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Japan's First Live-Action 'Godzilla' Movie Since 2016 Will Rampage Through Cinemas Down Under in December

The King of the Monsters is back and unleashing kaiju action in postwar Japan — and there's a new trailer.
By Sarah Ward
November 07, 2023
By Sarah Ward
November 07, 2023

Across the last two months of 2023, most folks will celebrate festive season. Here's something else to mark this year: Godzilla season. New streaming series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters arrives in mid-November, combining kaiju with both Kurt (Fast and Furious 9) and Wyatt Russell (Under the Banner of Heaven). Then, the unrelated Godzilla Minus One will stomp onto the big screen Down Under to kick off December.

This film marks a big return, and not just because Godzilla as a creature is huge in size (even though exactly how large the critter is varies between on-screen appearances). To the delight of fans of Zilly's rampages through its homeland's cinema, Godzilla Minus One is the first live-action Japanese Godzilla release about its namesake since 2016's excellent Shin Godzilla.

When Godzilla first crawled out of the ocean and into cinemas, the famous movie monster made its debut appearance in the shadow of the Second World War. The link between the film's fears of nuclear holocaust and what Japan had just experienced wasn't an accident, in a picture that isn't just an excellent creature feature — the franchise-starting flick is stellar all round, including its glorious score.

It was back in 1954 that Godzilla initially greeted the world. Now, almost seven decades later, 37 other movies have followed. The latest: Godzilla Minus One, which gives Zilly aficionados a long-awaited new Japanese Godzilla movie and takes its titular figure back to the country's postwar era.

As seen in the both the first trailer for Godzilla Minus One and its just-dropped latest sneak peek, Japan is still coping with the aftermath of WWII's atomic bombings when the kaiju appears. The question: in a place that's already rebuilding, how will everyone both endure and battle against this towering critter?

In a feature written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Lupin III: The First, Ghost Book), cue plenty of rampaging through the streets by Godzilla, plus fleeing by the film's humans. Cue buildings levelled, the ground both rumbling and crumbling, and explosions wreaking more havoc, too. Referencing going backwards from zero in its moniker, cue a film that follows people trying to survive and fight — all back in the time that gave birth to all things Godzilla.

Already in cinemas in Japan since early November, Godzilla Minus One will hit the big screen Down Under from Friday, December 1. It follows three animated streaming efforts since Shin Godzilla: 2017's Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, and 2018's Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and Godzilla: The Planet Eater.

Of course, the broader franchise also includes America's take on Godzilla, starting with a low in 1998, then including another try in 2014, 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters and 2021's Godzilla vs Kong. After TV's Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, a sequel to Godzilla vs Kong, is due in 2024.

Check out the latest trailer for Godzilla Minus One below:

Godzilla Minus One will hit cinemas Down Under on Friday, December 1.

Published on November 07, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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