Godzilla is a kaijuu, a fictional Japanese giant monster. His first film was Ishiro Honda's 1954 film "Gojira", and since then, he has made many more appearances, and has become a pop-culture icon. In total, Godzilla has appeared in 28 films, all of which were produced by Toho Company Ltd. Godzilla has also appeared in numerous comic books, video games, and novels.
Godzilla is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture worldwide and remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. He has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States, as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general. The earlier Godzilla films, especially the original Godzilla, portrayed Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the possibility of recurrence.
As the series progressed, so did Godzilla, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character as the films became geared towards children. Since then, the character has fallen somewhere in the middle, sometimes portrayed as a protector of the Earth (notably Japan) from external threats and other times as a bringer of destruction. Godzilla is also the second of only three fictional characters to have won the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award, which was awarded in 1996.
In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced a remake set in New York City, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Matthew Broderick; the film's name was simply Godzilla. Despite negative reviews and negative Godzilla fan reaction, the film was a financial success, taking in nearly $380 million worldwide and spawned an animated television series called Godzilla: The Series.