Breaking news! Kraken Releasing (the company behind the recent Bluray/DVD releases of 'Godzilla vs Hedorah,' 'Godzilla vs Gigan,' and 'Ebirah Horror of the Deep') has just acquired the rights to release the uncut Japanese version of 'The Return of Godzilla' (some of you may know this film by the name 'Godzilla 1985'). This is huge news, as this uncut version of the film has never made it over to U.S. shores. Fans rejoice!
'The Return of Godzilla' served as a reboot to the Godzilla franchise after poor box office returns from the last Showa Godzilla film, 'Terror of MechaGodzilla.' Godzilla came back in 1984 with better special effects and returned to the serious tone of the original 'Gojira.' The US version of the film ('Godzilla 1985') was heavily re-edited and had many new scenes added superfluously into the film. There were about twenty minutes of footage from the Japanese release removed to add in the new scenes with Raymond Burr reprising his role of Steve Martin from the American version of 'Gojira' ('Godzilla King of the Monsters').
Most of us die-hard fans have previously had to import 'The Return of Godzilla' because of a major rights issue with the film. New World Pictures still owns the rights to the American version of the film due to a strange contract that was signed when the film was originally released in North America. The company has since gone out of business, and due to the rights of 'Godzilla 1985' still being in their clutches, we have not had a DVD version of the film, much less seen the original unaltered version natively.
The new Blu-ray and DVD from Kraken Releasing will include a Japanese language track with subtitles and the English dubbed version. Interestingly enough, I do not think the dubbed version will be the American cut due to the aforementioned rights issue with 'Godzilla 1985.' I think that the dub being used for this release may be from a different English-speaking country where the film was not re-edited on release.
The new Blu-ray and DVD finally arrive in America on September 13th, 2016.