Godzilla Minus One Early Access, Godzilla: Beneath the Depths – Exclusive Premiere

Dive into the heart of the monster before the world does! Godzilla Minus One – Early Access: A cinematic plunge into kaiju chaos like never before.

Godzilla Minus One Early Access

Godzilla Minus One will have special Early Access Event Screenings on Wednesday, November 29, in IMAX and large format theaters across the United States, before officially opening in theaters nationwide on December 1.

Directed and written by Takashi Yamazaki (known for Godzilla the Ride) and featuring music by Naoki Sato, Godzilla Minus One stars 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, and Kuranosuke Sasaki as Seiji Akitsu.

You can now watch the new Godzilla Minus One trailer and secure your tickets for the opening night.

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Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One (Japanese: ゴジラ-1.0マイナスワン, Hepburn: Gojira Mainasu Wan) is a 2023 Japanese kaiju film directed, written, and featuring visual effects by Takashi Yamazaki. Produced by Toho Studios and Robot Communications, and distributed by Toho Co., Ltd., it marks the 37th film in the Godzilla franchise, Toho’s 33rd Godzilla film, and the fifth film in the franchise’s Reiwa era. The movie stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando, and Kuranosuke Sasaki. The storyline revolves around postwar Japan dealing with the emergence of Godzilla.

Yamazaki, selected after his film The Great War of Archimedes (2019), wrote the script over three years, drawing influence from the original 1954 Godzilla film and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001). This film marks Yamazaki’s third on-screen depiction of Godzilla, following his use of CGI in Always: Sunset on Third Street 2 (2007) and Godzilla the Ride (2021) at Seibu-en Amusement Park. Filming took place primarily in Kantō and Chūbu from March to June 2022, with visual effects handled by Shirogumi in Chōfu from April 2022 to May 2023.

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Godzilla Minus One premiered at the Shinjuku Toho Building on October 18, 2023, and closed the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival on November 1, 2023. Toho released it theatrically in Japan on November 3, coinciding with the original film’s release date in 1954, marking the franchise’s 70th anniversary. The film has grossed $23 million against its reported $15 million budget and received critical acclaim, being hailed as one of the best Godzilla films. Toho’s American subsidiary, Toho International, is set to distribute it in the United States and Canada on December 1.

Godzilla Minus One Release Date

Godzilla Minus One had its red carpet premiere on October 18, 2023, at Toho Cinema’s theater inside the Shinjuku Toho Building in Tokyo. Initial responses praised it as a “masterpiece.” The film closed the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival on November 1, 2023, where it was showcased with English subtitles. It was then released nationwide in Japan on November 3, coinciding with the franchise’s 70th anniversary. The film was screened in 500 theaters across Japan, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema, 4DX, MX4D, and ScreenX formats, marking one of Toho’s extensive domestic distributions.

An English subtitled version was released in selected Japanese theaters on November 23. The American red carpet premiere took place at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex in Los Angeles on November 10, 2023, with additional screenings by Polygon at Santa Ana’s Frida Cinema on November 27 and at the Japan Society in Manhattan on November 28. Toho International will distribute the film in over 1,000 theaters throughout North America on December 1, with English subtitles.

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The film’s release extends to other Western countries on December 1, including Australia, New Zealand (via Sugoi Co), Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland (via Peppermint Anime), and Benelux, France, Italy, the Nordics, Poland, and Spain. Godzilla Minus One had its New Zealand premiere on November 22 in Auckland. Anime Limited plans to release the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland on December 15.

Godzilla Minus One Cast

Ryunosuke KamikiKōichi Shikishima, a former kamikaze pilot
Minami HamabeNoriko Ōishi, Shikishima’s partner
Yuki YamadaShirō Mizushima, a trainee on board the Shinsei Maru
Munetaka AokiSōsaku Tachibana, former Navy Air Service worker
Hidetaka YoshiokaKenji Noda, a former weapon engineer
Sakura AndoSumiko Ōta, Shikishima’s neighbor
Kuranosuke SasakiYōji Akitsu, the Shinsei Maru’s captain
Mio Tanaka (ja)Tatsuo Hotta, captain of the destroyer Yukikaze
Yuya EndoTadayuki Saitō
Kisuke Iida (ja)Akio Itagaki
Sae NagataniAkiko, Ōishi and Shikishima’s adopted daughter

Godzilla Minus One Plot

In 1945, at the end of World War II, Kōichi Shikishima, a kamikaze pilot, fakes technical issues and lands on Odo Island. Godzilla, a dinosaur-like creature, attacks the island, leaving Kōichi and mechanic Sōsaku Tachibana as the only survivors.

Two years later, in Tokyo, Kōichi struggles with survivor’s guilt. He’s in a relationship with Noriko Ōishi, and they’ve adopted a child orphaned in the war. Godzilla is mutated by U.S. nuclear tests, destroying warships and heading for Japan. The U.S. refuses aid due to tensions with the USSR.

On the Shinsei Maru minesweeper, Kōichi meets scientist Kenji Noda. Attempts to stop Godzilla fail, leading to its attack on Tokyo. Noriko witnesses the destruction, and Godzilla seemingly kills her. Kenji plans to sink Godzilla, but the government refuses, leaving civilians and veterans to act.

Kōichi repairs a fighter to fly into Godzilla’s mouth, while Kenji plans to sink it with Freon tanks. Godzilla survives, but Kōichi’s sacrifice overloads its atomic breath, destroying its body. He reunites with Noriko, who survived, and Godzilla’s remaining flesh regenerates at the ocean’s bottom.

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Godzilla Minus One Review

Godzilla Minus One has received widespread critical acclaim since its release. With a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 20 reviews and an average score of 8.3/10, it has proven to be a standout in the Godzilla franchise. Metacritic, using a weighted average, assigned it a score of 84/100, indicating “Universal Acclaim” based on reviews from four critics.

Both audiences and critics praised the film’s quality, making it one of the highest-rated films in the Godzilla series. The Japanese review aggregator Filmarks gave it an impressive average rating of 4 out of 5, surpassing even the original Godzilla (1954) and Shin Godzilla (2016).

Reviewers highlighted the emotionally engaging storyline, powerful action sequences, and the director’s grasp of Godzilla’s societal implications. Many considered it a high point in the long-running Godzilla series. While there were some mixed opinions, particularly about its period piece setting, the overall response suggests that Godzilla Minus One has left a significant impact on fans and critics alike.

Notable figures in the film industry, including Hideaki Anno (co-director of Shin Godzilla) and Gareth Edwards (director of Godzilla 2014), praised the film’s technical prowess and its faithful representation of what a Godzilla movie should be. The overwhelmingly positive reviews indicate that Godzilla Minus One has successfully resonated with audiences and stands out as a noteworthy addition to the iconic monster franchise.

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