Godzilla is a 1998 American monster film directed by Roland Emmerich, co-written by Emmerich with producer Dean Devlin. A reimagining of Toho’s Godzilla franchise, it is the 23rd film in the franchise and the first Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.[a] The film stars Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, and Harry Shearer. The film is dedicated to Tomoyuki Tanaka, the co-creator and producer of various Godzilla films, who died in April 1997. In the film, scientists and the military investigate and battle a giant monster who migrates to New York City to nest its young.
In October 1992, TriStar Pictures announced plans to produce a trilogy of Godzilla films. In May 1993, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were hired to write the script. In July 1994, Jan de Bont was announced as the director. De Bont left the project in December 1994 due to budget disputes and Emmerich was hired in May 1996 to direct and co-write a new script with producer Dean Devlin. Principal photography began in May 1997 and ended in September 1997.
Godzilla was theatrically released on May 20, 1998, to negative reviews and grossed $379 million worldwide against a production budget between $130–150 million. While the film turned a profit, it was considered a box-office disappointment. Planned sequels were cancelled and an animated series was produced instead. In 2004, Toho began trademarking new iterations of TriStar’s Godzilla as “Zilla“, with only the incarnations from the 1998 film and animated show retaining the Godzilla copyright/trademark.