Godzilla Spotted Approaching America! New Japanese Production Arriving In December


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The world’s favorite hundred foot tall rampaging kaiju is about to make landfall just in time for the holiday movie season, according to an announcement today from Japan’s Toho International. Godzilla Minus One, the first Japanese-produced Godzilla film since Shin Godzilla in 2016, will debut in Japan on November 3, 2023 and will get a theatrical release in the United States on December 1. It is just one part of a broader plan for Godzilla to rampage through American media and pop culture in coming months.

“Set in a post-war Japan, Godzilla Minus One will once again show us a Godzilla that is a terrifying and overwhelming force, which you already get a sense of from the teaser trailer and poster,” said Koji Ueda, President of Toho International. “The concept is that Japan, which had already been devastated by the war, faces a new threat with Godzilla, bringing the country into the ‘minus.’”

Ueda said the film, directed and written by Takashi Yamazaki, follows 2016’s Shin Godzilla, a cult favorite that ranks #4 on Rotten Tomatoes’ all-time ratings for the franchise, just below the 1954 original.

“Godzilla is one of the most globally licensed Japanese characters, and he’s a pop cultural ambassador with as much recognition as cuter mascots like Hello Kitty or Pikachu,” said Peter Tatara, director of film at the Japan Society and an expert in Japanese pop culture. “While there isn’t a new Godzilla movie every year, there’s a multimillion dollar merchandise empire that’s producing new toys, apparel, plush, games, and much more perpetually entertaining fans and generating monster-sized revenue. Godzilla is one of Japan’s most enduring characters and a tentpole of both domestic and international licensing.”

Toho executives declined to comment on financials, but licensing industry experts estimate the total value of the franchise at $4.5 to $5 billion based on the combined box office of the films from US and Japanese studios, plus over $2 billion in sales of toys and tie-ins to Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise. “That makes it more valuable than Ghostbusters, Care Bears, Planet of the Apes, Friends, Terminator, Indiana Jones, G.I. Joe, and Minecraft,” said Jeff Gomez of Starlight Runner Entertainment, a lifetime Godzilla fan who has worked with similar franchises.

The new film is just one part of Toho’s new initiative to promote the Godzilla license worldwide and breathe fresh life into a global icon that has terrorized Tokyo since the mid-1950s. A recent series of films produced by American studio Legendary Pictures had inconsistent box office receipts and generated mixed response from fans, though the most recent entry, Godzilla vs. Kong, topped $486 million globally and was a bright spot for cinema during the pandemic. The next installment of Legendary’s series, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, has set a March, 2024 release date.

Still, a new feature film from Godzilla’s country of origin is a welcome development for fans. Tatara says that Japanese-produced Godzilla films bring a depth to the character distinct from what you might find in an American production. “There’s 70 years of stories that inform the Japanese films and influence their production,” he said. “Even when a Japanese film does something radical with the character, it’s with intent, and this context carries a lot of weight. And visually, the acting, directing, and special effects – often done very practically – are also dramatically different than what’s seen in US films.”

According to Toho, the upcoming feature Godzilla Minus One adds to the Godzilla legacy and fits into the “Reiwa” era of the character’s storyline (the other eras are Showa, Heisei and Millennium).

Fans interested in sampling that long cinematic history can now do so round the clock. In June, Pluto TV and Toho International announced the early July debut of a 24-hour Godzilla Channel on Pluto TV, featuring over 30 films spanning the eras, including several that are otherwise not available for US fans to stream, and the 1998-2000 animated adventure Godzilla: The Series. The lineup also includes the fan-favorite films Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Biollante, directed by Kazuki Ōmori, which have been largely unavailable to US fans for streaming or purchase for many years.

The film and streaming push is accompanied by the release new series of collectibles and merchandise that Toho International will be launching this summer, featuring some exclusives from US and international partners. Toho’s licensing list includes more than 100 partners, including Mattel
for their Hot Wheels brand, Mondo, Super 7, Funko
, Bandai, and many more.

“The new U.S.-based Godzilla Store that Toho International will be launching later this summer plans to bring fans a curated mix of items from the Godzilla Store in Japan as well as U.S. partner exclusives,” said Ueda. “This means limited-edition collaborations, original licensed products, and even exclusive colorways of existing fan-favorite items. The experience will be tailored to the Godzilla fan, making more collectibles easily accessible to our passionate North American community.”

“We have been working with Toho and Godzilla for nearly twenty years, and the King of the Monsters has never been more popular,” said Brian Flynn, Founder and Owner of Super 7. “Godzilla resonates with everyone from ages 1 to 100, and inhabits a world familiar yet untouchable, living at the messy, chaotic ends of every spectrum—a dinosaur-driven duality; ancient yet present, destructive yet paternal, terrifying yet campy.”

If that doesn’t satisfy your creature cravings, fans can expect more from Legendary and a streaming series set in their “Monsterverse” in development for Apple TV+.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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