Is Godzilla Minus One A Prequel To Shin Godzilla?

Summary

  • Godzilla Minus One is not connected to the 2016 film Shin Godzilla, despite both being produced by Toho Studios.
  • The Godzilla in Minus One is a fully-formed creature in the late 1940s, while the Godzilla in Shin Godzilla evolves throughout the film.
  • Minus One also has no connection to the ongoing Monsterverse films produced by Legendary Pictures, as Toho Studios sold exclusive rights to Legendary for those films.


Godzilla Minus One was a surprise blockbuster hit in U.S. Theaters in December, but is the 2023 Toho Studios film a direct prequel to 2016’s Shin Godzilla, also produced by Toho Studios? The timeline of Godzilla Minus One, set entirely in late 1940’s post-World War II Japan, led many to believe it was a prequel to Shin Godzilla, which is set in a more modern timeline. Throughout the 70 years of Godzilla’s film history, there have been several attempts at continuity and sequels, so the popularity of both of these recent films left fans looking for any clues to whether they were related in any way.

Godzilla Minus One had tremendous box office success in its short run in the United States, and it became a critical and commercial success in that time. Despite a $15 million budget, the movie was able to make more than $75 million globally, including more than $40 million in the U.S. Its instant success and grassroots growth raised natural questions about the movie’s possible connections to another popular Godzilla movie from 2016. The new movie also being released during the ongoing Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse movies also raises the question about any relationship to those. In the end, however, there is a very simple answer about Godzilla Minus One‘s connection to both universes.

Godzilla Minus One extended its theatrical run through at least the end of 2023 in the United States.


Godzilla Minus One Is Not A Prequel To Shin Godzilla

H3: Godzilla Minus One Isn’t Connected To Shin Godzilla

Despite being produced by the same studio, there is no connection between Godzilla Minus One and Shin Godzilla. It has been reported that Godzilla Minus One writer and director Takashi Yamazaki was influenced by several Toho films, including Shin Godzilla, especially when considering how menacing and difficult Godzilla is to destroy. When it came time to write the final script and craft the ending of Godzilla Minus One, Yamazaki wanted to tell a story that stands alone and separate from all other Toho productions. Other details of the Shin Godzilla film also prevented Yamazaki from being able to craft a direct prequel, namely in the evolutionary forms Godzilla takes throughout the Shin Godzilla story.

The first time Godzilla is shown in Godzilla Minus One, he is a fully-formed creature capable of leveling cities, breathing atomic fire, and using his tail to destroy anything in his path. The Godzilla from 2016’s Shin Godzilla is shown in several evolving states, including a first form where he crawls across parts of Japan as he wreaks havoc. It isn’t until near the end of that film, set around 2015, that the common form of Godzilla that appears in movies is shown, which contradicts the events of Godzilla Minus One, when he is an upright and fully-formed creature in the late 1940s.

Godzilla Minus One Isn’t Connected To The Monsterverse Movies Either

H3: Legendary’s Godzilla Movies Are A Different Franchise Entirely

Godzilla in the Monsterverse and Godzilla in Godzilla Minus One

In addition to Godzilla Minus One not being connected to Shin Godzilla, it also has no connection to the ongoing Monsterverse films and television shows produced by Legendary Pictures. Toho Studios sold exclusive rights to Legendary so they could create films with characters from the Godzilla franchise within the United States, but none of the films dating back to 2014’s Godzilla share any connection to other Toho Studios projects. During a Toho Studios hiatus from Godzilla films, they negotiated the rights to all the characters to appear within Legendary Pictures projects, and they remain with Legendary even while Toho Studios produces movies again, beginning with Godzilla Minus One.

With the global popularity of the ongoing Monsterverse and the box office success of Godzilla Minus One and Shin Godzilla, these Toho Titan characters have never been more in the spotlight. With shows like Monarch: Legacy of Monsters available on Apple TV+ and Godzilla x Kong coming in the spring 2024, the monster craze shows no signs of slowing down despite the fact that several properties are releasing within months of one another that have no connection. Considering the acclaim that Godzilla Minus One received, Toho Studios will certainly begin working on a Godzilla Minus One sequel or their next Godzilla project, but it will remain completely isolated from the Legendary Monsterverse.

Godzilla Minus One Movie Poster

Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One is the first Godzilla film released by Toho since 2016’s Shin Godzilla. Minus One is a reimagining of the original 1954 Godzilla and takes the franchise back to its roots by exploring the harsh life of post-war Japan. The story follows Koichi Shikishima, a failed kamikaze pilot, who struggles with survivor guilt as a giant monster attacks the city.

Release Date
December 1, 2023

Director
Takashi Yamazaki

Cast
Ryûnosuke Kamiki , Minami Hamabe , Yûki Yamada , Munetaka Aoki , Hidetaka Yoshioka , Sakura Andō , Kuranosuke Sasaki

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
125 Minutes

Writers
Takashi Yamazaki