SciFi Japan

    NEZURA 1964 -- Exclusive First Look At Concept Art For New Kaiju Movie!

    Concept art of the Mammoth Nezura and the giant rat swarm from the upcoming movie, NEZURA 1964. Image courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    Author: Keith Aiken Source: 3Y Film Official Site: (Japan) Special Thanks to Avery Guerra


    SciFi Japan is pleased to close out 2019 with an exclusive look at an upcoming giant monster-themed movie: NEZURA 1964 (???1964), courtesy of 3Y Film.

    Shot from the original, unmade version of NEZURA. © KADOKAWA

    The origins of this project date all the way back to the early 1960s. At that time, the Daiei Motion Picture Company was looking to replicate the domestic and international success that rival studio Toho had achieved with their monster movies featuring the likes of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. Taking further inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock`s worldwide smash THE BIRDS and recent news reports of a rat outbreak on an island in the Seto Inland Sea, Daiei began work on a movie about a swarm of rats, mutated to giant size by a new experimental food product, running amuck in Tokyo. Entitled NEZURA (??????, Taigun-j? Nezura), the film was scheduled for a New Year 1964 release. The production team for NEZURA initially planned to used rat puppets before deciding on real live rats. Miniature sets of Tokyo and other locales were built to make the rodents appear as giant beasts onscreen. Unfortunately, the rats would not perform as needed. Even worse, the sets -- and crew -- were soon overrun with fleas, ticks and lice. The use of pesticides to combat the problem resulted in unsafe working conditions and a warning from the health department. Beset with one problem after another, Daiei decided to shut down production of NEZURA. The sets were eventually used for GAMERA (??????, Daikaij? Gamera, 1965), a massive hit for the studio that launched a series of films about the giant flying monster turtle.

    Promo art, courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    In 2002, Daiei was acquired by Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd., who merged the studio with their own film division to form the new Kadokawa Pictures. Kadokawa soon announced they would begin producing new feature films based on Daiei’s classic FX franchises. Up first was THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (?????, Y?kai Daisens?, 2005), a successful update of the 1968-69 trilogy about supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore. Kadokawa next attempted to relaunch the Gamera series with GAMERA THE BRAVE (??????????, Chiisaki Y?sha-tachi Gamera, 2006), but the film flopped at the box office. Plans for a new movie based on the 1966 Daimajin trilogy of films about a giant living stone idolmwere scrapped, with the project eventually reworked as the 2010 television series, DAIMAJIN KANON (??????). A second attempt to revive the Gamera series in 2015 also quickly fizzled out. Enter writer/director Hiroto Yokokawa and his company, 3Y Film. Having recently completed work on his independent kaiju movie THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL (????, Daibutsu Kokaiku), Yokokawa approached Kadokawa with a pitch entitled NEZURA 1964; a drama about the infamous unmade film and all of the troubles that led to it`s cancellation. In addition to offering a behind the scenes look at the production, Yokokawa would film FX sequences of an imagined completed version of NEZURA. Kadokawa approved the idea and is involved in its development and production, making NEZURA 1964 their first giant monster movie since the release of GAMERA THE BRAVE fourteen years ago. Production of NEZURA 1964 will be handled by 3Y Film, with Hiroto Yokokawa serving as co-writer, producer and director. Yokokawa is also bringing back much of his team from THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL, including supervisor Kensaku Sakai, creature designer Keisuke Yoneyama, production artists Takuma Asai, Karin Yamada and Hiroto Yokokawa, and consulting producer/publicist Avery Guerra.

    The cast of NEZURA 1964. Top row from Left to right: Yukijiro Hotaru, Masanori Kikuzawa and Kazuma Yoneyama. Bottom row: Himawari Ono, Ippei Osako and Yoshiro Uchida. Photos courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    The announced cast features veterans from the Daiei/Kadokawa Gamera films alongside performers from THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL. Fan favorite Yukijiro Hotaru has numerous kaiju films roles in his credits, including the Gamera Trilogy, GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (?????????????? ??????, Gojira, Mosura, Kingughidora: Daikaiju Soshingeki, 2001), REIGO (???????, Shinkaij? Reig?, 2005/2008) and RAIGA (?????, Shinkaij? Raiba, 2009). Actor, playwright and director Masanori Kikuzawa and Kazuma Yoneyama were both in THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL. Himawari Ono makes her much welcomed return to kaiju since her small but pivotal role in GAMERA THE BRAVE. The in-demand Ippei Osako appeared in (SHIN GODZILLA (??????, Shin Gojira, 2016) and DEATH NOTE: Light up the NEW World (????? Light up the NEW world, Desu Noto Light up the NEW world, 2016). Yoshiro Uchida was the child star of the original GAMERA, who made his acting return in THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL. NEZURA 1964 is scheduled for a December 2020 release in Japan. Be sure to follow the film on Facebook for updates.

    NEZURA 1964 pre-production concept trailer courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    CREDITS Produced And Directed by Hiroto Yokokawa Written by Hiroto Yokokawa & Kensaku Sakai Cast: Yukijir? Hotaru / Masanori Kikuzawa / Kazuma Yoneyama / Himawari Ono / Ippei Osako / Yoshir? Uchida Art staff: Takuma Asai / Karin Yamada / Hiroto Yokokawa Concept art by Takuma Asai "Mammoth Nezura" design by Keisuke Yoneyama / Yukijir? Hotaru Consulting Producer / Publicist: Avery Guerra Brain: Kensaku Sakai Production: 3Y Film Planned and Collaborated with: KADOKAWA

    Giant rats on the rampage in concept art for NEZURA 1964. Image courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA
    Image courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA
    Promotional artwork courtesy of 3Y Film. © 2020 3Y Film, KADOKAWA

    About 3Y Film

    3Y Film is part of the video production company 3Y Co., Ltd. Founded in 2015 by Hiroto Yokokawa, 3Y has been involved with the production, filming, photography, editing and CG effects for commercials, movies, stage productions and corporate videos. The company has recently branched out into their original productions such as the feature film THE GREAT BUDDHA ARRIVAL.

    About Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.

    Kadokawa Pictures is part of Kadokawa Shoten, which forms the axis of the expansive KADOKAWA CORPORATION. Kadokawa Shoten has maintained the company’s traditions since its founding, while continuously seeking to innovate at the same time. With their core operations based in publishing and film, represented by the Kadokawa Paperback, Kadokawa Pictures, and Kadokawa Anime labels, they continually release a wide range of content targeted to all age groups.

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