Godzilla Minus One Just Made Kaiju History With Its Oscar Win

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Image: Toho

Godzilla is a titan of moviemaking, but now he’s toppled his loftiest goal yet: award season. Just announced at the 2024 Academy Awards, Godzilla Minus One—io9’s favorite movie of 2023—has won the Oscar for best VFX.

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The movie overcame strong competition from the likes of Disney—with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and 20th Century Studios’ The Creator up for nods—and other Western studios to take the prize, one which makes history in a number of ways. It’s the Godzilla franchise’s first nomination (and now win) at the Academy Awards in its nearly 70-year history, and the first Japanese-made film to take the Visual Effects trophy. With director Takashi Yamazaki among the credited nominees, it’s also the first time in 55 years a director has won the FX award since Stanley Kubrick took home the 1969 Academy Award for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The latest re-imagined continuity for the monster series, Minus One is set in post-war Japan, and follows a haunted young man named Koichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who fled from his fate as a Kamikaze pilot in the waning days of World War II, and the horrors of an emergent Godzilla, only for kaiju and past alike to catch up with him as the country works to rebuild and reunite. An unprecedented box office success around the world, Minus One’s original planned week of theatrical release in the U.S. extended due to popularity, ballooning into a months-long theatrical run that culminated with the release of a special black and white edit of the film, Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color earlier this year.

No sequel is currently in the works, but Yamazaki—whose award-season circuit has seen him court the potential of directing in the West, including a dream desire to work on Star Wars—has floated the potential in the wake of its monumental success. A success made even greater with this historic win.


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