What’s the longest running franchise in movie history? While the Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers franchises seem to have been around forever, and even die-hard Star Wars fans are beginning to lose track of the franchise’s convoluted timeline, all three pale into insignificance compared to the behemoth that is Godzilla. The first movie based on the overgrown lizard was released in 1954 and over the last 65 years, there have been 34 Godzilla movies.
But as we know there’s no such word as overkill in the Hollywood lexicon, so this year movie goers will be bracing themselves for the further adventures of the giant green dinosaur when Godzilla: King of the Monstersstomps into movie theaters at the end of May.
This edition has been billed as a sequel to Godzilla (2014)but not Godzilla (1998); making it only the third Godzilla movie to be made by a Hollywood studio. Godzilla: King of the Monsters will feature the eponymous reptile facing off against a collection of other outsize creatures including Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah (a three-headed, armless, golden-scaled bat-winged dragon, in case you’re wondering) while Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown and Bradley Whitford try to avoid getting squashed, eaten or toasted.
The previous instalment proved to be only a modest success at the box office, but even if this monster feature proves to be a financial hit, bookmakers are not predicting much critical success. Punters perusing Paddy Power’s market for Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards will find Godzilla: King of the Monsters propping up the pile at 200/1. For the record, that price is bigger than the 100/1 quoted about Pokemon: Detective Pikachu or the 150/1 you can get on Men in Black: International or John Wick: Chapter 3.
And given that this appears to be a bumper year for Best Picture-worthy contenders, including the current 3/1 favourite The Irishman, starring Robert de Niro and Al Pacino, it seems that it won’t be 35th time lucky for the big sea monster from Japan.