Warning: Major spoilers for Godzilla Minus One below!Godzilla Minus One 2 would break an unusual recent trend for the Toho side of the franchise. It took Godzilla many decades to break into America, with the lukewarm response to the 1998 Roland Emmerich blockbuster setting the rampaging force of nature back another 16 years. 2014’s Godzilla kicked off the MonsterVerse movies, which is headlined by the King of Monsters himself and King Kong. Godzilla’s career in America is stronger than ever now, thanks to the spinoff series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and the upcoming Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which arrives in April 2024.
Of course, the titular beast originated in the 1954 Toho film of the same name. The Godzilla movie franchise that followed is a wild ride, jumping from solemn monster movies to wacky comedies like Son of Godzilla. The latest entry Godzilla Minus One is the 33rd outing from the Toho and goes back to the roots of the series as a postwar Japan deals with the emergence of the title kaiju. The film has received critical acclaim and is already a sizable box-office success.
Godzilla Minus One breaks multiple box office records during its opening weekend, cementing its place as a very successful Godzilla film.
There’s already talk of a sequel, which has yet to be officially greenlit. Assuming Godzilla Minus One 2 moves ahead, it would be the first Godzilla sequel Toho has produced in 20 years. In Japan, the series produced new entries at a somewhat reliable pace for 50 years, but following the release of 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho decided to give the franchise a decade-long break. It should be noted Final Wars was itself considered a reboot and not a sequel, taking place in its own continuity.
Godzilla’s anime trilogy consists of Planet of the Monsters, City on the Edge of Battle and The Planet Eater.
Toho kept true to its hiatus plans, with the movie series eventually returning with 2016’s Shin Godzilla. This was another reboot and depicted the monster as an almost Lovecraftian being that was constantly evolving in horrifying ways. While it was initially assumed there would be a direct sequel, Toho later announced the saga would hit the reset switch again. In the meantime, there was a Netflix Godzilla anime trilogy, but Godzilla Minus One marks the Toho franchise’s first theatrical release since 2016.
In short, Godzilla Minus One 2 would be the first proper sequel to a Toho film in many years. The movie might end with Godzilla being destroyed, but the final scene – where a piece of his flesh begins to regenerate – makes it clear he won’t be gone for long. While Shin Godzilla was well-received, it’s still considered a divisive outing, so it’s not a huge surprise that Toho opted to reboot again. Given the praise this latest entry has garnered, this was a smart call. At the movie’s Japanese premiere, director Takashi Yamazaki (Sanspo via Dexerto) also expressed interest in a sequel.
I’ve always wanted to make a Godzilla movie, so this was the moment when my dream of 50 years came true. But I felt lonely [after it was finished]… I wanted to make one more movie. I wonder if you can give me one?
Godzilla Minus One 2 (which hopefully gets a catchier title) is a chance for Toho to develop a new era for their iconic monster. The Legendary franchise has taken Godzilla in all kinds of directions, but Toho’s most recent entry is one of the best of the entire franchise. With both a critical and commercial success on their hands and a director eager to take the story further – which could possibly explore the global response to a giant atomic lizard suddenly emerging in Japan – it’s time for Toho to embark on a brand new era of the series.