As one giant monster is celebrated for destroying Manhattan, another is taken to court. Cloverfield stomps on DVD shelves in North America today (Erik Davis got an early look), and there's no question that the large, rampaging creature in that film was inspired by Godzilla. But the beast only bears a superficial resemblance to the Japanese Lizard King, and his urban rebuilding program was limited to Gotham City. What if he dared to destroy a Japanese city and more closely resembled Godzilla?
The Subway sandwich chain recently aired a new commercial that stepped over the line, in the eyes of Toho Co., the Japanese studio behind the original Godzilla movies. Toho filed a complaint in Los Angeles, according to The Japan Times, alleging that Subway "not only intentionally created a character that closely resembles Godzilla in its physical appearance, but placed the character in a setting, a Japanese city under attack, that is widely associated with Toho's Godzilla films."
Glenn Erickson, AKA DVD Savant, commented: "A big monster attacking a city isn't automatically Toho's private property -- or is it? Is Toho saying that another film company cannot make a movie about a giant monster stomping Tokyo?" He linked to the ad on YouTube; after watching it, I agree that the suit seems "really ridiculous." The monster appears for about four seconds and looks pretty generic. But you be the judge. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself: Does that monster look like Godzilla?