Who’s the real king of the Monsters?
Some legends just never die. Godzilla has been making a huge resurgence in popular culture as of late. Is this rise in popularity because of the constant threat of nuclear war, or even possibly because of the sense of doom caused by the ever looming climate crisis? My bet is that people just really love watching giant monsters destroy cities, but what do I know?
If you have been living under a rock for the past 80 years and somehow don’t know who Godzilla is, they are the most prolific Kaiju of all time. Originally meant to be a harrowing tale of the effects of nuclear radiation in Japan following World War 2, Godzilla has since become some kind of anti hero meant to represent nature. Well, depending on the version of the film you watch; it tends to go back and forth.
The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. - Dr. Emma Russell, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
There are, at the moment, 38 different Godzilla films on the market. 33 of these films come from its original distributor, Toho Co. LTD. While only 5 come from the United States, this makes some sense as the American films don’t encapsulate the original themes of the film. They instead focus more on the whole giant monster destroying everything. Which can be very fun but kind of misses the point.
It should be noted that this doesn’t even touch on the Godzilla TV shows. Or its usage in comic books, video games, or anime shows. The title Godzilla is even used for many popular songs. Regardless of the medium, Godzilla is everywhere.
One of the major factors that have boosted Godzilla to the height of Kaiju stardom is the connected universe of monsters. Films like Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla vs Megalon, and the upcoming Godzilla vs King have been huge hits with fans. These films are a bit on the goofier side, but they are the reason that Godzilla has gotten the moniker of the savior of the planet. Because we all know the only way to fight a giant scary monster is with a bigger scarier monster.
The recent release of Godzilla Minus One showcases just how enduring its popularity really is. The film is currently sitting at number three at the box office. Pulling in a massive $11.4 million six days into its release. Fans of the franchise are also incredibly excited about the upcoming Godzilla vs Kong film. On top of that, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is currently killing it on the streaming charts. No matter where you turn, you can’t get away from the pull of Godzilla.
One of the reasons for the sheer amount of content that this franchise is capable of putting out is that Godzilla is a complex monster that can be changed to fit what is needed for the film. Depending on the theme of the film, Godzilla has been seen as a dinosaur, a super being with laser eyes, a robot, and sometimes just a giant lizard that comes out of the ocean. It really is a versatile creature.
As we can see, Godzilla has been around for almost a century, and it doesn’t look like it will be going away anytime soon. What does the future hold for Godzilla? Only time will tell. But at the current rate of production, it looks like we won’t be wanting for more Godzilla content for a few years at least.