Monday, June 8, 2015

TERUYOSHI NAKANO'S KING KONG?! The Famed Toho SFX Director Reveals He Almost Remade The Great Ape!

Teruyoshi Nakano shares a laugh with fans as he recounts his decades in tokusatsu. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On June 8, a group of us ate lunch at a Japanese restaurant in Shinjuku with longitme Toho SFX director Teruyoshi Nakano, whose best-known credits are Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (1971), Submersion of Japan (1973), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), and Godzilla 1985 (1984).

On this day, Nakano-san told us something I had never heard or read before, although I'm told that he's recounted this story several times at events in Japan.

According to Nakano-san, producer Dino De Laurentiis approached Toho Studios and Teruyoshi Nakano to handle the special effects for his King Kong remake, which was eventually released in 1976. Apparently, the process had moved far along enough that Nakano-san made a trip to New York to meet with De Laurentiis and to scout locations.

So why didn't it happen? Apparently, there were union problems preventing a crew from outside the union from doing the SFX work.

Naturally, had the '76 King Kong's effects been handled by Toho, the film would have been remembered in a much different light by fans. Maybe they wouldn't even call it "KINO"!

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