Godzilla Minus One isn't "a direct response" to Oppenheimer, says director – but he'd love to make a film that is one day

Godzilla Minus One
(Image credit: Toho)

Godzilla Minus One isn't a "direct response" to Oppenheimer, says director Takashi Yamazaki – but he'd love to make a film that is one day. 

In a new interview with MovieMaker, the filmmaker noted that it was "definitely a coincidence" that the Christopher Nolan-helmed biopic and his Japanese-language creature feature came out in 2023. Though he went on to theorize as to why that might be, claiming: "I think the threat of nuclear warfare is almost at its highest now, than in any other year that most of us have been alive. 

"In some ways, the original 1954 Godzilla was created with that same backdrop in the wake of World War 2, asking what it means for these superpowers to develop so many nuclear warheads. I think the fear and threat of it is certainly real but the timely relevance of the thematic elements are quite striking."

Described as a prequel to the first-ever Godzilla movie, Godzilla Minus One follows Koichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a military pilot who deserted his mission during the Second World War, as he navigates his debilitating guilt in the years that follow. When the ginormous, city-flattening monster he faced way back when remerges, Shikishima vows to take down the creature as a means to redeem himself.

Starring Cillian Murphy in the titular role, Oppenheimer explores the physicist's role at the top-secret Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb in the 1940s.


(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

"Being of Japanese descent and heritage, I've seen a lot more nukes in our pop culture or surroundings since I was really young. I feel that as a filmmaker and director, I do want to provide some kind of answer or response to Oppenheimer someday," Yamazaki continued. "I don't think [Godzilla] is necessarily a direct response to it, although they point at similar themes. But even if this film is never realized, I think having it in the corner of my head as a strong thematic element is important."

For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies heading our way.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.