Godzilla Minus One – Film

About Godzilla Minus One – Film

Godzilla Minus One Film Details

Godzilla Minus One¬†(„āī„āł„É©-1.0„Éě„ā§„Éä„āĻ„ÉĮ„É≥,¬†Gojira Mainasu Wan)¬†is a 2023 Japanese¬†epic¬†kaiju¬†film written, directed, and with visual effects by¬†Takashi Yamazaki. Produced by¬†Toho Studios¬†and¬†Robot Communications¬†and distributed by¬†Toho, it is the 37th film in the¬†Godzilla¬†franchise, Toho’s 33rd¬†Godzilla¬†film, and the fifth film in the¬†franchise’s¬†Reiwa¬†era. The film stars¬†Ryunosuke Kamiki,¬†Minami Hamabe,¬†Yuki Yamada,¬†Munetaka Aoki,¬†Hidetaka Yoshioka,¬†Sakura Ando¬†and¬†Kuranosuke Sasaki. Set in¬†postwar Japan, it follows a former¬†kamikaze¬†pilot suffering from¬†post-traumatic stress disorder¬†after encountering a giant monster known as “Godzilla”.

After finishing his film¬†The Great War of Archimedes¬†(2019), Yamazaki was appointed to make a¬†Godzilla¬†film. He spent three years writing the script, taking influence from¬†Godzilla¬†(1954),¬†Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack¬†(2001),¬†Shin Godzilla¬†(2016), and the films of¬†Steven Spielberg¬†and¬†Hayao Miyazaki. Yamazaki previously depicted Godzilla in¬†Always: Sunset on Third Street 2¬†(2007) and a 2021 amusement park ride at¬†Seibu-en. In February 2022, Robot publicized that Yamazaki would soon begin directing a¬†kaiju¬†film. Filming occurred primarily in¬†KantŇ欆and¬†ChŇębu¬†from March to June 2022.¬†Shirogumi’s¬†ChŇćfu¬†studio spent eight months creating the film’s visual effects.

Godzilla Minus One¬†premiered at the¬†Shinjuku Toho Building¬†on October 18, 2023, and was released in Japan on November 3, to celebrate the franchise’s 70th anniversary.¬†Toho International¬†later released it in North America on December 1. The film has grossed almost¬†$116 million¬†worldwide on an estimated¬†$10‚Äď12 million¬†budget, becoming the¬†third-highest-grossing Japanese film of 2023¬†and surpassing¬†Shin Godzilla¬†as the most successful Japanese¬†Godzilla¬†film. Critics praised its visual effects, direction, screenplay, characters,¬†musical score, and social commentary, with many hailing it as one of the best films of 2023 and among the greatest in the¬†Godzilla¬†franchise. It also attained¬†numerous accolades, including a leading 12 nominations at the¬†47th Japan Academy Film Prize¬†(winning eight), three nominations at the¬†17th Asian Film Awards¬†(winning two), and winning¬†Best Visual Effects¬†at the¬†96th Academy Awards.

STORY

CAST

  • Ryunosuke Kamiki¬†as KŇćichi Shikishima, a former¬†kamikaze¬†pilot
  • Minami Hamabe¬†as Noriko ŇĆishi, Shikishima’s girlfriend
  • Yuki Yamada¬†as ShirŇć Mizushima, a young crewman aboard the¬†Shinsei Maru
  • Munetaka Aoki¬†as SŇćsaku Tachibana, former¬†Navy Air Service¬†technician
  • Hidetaka Yoshioka¬†as Kenji Noda, a former Naval weapons engineer
  • Sakura Ando¬†as Sumiko ŇĆta, Shikishima’s neighbor
  • Kuranosuke Sasaki¬†as YŇćji Akitsu, captain of the¬†Shinsei Maru
  • Sae Nagatani as Akiko, ŇĆishi and Shikishima’s adopted daughter
  • Miou Tanaka¬†as Tatsuo Hotta, captain of the destroyer¬†Yukikaze
  • Yuya Endo¬†as Tadamasa SaitŇć

PRODUCTION

Development

In July 2016,¬†Toho Co., Ltd.¬†released a reboot of the¬†Godzilla¬†franchise, titled¬†Shin Godzilla. It became critically and commercially successful, leading director¬†Hideaki Anno¬†to create two other¬†tokusatsu¬†reboot films:¬†Shin Ultraman¬†(2022) and¬†Shin Kamen Rider¬†(2023). According to¬†Godzilla Minus One¬†producer Kenji Yamada, Toho had planned several live-action¬†Godzilla¬†films in the wake of¬†Shin Godzilla’s success, but all were canceled as they felt none of them were worthy follow-ups. In 2017,¬†Shin Godzilla¬†co-director¬†Shinji Higuchi¬†stated at the American¬†fan convention¬†G-Fest¬†that Toho would not be able to produce another¬†Godzilla¬†film until after 2020; this was due to their contract with¬†Legendary Pictures, who were producing their own¬†Godzilla¬†films, that forbade Toho from releasing their potential¬†Godzilla¬†films in the same year as Legendary’s films. In 2018, Toho executive Keiji Ota revealed that¬†Shin Godzilla¬†would not receive a sequel and expressed interest in a potential¬†shared universe¬†Godzilla¬†series akin to the¬†Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In 2019, Toho began a “Godzilla Room” division, devoted to planning new¬†Godzilla¬†projects. Following the completion of his film¬†The Great War of Archimedes¬†that same year, producer¬†Minami Ichikawa¬†appointed renowned filmmaker¬†Takashi Yamazaki¬†to make a¬†Godzilla¬†film. He began preparing the project and initially spent one year developing the script. However, the¬†COVID-19 pandemic¬†forced the crew to postpone filming for a few years, leading to the script being rewritten several times over the course of three years.

Godzilla Minus One¬†is Yamazaki’s third time working on a production utilizing Godzilla. His first is¬†Always: Sunset on Third Street 2¬†(2007), which features the monster in a dream-like opening. During preproduction on¬†Godzilla Minus One, he also directed and created the effects for¬†Seibu-en Amusement Park’s¬†motion simulator¬†attraction¬†Godzilla the Ride: Giant Monsters Ultimate Battle¬†(2021).

On February 18, 2022,¬†Robot Communications¬†announced the film, with the working title¬†Blockbuster Monster Movie¬†(Ť∂ÖŚ§ßšĹúśÄ™Áć£śė†ÁĒĽ,¬†ChŇćtaisaku KaijŇę Eiga), via a casting call on its official website. Robot stated Yamazaki would direct and that the film would be presented by Toho. The next day,¬†HuffPost¬†writer Kenji Ando mentioned the conjecture from fans on social media whether the film would be a remake of the 1954 film. Ando also noted that it is a period piece set in¬†postwar Japan¬†between 1945 and 1947, citing Yamazaki’s comments from an interview regarding his depiction of Godzilla in¬†Always: Sunset on Third Street 2: “You can’t have Godzilla unless it’s the¬†ShŇćwa¬†era”.

Toho declared that Yamazaki’s unnamed¬†kaiju¬†project is a¬†Godzilla¬†film on November 3, 2022, at an event celebrating the franchise’s 68th anniversary known as “Godzilla Day”. The company also revealed that the film had completed filming and had entered post-production with a targeted release date of November 3, 2023. Yamazaki was named the film’s writer and¬†visual effects supervisor. During a press conference on December 13, 2022, Toho’s head of planning Hisashi Usui implied that the new film is connected to the 1954 film. In the July 2023 press release that also revealed the film’s title, teaser, and poster, Yamazaki regaled his pitch and vision for the film:

Postwar Japan has lost everything. The film depicts an existence that gives unprecedented despair. The title¬†Godzilla Minus One¬†was created with this in mind. In order to depict this, the staff and I have worked together to create a setting where Godzilla looks as if ‘fear’ itself is walking toward us, and where despair is piled on top of despair. I think this is the culmination of all the films I have made to date, and one that deserves to be ‘experienced’ rather than ‘watched’ in the theater. I hope you will experience the most terrifying Godzilla in the best possible environment.

Toho filed a trademark for the Japanese title on the same day as the press release, also registering its various alternative readings such as¬†Gojira Minus Itten Zero¬†(„āī„āł„É©„Éě„ā§„Éä„āĻ„ā§„ÉÉ„ÉÜ„É≥„āľ„É≠). The English-Japanese title for¬†Godzilla Minus One¬†was conceived by producer¬†ShŇęji Abe, and Yamazaki believes Abe took influence from¬†Tadashi Hirose ‘s¬†science fiction¬†novel¬†Minus Zero . The title, according to the director, has multiple meanings, explicitly referring to how Godzilla’s destruction changed Japan’s position from a “post-war zero situation” to a “minus”; when mentioning other possible reasons for the title, Yamazaki mentioned that the film takes place before the¬†original 1954¬†Godzilla¬†film¬†and that it emphasizes the theme of loss throughout.

RELEASE

November 3, 2023

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