‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Director Adam Wingard Names His Favorite Movie In The Long-Running Toho Franchise

Kong is stunned to find more Titans like him in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024), Legendary Pictures

If you’ve seen all or just a few seconds of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, you know the story and presentation fit a Showa vibe between the campy trips of fancy and kaleidoscope quality of color.

Darth Brandzilla
Godzilla is about to break free in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024), Legendary Pictures

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Back in the 1960s and ‘70s, the two kaiju were noted more for being as fun and family-friendly as the whole of Tokusatsu at the time.

Naturally, the style and tone – and the color palette – of the film and their resemblance to Showa Godzilla and Kong are no accident. Director Adam Wingard revealed recently to the surprise of practically none that this period was a big influence on him.

He also told a variety of outlets including the Inside Total Film podcast and GamesRadar+ his favorite film, which he compares to Easy Rider, comes from that era.

The Smog Monster emerges in Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Toho Co. Ltd.

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“Godzilla vs. Hedorah is my favorite of that series because it’s the most experimental. It’s like the Easy Rider of Godzilla movies,” Wingard said, speaking highly of “the psychedelic, colorful vibe”.

Godzilla vs. Hedorah is an interesting choice and not only because its director Yoshimitsu Banno is listed as an executive producer on the MonsterVerse entries.

Random dance club interlude in Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Toho Co. Ltd.

Banno did everything to stand out from the rest of the pack with his incorporation of musical numbers, masked people, animation, and a heavy-handed environmental message.

You can see the impact Banno’s installment had on Wingard in his work, including Godzilla vs. Kong. But what about the Heisei period? Does Wingard have a favorite selection from that run? Yes, and it’s a universally accepted one: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.

“I think there’s a lot of good movies in that period. But, you know, I always kind of go from Showa, and then I skip all the way forward to Destoroyah. Because Destoroyah summarizes almost the whole history of Godzilla, in a way,” he explained.

Burning Goji, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Burning Goji on a rampage in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), Toho Co. Ltd

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“In a way, it’s kind of the closest anything has ever been to the Showa films, without trying to be…” he added. “ And it’s just a really beautiful movie that is very moving at the end.”

Wingard then revealed his top five Godzilla movies of all time are the 1954 original (“You can’t deny that one,” he says), Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Astro Monster, Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

Godzilla arrives in Ginza
An upshot of Godzilla arriving for destruction in Godzilla Minus One/ Minus Color (2023), Toho Co. Ltd.

Minus One, which is already making almost every fan’s top-five lists, is noticeably omitted, but Wingard has a reason. “I’m not including [Godzilla] Minus One because it’s too new to me, but I would definitely say Minus One would be in my top five as well,” he said.

NEXT: Kaiju History: Godzilla And Hedorah Were Poised For A Rematch In A Canceled Sequel

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