Toho shook the world and social media yesterday by finally dropping the first teaser trailer for their top-secret Godzilla movie releasing this fall. Doing so, the titan of a studio has confirmed what the agog G-Fans have been speculating the film would be like since they released that black-and-white poster of a Gojira-shaped “G.”
The official Godzilla Twitter account let loose the 30-second clip and its imagery of mass destruction with the announcement that ”A new terror rises” in theaters on the first day of December. However, this is not the planned initial release date. The King of the Titans stomps into theaters on Japanese shores on November 3rd, otherwise known as Godzilla Day. Dec. 1st is the designated US release window.
The post also reveals the real title of the picture is Godzilla -1.0 (Minus One) instead of “Godzilla Zero” as originally predicted. The teaser explains, as does director Takashi Yamazaki, the meaning behind it is Japan already entered a proverbial Zero Year when they lost the war and endured two atomic bomb blasts. Godzilla’s arrival serves as the next negative, making matters more catastrophic.
— GODZILLA.OFFICIAL (@Godzilla_Toho) July 11, 2023
“After the war, Japan had lost everything. I want to portray [Godzilla] as a presence of unprecedented despair, coming to add another blow,” said Yamazaki via Sora News 24. “In making this movie, the staff and I have been applying layer after layer of despair, with the aim of having Godzilla feel like a walking physical manifestation of terror.”
It sounds as if Yamazaki and Toho are going back to the roots of the creature as a walking weapon of mass destruction possessing neither a conscience nor a sign of heroism that manifested over the years. They did much the same with The Return of Godzilla in 1984 and more recently with Shin Godzilla directed by Hideaki Anno.
As they keep reimagining their most monstrous export for a new generation, Japan always seeks to do the opposite of what they did for Baby Boomers domestically and abroad during the late Showa Era. They try to make Gojira scary again and renew the allegory of war and nuclear disaster the kaiju is famous for.
The teaser for Godzilla -1.0 proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Yamakazi, who is the first director of a Godzilla movie to lead the VFX, is following a long tradition of going back to basics. To what degree, however, is up for debate as there’s highly disputed speculation his film is a prequel to Shin.
That’s probably not the case, but no one is any more sure of that prospect yet than they are of if Godzilla -1.0 will get an international release. Folks in Europe, for example, may be left out of the proceedings in Nov. and Dec., but if you live in the US or Japan, lucky you. You get two Godzilla movies in two months between this and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.