Godzilla is one of the most iconic movie monsters in existence and he’s going to be returning to the big screen. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to develop and produce a Godzilla film, with Warner Bros. set to co-produce, co-finance and distribute. Original rights holder Toho is set to roll out the film in Japan.

Godzilla is one of the world’s most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise,” said Thomas Tull, chairman and CEO of Legendary. “Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop culturally relevant for as long as it has.”

While the 1998 Godzilla film was a financial success, it was panned critically and helped lead to a torpor of the franchise for roughly a decade. Legendary and Warner Bros. have teamed up on movies like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Superman Returns, The Hangover, and the upcoming release of Clash of the Titans, so the track record is certainly there.

Godzilla is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which Warner Bros. and our partners at Legendary are best known, added Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

The new Godzilla is expected to release in 2012.