Godzilla vs. Biollante director Kazuki Ōmori passed away at the age of 70 on Nov. 12.
A post on the official Twitter page for Godzilla in Japan paid tribute to Ōmori and expressed condolences to the family and friends of the acclaimed director. The tweet also noted his appearance at Godzilla Festival Extra Edition in May 2021, where fans were able to interact with Ōmori and ask questions about his body of work.
Ōmori is best known for his work on the Heisei Godzilla series, including writing and directing Godzilla vs Biollante and Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. He also later wrote Godzilla vs Mothra and Godzilla vs Destoroyah for Toho Company Ltd. The director had also been the head of the Visual Concept Planning Department at Osaka University of Arts since 2006, where he taught special effects or Tokusatsu techniques.
Born in Osaka in 1952, Ōmori made his directorial and writing debut in the 1978 Kido award-winning film Orange Road Express, which followed a chance meeting between youths running a pirate radio station and an elderly couple on the run from the law. Following his breakthrough, he also directed and wrote both Young Girls in Love and Totto Channel, the latter of which saw Ōmori win the New Face Award and the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 1988.
Outside of his subsequent work on Godzilla projects, he also directed and wrote the adventure anime The Boy Who Saw the Wind in 2000. This proved to be somewhat of a departure for the director, who shared his thoughts on animated movies before speaking at the 4th Kyoto University-Inamori Foundation Joint Kyoto Prize Symposium in 2017. "I feel a bit uneasy when my films are mentioned alongside animated films. This is certainly not based on any sense of arrogance, but rather because of the fact that there is no acting in animation," Ōmori said.
After studying at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and gaining a license to practice, Ōmori began making 8mm films in his spare time. He was also on the board of the Directors Guild of Japan.