It has long and widely been accepted that Godzilla as a character was meant to be a manifestation of Japan’s postwar trauma, and an allegory for nuclear weapons. In the year when Christopher Nolan makes a movie about the creation of the atom bomb, Toho is bringing back its most iconic character and once again making it a force of pure destruction: a monster born out of the atomic era, unleashing nature’s wrath on humanity.
The trailer shows this, with a horrific view of the sheer destruction and death the King of Monsters brings about with him. Buildings are shattered with excruciating detail, and bodies fly off the ground with every stomp of the giant monster’s feet. It is gut-wrenching, it is poignant, and it is pure “Godzilla.” The trailer and its text narration explain the film’s setting as the time when Japan lost everything, when it went from one to zero, all before the appearance of the monster brings it into a negative state. It makes it clear this is no thrilling blockbuster where Godzilla saves us all like in the American movies, but a frightening monster movie echoing the original.
It is no coincidence, then, that “Godzilla Minus One” will be released in Japan on November 3, 2023, 69 years to the day since the first Godzilla movie was released in 1954. It will then be released in the U.S. one month later on December 1, 2023.