Godzilla Minus One (2023)
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Postwar Japan. From zero to minus. (戦後、日本。
Godzilla Minus One (ゴジラ
The film is set to premiere as the closer to the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival on November 1, 2023. Toho will release it to more than 500 Japanese theaters beginning that November 3, the same day that the original Godzilla premiered in 1954. Toho International will then bring it to over 1,000 screens in North America on December 1, 2023. Although scheduled to be released on the franchise's 69th anniversary, the film officially commemorates the 70th anniversary, which falls in 2024.
The worst despair in the series' history strikes Japan!
A new Toho kaiju film to be directed by Takashi Yamazaki, codenamed Blockbuster Monster Movie, was announced on February 18, 2022 through a casting call posted on production company ROBOT's website, as well as on the Godzilla+ application. Few details were given of its premise beyond that it would involve kaiju and be set in postwar Japan between 1945 and 1947. On November 3, during Godzilla Fest 2022, the project was revealed to be the next entry in the Godzilla franchise, with a release date set for exactly one year later on November 3, 2023. Subsequent reports confirmed that Yamazaki would also write the film's script and supervise its VFX, and that TOHO Studios would carry out production alongside ROBOT. Toho held a press conference on December 13 to announce its domestic film slate for 2023, during which the head of its Planning & Production Department, Hisashi Usui, hinted at a possible relation between the new film and the original Godzilla from 1954.
On July 11, 2023, alongside the reveal of the film's title as Godzilla Minus One, Toho announced that the film will be released to theaters in the United States that December 1. Fansite Toho Kingdom later received clarification from the company that its American subsidiary, Toho International, will be handling distribution. Also on July 11, Toho's Kazuaki Kishida announced via Twitter that he produced the film. On August 29, the Tokyo International Film Festival announced that Godzilla Minus One will be screened as the closing film of its 36th festival on November 1, two days ahead of the film's Japanese theatrical release.
As revealed through a casting call, scenes involving extras were shot from March to June of 2022. Known shooting dates and locations from that casting call included:
- March 17-19: Aoba, Yokohama, Kanagawa (outdoors, daytime)
- March 30-31: Kasama, Ibaraki (indoors and outdoors, all-day)
- April 11-13: Seijo, Setagaya, Tokyo (indoors, all-day)
- April 17-18: Nishio, Aichi (indoors, daytime)
- May 4-5: Inashiki, Ibaraki (daytime)
- May 9-11: Okaya, Nagano (indoors and outdoors, all-day)
- May 12: Okaya, Nagano (outdoors, all-day)
- May 12: Okaya, Nagano (outdoors, daytime)
- May 13: Okaya, Nagano (indoors and outdoors, daytime)
- May 16-20: Chikusei, Ibaraki (outdoors, daytime)
- May 28-29: Chikusei, Ibaraki (outdoors, daytime)
- May 30: Chikusei, Ibaraki (outdoors, daytime)
- June 5-6, 11: Chiba
VFX company Shirogumi later opened an online recruiting call for effects designers and compositors. The webpage estimated that post-production work would take place between August 2022 and January 2023, but this was subsequently changed to between November 2022 and February 2023 before the page was taken down completely. The film was confirmed to have entered post-production during the Toho press conference that was held on December 13, 2022.
On June 12, 2023, daily profiles of the numerical Godzilla films began being posted to Twitter through the newly launched account @godzilla20231103 and to Godzilla+, beginning with the series' 29th and most recent entry Shin Godzilla (2016), and counting backwards. This culminated in a short teaser video on July 11, the day corresponding to the 'zeroth' film in the countdown, which announced that further information would be released eight hours later at 4:00 JST. Despite this, the film's title and an English-language poster were revealed by Forbes three hours early. Of the film's concept, Toho International President Koji Ueda explained, "Japan, which had already been devastated by the war, faces a new threat with Godzilla, bringing the country into the ‘minus.’" A Japanese poster and teaser trailer followed at the expected time. Director Takashi Yamazaki also provided comment, stating:
"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."
The following day, July 12, a host of merchandise for the film was unveiled, giving the first look at Godzilla's full body. On July 14, a 2.3-meter tall statue of the Minus One Godzilla was put on display at TOHO CINEMAS Hibiya in Chiyoda, Tokyo, where it was scheduled to stay until August 31. The film also has a presence at the exhibition "The Visual World-crafting of YAMAZAKI Takashi, Film Director," which opened in Yamazaki's hometown of Matsumoto, Nagano on July 15 and will run until October 29. Another statue of Godzilla is placed at the entrance, with a 50-centimeter tall model used for onset reference, concept art, and a rough storyboard on display inside. Yet a third statue was displayed at Wonder Festival 2023 Summer in Chiba on July 30. On August 4-6 and 8, a 3.6-meter tall Godzilla float created by artist Hiroaki Fukushi was paraded at the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival in Aomori. Afterwards, the float, which took roughly a month to complete, was moved to the Tachineputa Museum.
On August 18, Japanese baseball team the Yomiuri Giants announced that a collaboration with Godzilla Minus One will be held during their game against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows at the Tokyo Dome on October 1. Along with the installation of a 2.6-meter tall statue of Godzilla, costumed Godzilla and Chibi Godzilla performers will make appearances, and a special video will be shown at the stadium. On August 23, it was reported that Tokyo's Ikebukuro HUMAX Cinemas would screen four prior Godzilla films personally selected by Takashi Yamazaki and hold a talk from Yamazaki after each. Yamazaki will also be accompanied by a different guest for each. The films are:
|September 15||Godzilla (1954)||2014 digital remaster||Shinji Higuchi|
|September 29||Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)||35mm print||Keizo Murase|
|October||To be announced.|
|October||To be announced.|
- Main article: Godzilla Minus One/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Takashi Yamazaki
- Written by Takashi Yamazaki
- Executive producer Minami Ichikawa
- Co-executive producers Hisashi Usui, Shuji Abe
- Planned and produced by Kenji Yamada, Kazuaki Kishida
- Produced by Go Abe, Keiichiro Moriya
- Line producer Hiroshi Sakurai
- Music by Naoki Sato
- Cinematography by Kozo Shibasaki
- Edited by Ryuji Miyajima
- Production design by Anri Jojo
- 1st assistant director Kohei Adachi
- Visual effects supervisor Takashi Yamazaki
- Visual effects director Kiyoko Shibuya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Ryunosuke Kamiki as Koichi Shikishima
- Minami Hamabe as Noriko Oishi
- Yuki Yamada as Shiro Mizushima
- Munetaka Aoki as Sosaku Tachibana
- Hidetaka Yoshioka as Kenji Noda
- Sakura Ando as Sumiko Ota
- Kuranosuke Sasaki as Kiyoharu Akitsu
- Main article: Godzilla Minus One/Gallery.
- Godzilla-1.0 (alternate rendering based on Japanese title)
- Blockbuster Monster Movie (超大作怪獣映画 Chōtaisaku Kaijū Eiga, working title)
- Godzilla Zero (ゴジラ・ゼロ Gojira Zero, early unconfirmed title adopted by fans)
- Though Godzilla Minus One is the first Godzilla feature film Takashi Yamazaki has directed, he has helmed two previous projects involving Godzilla:
- Godzilla Minus One's reported runtime of 125 minutes would tie it with Godzilla Final Wars (2004) as the longest Japanese Godzilla film.
- This will be the first Godzilla movie to be primarily set before 1954. It is not the first time that an earlier setting has ever been depicted, however, as Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah involves characters time traveling to 1944.
- Though the full span of time the film covers is unknown, a letter seen in the trailer announcement video is dated February 10, 1947 (the day the Paris Peace Treaties were signed), and describes Godzilla swimming towards Japan. Microfilm shown in the trailer bears the seal of the U.S. Department of War, which was dissolved on September 18, 1947.
- The film's teaser trailer opens on a shot of a ruined Wako store in Ginza. The same building has appeared in several other pieces of Godzilla media, including the original Godzilla (1954).
- Due to a miscommunication, Forbes' initial announcement of Godzilla Minus One suggested that it was in the same continuity as Shin Godzilla. It has since been corrected to say that it merely "follows [up]" the movie.
- On March 17, 2022, since-suspended Japanese Twitter user @raserkey alleged to have participated in the film as an extra and seen the title "Godzilla Zero" on staff documents. Though they accurately predicted that the project would be a Godzilla film before its confirmation that November, the title did not ultimately match the one which was revealed. By the time of the title announcement, however, "Godzilla Zero" had caught on in both the Japanese and English-speaking Godzilla fanbases.
- Official site
- Official Twitter account
- Official Instagram account
- Official TikTok account
- ROBOT casting call webpage (archived)
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