In 1965, at the height of the kaiju genre’s popularity in Japan, Daiei Film introduced audiences to its own giant monster, Gamera, a mutated fire-breathing turtle who later became known as “the friend to all children” on account of his heroic deeds. The character was primarily created to compete with Toho’s Godzilla franchise, eventually spawning his own series of films. Unfortunately, Gamera’s international fanbase never quite matched that of the King of the Monsters. But he seems poised to make a comeback next year. Netflix and and Daiei’s parent company, Kadokawa, have announced that a new Gamera project dubbed Gamera: Rebirth is targeting a 2023 release date.
The character made his big-screen debut in Gamera, the Giant Monster, which was also the only film in the series to get a theatrical release in the United States. Between 1966 and 1980, Daiei released seven sequels, each of which pit Gamera against new kaiju adversaries. And in 1995, Daiei rebooted the franchise with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, which ultimately led to two additional sequels. The most recent installment, a second reboot titled Gamera the Brave, hit Japanese theaters in 2006.
It’s unclear if Netflix is developing Gamera: Rebirth as a film or a TV series. Regardless, all signs point to animation, since Kadokawa also posted the announcement teaser on its anime YouTube account. The trailer doesn’t reveal much, but it does indicate that the filmmakers are sticking close to Gamera’s classic design. You can check it out for yourself below.
Netflix has been betting big on kaiju stories in recent years, so it seems like the perfect place for Gamera to make his triumphant return. The streaming service previously released its own trilogy of CG-animated Godzilla films along with a new anime series, Godzilla: Singular Point. Netflix has also aired two seasons of a new Ultraman animated series, with an upcoming animated feature still in the works as well. A Skull Island anime series, which shares continuity with Legendary’s MonsterVerse, is also expected to hit the platform in 2023.
What are you hoping to see in Netflix’s Gamera reboot? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: Heisei Completion (1989-2019)