Steve DiGioia

Takashi Yamazaki Recalls the Failure of the Godzilla Franchise and the Release of the American 1998 Flop

Godzilla Minus One director Takashi Yamazaki recalls the time when Godzilla was released in Japan in 1998.

The 1998 Flop Release

The film, directed by Roland Emmerich, was a Hollywood adaptation of the original Japanese Godzilla franchise. The film was widely criticized for detouring from the original Godzilla mythology in Japan and America.

Japan is the country of the original Godzilla, and the Japanese audience was disappointed by the major changes that were made in the movie. The character and the storyline changed completely. The most particular criticism was for the design of the creature itself.

The 1998 movie, instead reimagined Godzilla as a nuclear testing subject of the French, who then wanders on the path of destruction in New York City, a U.S. scientist decides to stop the beast.

The original Godzilla was created by Japanese studio Toho which responded to the failure of the 1998 movie and released “Godzilla 2000” in 1999, marking the return of the original Godzilla storyline.

The Release of the 2023 Hit

With the release of Godzilla Minus One, directed by Takashi Yamazaki and created by Toho, the 2023 release earned widespread global acclaim. The storyline was based on a disgraced World War ll pilot who encounters the creature for the second time when he accelerated towards post-war Japan. 

It is the first film released by Toho since the release of the 2016 Shin Godzilla. It is a reimagined version of the original 1954 Godzilla, taking it back to the era of post-war Japan from where it originated. It even follows the story of 1995 release, where the failed pilot struggled with surviving the monster’s attack on the city.

The movie continues to break records and its director talked about the movie franchise with Hoichoi’s Movie Life. 


The Franchise’s Failure

The last Japanese Godzilla was released by Toho in 1995 named as Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, ending the eight-film saga Heisei Era of the franchise. The movie concluded with Godzilla’s death succeeded by his child.

Yamazaki opened up about the 1998 movie’s failure in the Japanese audience as the franchise itself was close to a collapse.

Even though the franchise was rebooted in 1999 after the failure of 1998 one, it still received mixed reviews from the Japanese audience whereas the 1995 release was an acclaimed movie. 

Yamazaki stated the overall decline of the franchise from 1995 to 1999 as the audience was still stuck within the old franchise Era.

However, the Godzilla Minus One’s success has determined that the franchise is better loved with its original storyline and setup. The movie will finish its round in American theatres on February 1 and will be seen next in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire on March 29.

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