Is Godzilla Minus One a reboot?

Leon Miller
The poster for Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One has been unleashed on audiences outside Japan, and given the ongoing MonsterVerse, you may be wondering: is it a reboot or remake?

This confusion is understandable. While Godzilla’s design in Godzilla Minus One is broadly similar to the iconic monster’s look in 2016’s Shin Godzilla (itself a series do-over), the former’s post-war Japan setting doesn’t align with the latter’s present-day milieu.

Then there’s the MonsterVerse to consider. Produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the MonsterVerse is the shared universe that kicked off with Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla in 2014. It has since expanded to include several other movies and TV shows, including a crossover outing featuring another oversized icon, King Kong.

So, is Toho’s latest Godzilla movie a reboot? Or a remake? And what are its ties (if any) to the MonsterVerse? Read on to find out!

Is Godzilla Minus One a reboot?

Yes, Godzilla Minus One is a reboot, as it doesn’t continue any plot points from Toho’s 32 previous entries in the Godzilla franchise. It also doesn’t include any characters from earlier installments other than Godzilla himself – and even then, the movie introduces a new incarnation of the legendary creature.

If Godzilla Minus One is a reboot, that rules out the possibility of it being a remake, right? Not necessarily. Writer-director Takashi Yamazaki borrowed several elements from the original 1954 Godzilla movie for his film, including its post-war setting, street-level protagonists, and nuclear terror overtones.

Yamazaki also took inspiration from other Godzilla films such as Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and Shin Godzilla for Godzilla Minus One’s story and execution. Aside from representing a tip of the hat to the franchise’s forthcoming 70th anniversary, this lends Godzilla Minus One the air of a remake, even though, strictly speaking, it’s really a reboot.

Is Godzilla Minus One part of the MonsterVerse?

You may have noticed that Legendary and Warner Bros. have really doubled down on the MonsterVerse lately. Not only is a new MonsterVerse show, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, arriving on Apple TV+ in November, but big screen sequel Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, is slated to hit cinemas in April 2024. Which begs the question: where does Godzilla Minus One fit in all of this? The short answer is that it doesn’t.

Godzilla Minus One is (like the rest of Toho’s output) completely separate from the MonsterVerse’s canon, and none of the same creative personnel are involved. That doesn’t mean that those currently or previously involved with the MonsterVerse aren’t rooting for Godzilla Minus One to succeed when it debuts internationally, though.

On the contrary, one of the MonsterVerse’s original architects, Gareth Edwards, recently praised Godzilla Minus One as “a candidate for the best Godzilla movie of all time.” Edwards also saluted Yamazaki for including “a lot of things that [he] felt were very new” to the franchise, and admitted feeling “jealous” while watching the film.

Godzilla Minus One is in cinemas now. You can check out our other coverage below: