Takashi Yamazaki, the filmmaker behind Godzilla Minus One, has praised a 2023 Hollywood blockbuster which shares a strong connection with the long-running franchise.
Via Movie Walker Press, we've learned that Yamazaki really loved Gareth Edwards' The Creator, the director's third Hollywood movie (following 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2014's North American Godzilla reboot, which kickstarted what we now know as the MonsterVerse, respectively).
Yamazaki was asked to pick three favorite movies that impacted him in 2023, and he chose the black-and-white version of 2016's Shin Godzilla (which feels like cheating), The Creator, and Haken Anime! Here's a rough translation of what he said about Edwards' sci-fi movie: "[Edwards'] willingness to take on challenges was amazing. It's original science fiction, and the VFX were shot in a new type of way, so I thought it was really amazing that it was made into a solid work and released."
This feels like a direct response to Gareth Edwards' kind words (via Cinema Today) about Godzilla Minus One a couple of months ago: "There were a lot of things that I thought were very new, and I was feeling jealous the whole time I was watching it... This is what a Godzilla movie should be." However, we believe there's more to this than a good-hearted exchange between directors who have tackled modern Godzilla movies. Both The Creator and Godzilla Minus One had somewhat limited budgets (around $80 and $15 million respectively) given how expensive most modern blockbusters are, and both managed to look absolutely spectacular, paying special attention to the scale of the action surrounding the compelling human drama at the center of their respective stories. In more than one way (such as directly referencing Steven Spielberg's Jaws), both Yamazaki and Edwards captured much of the same emotion and pure, old-fashioned spectacle that many larger tentpole releases lack in spite of all their pyrotechnics.
Only one of these two 2023 blockbusters is making a profit though: Despite the solid reception for a sci-fi adventure not based on a pre-existing IP, The Creator has only managed to crack $108 million worldwide at the box office. Meanwhile, Godzilla Minus One has already crossed the $80 million mark on a measly $15 million production budget which Yamazaki has downplayed. Regardless, both movies are excellent examples of big movies which weren't super expensive to make and ended up looking much better than many recent $200-million-plus franchise entries.
In the mood for more Godzilla after Minus One rocked your socks off? Legendary's Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire promises to be another mighty clash of kaijus that nails the 'dumb fun' factor, and the series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (available on Apple TV+) has been a pleasant surprise so far.