshio Takahashi, a literature professor at Tokyo's Waseda University. "If Godzilla appeared (in Japan) now, he'd ultimately force people to ask themselves hard questions about Fukushima." The nuclear disaster at the plant 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo is a sensitive subject in Japan. Directors making mass-market films about Fukushima tiptoe into the debate or set their movies in an unspecified future. Sponsors are skittish and overall film revenues falling, with viewers shying away from anything too political. Things were different when Godzilla first crashed ashore in 1954, a symbol of both atomic weapons - less than a decade after Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and frustrations with the United States, which had just held a hydrogen bomb test at Bikini atoll that irradiated a boat full of Japanese fishermen. The high-powered reboot of Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards and out in U.S. theaters from Friday from Warner Bros Pictures and Legendary Pictures, features stars including Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe. It gives a nod to Fukushima with a tsunami - set off by monsters - hitting Hawaii, and a no-go zone in Japan after a nuclear accident years before. But much of the story, and most of the destruction, takes place in the United States, far from Godzilla's birthplace. "GODZILLA EQUALS RADIATION" Japan's March 11, 2011, natural and nuclear disaster killed nearly 20,000 people and forced some 160,000 people to evacuate, with tens of thousands unable to return. The plant still battles radioactive water and decommissioning is expected to take decades and cost billions of dollars. "You can basically think of Godzilla equal ling radiation. It's something that can't be solved by human strength or power, and it attacks," said film critic Yuichi Maeda. "The reactors currently can't be made normal by humans if there's an accident. It's the same with Godzilla." Sixty years ago, the black-and-white version of the towering, dinosaur-like creature - his name combines "gorilla" and the Japanese word for whale - packed viewers into theaters. "That year was also when Japan was starting to debate the peaceful use of nuclear energy," said Takahashi. "So the movie expressed fears about nuclear power as well as weapons." The nuclear theme was a constant through the Cold War, although Godzilla, who remained a man in a rubber suit stomping through model cities - a touch that humanized him to many - gradually lost his edge and took on a more cuddly tone. His radioactive connections were blurred in the last few films before film company Toho ended the series, Takahashi noted, perhaps because of a series of accidents at Japanese nuclear facilities around then, including a 1999 criticality accident set off by workers mixing compounds that killed two. A U.S. version of Godzilla in 1998 was widely panned. Early reviews of the new film are mixed, with many in Japan saying the monster looks "fat". It opens in Japan in late July, timed to hit school summer holidays. A Toho spokesman said the company abandoned the franchise in 2004 on its 50th anniversary because the timing was right, and that no decision has been made about future revivals in Japan. "The current movie has a message that is a warning from nature about things mankind has done," he said. "We have to see how people respond, including those who experienced Fukushima." Takahashi says that Godzilla's longevity shows there is something far deeper at work than the usual monster movie. "Godzilla shows us that we must return to our dark past and then accept it," he said. "His purpose is to make us question ourselves. So I think we need to still walk with him a little more, especially after Fukushima." (Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by William Mallard and Nick Macfie)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Men's Health
Steve, 35, from Scarborough in the UK reacts to seeing himself without his full face and head tattoos for the first time in 20 years on webseries Transformed.
- NY Daily News
9-year-old Brooklyn girl cried ‘Mommy, help me,’ as she died after hours of beatings and abuse: prosecutors
“Mommy, help me,” 9-year-old Shalom Guifarro begged as she lay dying in her family’s Brooklyn apartment, after enduring hours of abuse — allegedly at the hands of the same person the child wished would save her. The heartbreaking details of the little girl’s final hours were detailed by prosecutors at her mother Shemene Cato’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday, where she was ...
- The Hollywood Reporter
Marnie Schulenburg, the soap opera actress who portrayed Alison Stewart on CBS’ As the World Turns and Jo Sullivan on the One Life to Live reboot, has died after a battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was 37. Schulenburg died Tuesday in Bloomfield, New Jersey, her rep Kyle Luker at Industry Entertainment told The […]
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The fish are prized among fisherman – but very few have seen one like this.
The late night host mocked the former president's pull for Dr. Mehmet Oz in the state's Republican primary.
"Dammit. It better not be fake. It might be fake," the popular podcaster blurted in an awkward moment that's gone viral.
- Business Insider
Fiona Hill says Putin got 'frustrated many times' with Trump because the Russian leader 'had to keep explaining things' to him
Putin's frustration over Trump's poor understanding of geopolitics played into Moscow's decision on the timing of Russia's war in Ukraine, Hill said.
Amber Heard said James Franco made a late-night visit to her apartment after a fight with Johnny Depp because she 'exhausted' her support network
She said she "exhausted my support network with my usual friends, and I was happy to welcome as much friendship at that time as I could possibly get."
- Business Insider
Billionaire founder of crypto exchange Binance says he's 'poor again' after its luna holdings — once worth $1.6 billion — crashed and are now worth just $2,200
It's likely that Changpeng Zhao meant it as a joke as he remains a billionaire, but luna's meltdown has stung investors worldwide.
- Business Insider
Trump pressed Dr. Oz to declare victory in his Senate race and claimed his GOP opponents are cheating 'with the ballots that they just happened to find'
Trump's pressure on Dr. Oz comes amid high-profile endorsement flops like Rep. Madison Cawthorn's shocking loss in North Carolina earlier this week.
The North Carolina congressman, who lost his primary bid Tuesday, joked about Cheney's removal as chair of the House Republican Conference in 2021.
- Business Insider
After multiple claims that Putin may be suffering seriously from cancer, Insider compiled a 10-year timeline of the Russian president's health.
Washing your hair is crucial for scalp and hair health—but how often you shampoo really depends on various factors. Here’s a quick guide on what to know.
- Nets Wire
Bleacher Report has a blockbuster trade idea for the Brooklyn Nets involving Ben Simmons.
- Town & Country
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Alexandra stepped in for Queen Elizabeth at the second Buckingham Palace Garden Party of 2022.
A former choir teacher of a local high school is facing criminal charges after court documents say she had an inappropriate relationship with a student.
- Good Housekeeping
'Today' show fourth hour cohost Jenna Bush Hager shared footage of her hilarious wardrobe incident and fans shared their thoughts on Instagram.
- Nets Wire
Kevin Durant tweeted in response to Patrick Beverley's nuclear NBA commentary on ESPN.
Moments after Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tied the knot he said, 'We're married now. I can punch her in the face and nobody can do anything about it,' a former friend of Heard's testifies
iO Tillett Wright on Tuesday said he witnessed Depp and Heard argue with each other but never saw either get physically violent with the other.
- Rock Hill Herald
Exclusive: Jacob Matthew Morgan, now 24, could be released from prison in December even after he was denied parole in a case that has garnered national attention.