TOHO’s first Godzilla production in over seven years is about to stomp its way back into our hearts and theatres, marking the return of the beloved kaiju to the big screen after a long hiatus.
Directed and penned by Takashi Yamazaki, this marks the 33rd Japanese-language Godzilla film and the 37th overall. It's also the first live-action Japanese Godzilla since 2016’s Shin Godzilla, which was a critical darling and the highest-grossing non-English film in the franchise.
Have a look at the trailer:
The freshly released trailer for Godzilla Minus One provides a horrifying glimpse into the movie's epic scale, wasting no time in giving us a sneak peek into the chaos the ‘King of the Monster’s’ return will bring. City streets? Say goodbye to those as they crumble at a 90-degree angle.
Godzilla just made them ragdoll 💀 pic.twitter.com/f7E1cpMp4w— Rick (@RickDaSquirrel) September 4, 2023
The trailer's title cards allude to the idea that Japan has lost everything in the aftermath of war, highlighting Godzilla's role in taking the country from "zero to minus", almost as if Oppenheimer’s scientific ambitions weren’t nearly enough.
The decision to set the film in post-World War II Japan adds a layer of historical significance to the narrative. Interestingly, the trailer hints at continuity challenges, with a character recognising Godzilla in a timeline where the original attack occurred in 1954.
But hey, Godzilla's always been more than just a giant lizard with a grudge. It's Japan's metaphorical response to postwar trauma - particularly related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 - often symbolising the horrors of nuclear weapons. So, setting this film in a post-WWII era seems like a return to its deep allegorical roots.
We’re finally getting a Godzilla in the Reiwa era with potential personality?— Rick (@RickDaSquirrel) September 4, 2023
Happy to hear pic.twitter.com/wC6faL2Idb
The trailer also emphasises humanity's struggle against Godzilla, both on land and at sea. Despite the film's earlier time setting, it appears to retain the sense of despair and awe-inspiring catastrophe seen in Shin Godzilla.
Godzilla Minus One atomic breath pic.twitter.com/2KgtIO6NW4— Rick (@RickDaSquirrel) September 4, 2023
The footage, interspersed with scenes of nuclear explosions and wartime despair, underscores the film's attempt to return Godzilla to its original frame of reference, emphasising the monster's elemental terror as an unfathomable force of nature to be reckoned with.
The film's inclusion as the closing feature at the Tokyo International Film Festival in November underscores its significance in the world of cinema. It aims to carry forward the spirit of Ishiro Honda’s original Gojira while addressing new challenges.
Minus One arrives ahead of Legendary's Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire in April next year, adding to the excitement surrounding the iconic kaiju's return to the Hollywood big screen.
Furthermore, Apple TV’s live-action series adaptation titled Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is looking to release soon, set within the world of Legendary's MonsterVerse and expanding the franchise's reach.
In the wake of G-Day, who are the real monsters? pic.twitter.com/hncAc2lcaC— Apple TV (@AppleTV) August 17, 2023
In the coming months, fans of the MonsterVerse will be treated to a trio of exciting new Godzilla projects. Godzilla's making a comeback, and it's bringing with it a blend of nostalgia, allegory, and monster-sized fun that's sure to thrill both old fans and newcomers alike.
Me in theaters watching Godzilla kill millions of lives and cause billions of dollars in collateral damage in Godzilla Minus One pic.twitter.com/1jx7P0ROAV— Kaiju 🇵🇷 (@Spider_Kaiju) September 4, 2023
Godzilla Minus One releases in Japan on November 3 and in the US on December 1, 2023.