Toho is bringing its box office hit Godzilla Minus One back to the Showa era of Godzilla films with a special monochromatic/black-and-white version that will be released in Japanese theaters on January 12.
Check out the new trailer after the jump. The absence of color in the film surely lends the kaiju king a more terrifying visage.
— 『ゴジラ-1.0』【大ヒット上映中】 (@godzilla231103) December 19, 2023
Minus One has earned $64.2 million globally to date, on a production budget of only $15 million. Takashi Yamazaki, the film’s director, reportedly revealed that it may have cost even less than the rumored $15 million to make.
Speaking on the black-and-white version, Yamazaki stated, “Godzilla Minus One / Minus Color,’ which has been in the works for a long time, will finally release. The team did not just make the film monochrome, but coordinated it shot-by-shot, making full use of various mats (*grayscale images used to specify only the necessary area in each material when compositing multiple image materials), as if they were creating a new film.”
“The goal was to create an image tone as if taken by the masters of black-and-white photography. I asked them to unearth as much skin texture and landscape detail as possible, which were latent in the captured data. Then, Godzilla appeared, as terrifying and horrifying as in a documentary.”
“A new sense of reality that looms over you by losing colors. Please come to the theater and live and resist the further horror.“
Godzilla Minus One is directed and written by Yamazaki (Lupin III The First, Dragon Quest: Your Story). It stars Ryunosuke Kamiki as Kōichi Shikishima, Minami Hamabe as Noriko Ōishi, Yuki Yamada as Shirō Mizushima, Munetaka Aoki as Sōsaku Tachibana, and Hidetaka Yoshioka as Kenji Noda.
In a press release, Yamazaki commented on the film becoming the highest-grossing live-action Japanese film in North America. “I am happy that Godzilla, of all characters, has eclipsed a record that had not been broken for a long time. Looking back, I think that the cast and crew were all working on the film with the same goal in mind: to make something entertaining! That is what led to such a wonderful result. I will always remember this.“
The official synopsis for the film reads, “In the final days of World War II, a small group of Japanese soldiers encounter a dinosaur-like creature on a remote island and are massacred—leaving only two survivors. Two years later, the creature, now many times its original size and capable of shooting thermonuclear breath, appears and begins attacking ships off the coast of Japan—moving ever closer to the still-devastated, post-war Japanese mainland.”
Godzilla Minus One started its limited theatrical run in North America on December 1, following special fan showings on November 29.