Join A-List now & get your first month for just 99¢ – that’s up to 3 movies every week!

Your Guide To Godzilla Minus One

November 15th, 2023Your Guide To Godzilla Minus One

GODZILLA MINUS ONE opens December 1

For as long as there have been monster movies, there has been the mighty Godzilla, who has continued to reign as the undisputed king of the monsters in more recent years in a whole new form as part of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ current MonsterVerse. The creature has actually taken on many different forms and interpretations over the past seven decades, but, lest we forget, the character’s true native land is Japan, where he made his cinematic debut in the iconic 1954 disasterpiece originally titled GOJIRA. In 2023, the beast is returning home in GODZILLA MINUS ONE.

This new Japanese production – which opens in AMC Theatres on December 1 – does not have any canonical ties to the aforementioned MonsterVerse, which is also continuing in 2024 with GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE. In fact, it does not even serve as a sequel to the original franchise, nor is it a prequel. So, what is GODZILLA MINUS ONE, in what universe does it take place, and what location is the titular kaiju wreaking havoc on this time? The following guide should help put your mind at ease, or get you even more excited.

A Post-War Godzilla Story

Any monster fan of the Godzilla movies knows that there is more to the building-sized, reptilian beast than meets the eye, particularly from a symbolic perspective. The character – who would eventually evolve into an anti-heroic protector of humanity against more malevolent creatures like Ghidora or Mechagodzilla – was originally conceived as a commentary on the growing fears of nuclear warfare in the midst of the U.S. government dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. GODZILLA MINUS ONE brings that commentary full circle with a story that is more firmly rooted in historical fact than previous installments.

The film introduces a new narrative to Godzilla’s lore by setting the story in 1940s Japan, shortly after the end of World War II. As the government struggles to rebuild and recover from the bombing that left Hiroshima and Nagasaki in ruins, they discover they have a new destructive force to contend with when a bizarre, terrifying behemoth emerges from the water, spreading fear where hope is already lost.

Takashi Yamazaki Directs

Taking on multiple responsibilities for GODZILLA MINUS ONE – including writing, directing, and working on the breathtaking visual effects – is Takashi Yamazaki. The filmmaker is certainly qualified for a spectacle such as this, considering the reputation his previous efforts have earned him.

After getting his start as an producer for the animated sci-fi children’s TV series, “Kiteretsu Yamazaki,” and as a visual effects animator for movies like 1987’s THE DRIFTING made his feature film debut as director in 2000 with a live-action, coming-of-age sci-fi adventure called JUVENILE. From then, he would shift between helming animated projects like 2011’s FRIENDS: NAKI ON MONSTER ISLAND and other live-action stories like the two-part alien invasion tale from 2014 and 2015, PARASYTE, which is based on a manga that also inspired an anime series around the same time. GODZILLA MINUS ONE just might be his most ambitious effort yet, and easily the one with the most widespread mainstream appeal.

Ryunosuke Kamiki Leads

Of course, the star of GODZILLA MINUS ONE is, as usual, the legendary monster at the forefront, but no sci-fi disaster film is complete without a cast of human characters for the moviegoing audience to relate to. Leading that ensemble of human actors this time is Ryunosuke Kamiki as World War II kamikaze pilot, Kōichi Shikishima. The former child actor is best known for lending his voice to some of Studio Ghibli’s most acclaimed anime films, such as SPIRITED AWAY and HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE.

Starring as Shikishima’s girlfriend, Noriko Ōishi, is Minami Hamabe, who first came to prominence in Japanese cinema for her performance in the 2017 coming-of-age romance, LET ME EAT YOUR PANCREAS. The GODZILLA MINUS ONE cast also includes Munetaka Aoki (known for Martin Scorsese’s Academy AwardⓇ-nominated 2016 period drama, SILENCE) as a mechanic who survived a Godzilla attack alongside Kōichi two years earlier and Hidetaka Yoshioka as a scientist named Kenji Noda.

Watch The Trailer

If being a Godzilla movie was not enough for GODZILLA MINUS ONE to garner interest from American audiences, a quick viewing of the film’s official trailer should change that immediately. For a glimpse at all the explosive action, astonishing special effects, and heartfelt drama there is to expect, take a look at the clip below:

Before officially revealing that the film is a period piece with a shot of the devastating aftermath of the bombs, the teaser wastes no time letting you know that the famous titular monster is among them, but with a tastefully subtle shot of Godzilla swimming just beneath the ocean surface. From there, we are shown the devastation that this “unknown organism” leaves in his path – taking full bites out of train cars and turning a building to rubble just by the careless swing of his tail. While still bearing signature characteristics like his blue-glowing spikes and blood curdling roar, this new interpretation of the character could be the scariest yet, if it is even possible to make him any scarier, that is.

Whether you are a fan of monster movies or an admirer of history, or both, we recommend you experience the GODZILLA MINUS ONE Early Access Fan Event on November 29th.

GODZILLA MINUS ONE opens December 1

Get Tickets to Titles in this Article