Director Takashi Yamazaki has shot down the idea that Godzilla Minus One cost as much as $15 Million. "I wish it were that much!" said Takashi Yamazaki during a panel at the Tokyo Comic Con, declaring his team was able to make the movie look as good as it did because of his talented staff and how much he thought about the filming process. Godzilla fan Aya Kaida reported the revelation while in attendance at Tokyo Comic Con.
Over and over again, U.S. outlets have been marveling at the greatness of Godzilla Minus One and how it was accomplished on a budget of $15 Million. However, something never sat right with that number. The international exchange rate doesn't change yearly, monthly or even weekly, but daily. $15 Million was a realistic budget for Shin Godzilla in 2016--at that point $15 Million exchanged to around 1.5-1.7 Billion Yen. Today $15 Million translates to almost 2.2 Billion Yen. For anyone who knows anything about Japanese film budgets, 2.2 Billion Yen is a whopping amount and would easily be the most ever spent on a Godzilla production. It's simply not a realistic number.
The $15 Million number comes from an educated guess made by the Italian website, Cultura Pop. Yamazaki revealed on Twitter that the film cost more than 1 Billion Yen, but less than 3 Billion Yen. Cultura Pop "guesstimated" the budget was $15 Million and it's been accepted as fact by multiple outlets since then.
So how much did Godzilla Minus One actually cost? Unfortunately we may not know for awhile. The budget for Shin Godzilla was not revealed for nearly 4 months after it hit Japanese theaters. The answer has been sourced from "The Art of Shin Godzilla" book. Whatever be the case, the idea that Minus One was accomplished on even less than the equivalent of $15 Million says a lot about the talented filmmakers involved with the production. It also means it's made more profit than initially thought.
Set in a post-war Japan, Godzilla Minus One once again shows us a Godzilla that is a terrifying and overwhelming force. Japan, which had already been devastated by the war, faces a new threat with Godzilla, bringing the country from nothing (zero) into the ‘minus.’
Godzilla Minus One is directed by Takashi Yamazaki. An award winning filmmaker and avid Godzilla fan, his work on Always: Sunset on Third Street (2005) earned him two Japanese Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Screenwriter. He was honored with another Best Director and Best Screenplay nomination for the sequel, Always: Sunset on Third Street 2 (2007). In 2016, he won the Best Director category again for The Eternal Zero. Yamazaki also helmed highly acclaimed actioners, Returner, Space Battleship Yamato and many others.
He gave Godzilla a cameo during an opening dream sequence in Always: Sunset on Third Street 2. In 2021 he returned to Godzilla and directed footage for Seibuen Amusement Park's Godzilla the Ride: Giant Monster Battle Summit.
Godzilla Minus One is now playing in both Japan and North America.
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