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2023: The Kaiju Renaissance Is Here

As 2022 comes to a close, it is that time again where we have our annual reflection on how the year itself went and what to expect looking forward. I have to say, we are really living the kaiju renaissance that we dreamed of and never thought possible.

I know that it sounds obvious to most of you now, but when you think back to all of your childhood years up to the present seeing the kaiju genre growing in popularity was all just a pipe dream. Movies about giant monsters is a niche genre and it still is since it is still not as popular as super heroes. And yet, we are beginning to see the super hero genre struggling. Back in 2021, nobody ever thought Godzilla vs Kong would be able to break even at the box-office and yet it did making over $400 million. In 2022, we saw a few kaiju stuff get released and a whole lot of updates on future projects.

In terms of films getting released this year, I was surprised that most of them were really good with the exception of one being a stinker, in my book. Starting back in January, I did a review for an indie film called Howl From Beyond The Fog, then the second season of Pacific Rim: The Black in April, Jurassic World: Dominion in July, the two short films: Godzilla vs Gigan Rex and Gigan Attacks in November, and then finally TROLL in December. Overall, 5 out of 6 of these films I actually gave high praises and definitely worth checking out even if three of them are short films and one is an anime series.

The biggest win this year is TROLL getting the #1 spot on most viewed movie on Netflix world wide. Of course, it only lasted the one weekend before Guillermo del Toro's version of Pinocchio nabbed it, but I still consider this as a win for the genre. This is the first time we have seen a monster movie on Netflix make the #1 spot meaning loads of people (including Guillermo del Toro himself) having watched the film. On top of that, this is the first monster movie in 12 years that was released from Norway. The first monster movie released from Norway was a found footage film that also had to do with trolls called Troll Hunter. Between TROLL and Troll Hunter, there are some similarities between each other. When Troll Hunter was released, it was two years after Cloverfield was released and during that time almost everyone was doing a found footage film. Same thing with TROLL, as it is made during this current era where Godzilla, King Kong, the Monsterverse, and Jurassic Park are gaining a lot of attention and everyone wanting in on the giant monster action.

While there was very little content that was released this year there is going to be quite a lot of content that was announced this year coming either 2023, 2024, or later. Currently, we have the untitled Monsterverse/Godzilla series for Apple TV+, Skull Island for Netflix, a Toho Godzilla movie, Gamera: Rebirth on Netflix, Disney's King Kong, "Cloverfield 2," Godzilla AND Kong, and the newly announced dinosaur film titled 65. Here is a list of what is expected in 2023.



Starring Adam Driver, 65 is about a pilot that crash lands on what he first assumed was an alien planet and finds a little girl surviving on her own. He later discovers the planet he and the girl are on is Earth, but 65 million years in the past after encountering dinosaurs trying to hunt them. With the sci-fi mixed with dinosaurs and horror, this is actually the first dinosaur movie that I actually find myself excited for since Jurassic World was released in 2015.

Fallen Kingdom and Dominion were really disappointing movies and I have been dying for something original. It actually looks really fun and there is still some mystery left that makes me want to see this movie. How did they end up time traveling that far in the past? Is it really Earth that they're on or is it a planet that is similar to Earth, but just so happens to have dinosaurs on it? The questions will be answered when 65 releases in theaters March 10th, 2023.

Untitled Godzilla/Monsterverse Apple TV+ Series:

The untitled Monsterverse series under the working title "HourGlass" has no release date yet. However, it is being speculated the show will release in 2023 since the show has just wrapped up filming all 10 episodes this month. The show takes place right after Godzilla (2014), which explores the aftermath of the battle in San Fransisco as it follows the story of a Japanese family trying to figure out how one of their own is related to the secretive organization called Monarch.

The only big names attached to the show are Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt Russell, which they will be playing old and young versions of the same character. Their character has not been revealed just yet, but it is rumored they will be playing a character whose name is Shaw. This character has appeared in the graphic novel Godzilla Awakening which he was saved by Eiji Serizawa and the two worked together for Monarch studying Godzilla up to Eiji's passing. By then, Shaw recruited Eiji's son, Ishiro Serizawa, to continue his father's work. So maybe this family in "HourGlass" is related to the Serizawa family in some way and they track down Shaw for some answers.

This one is definitely a show I will keep my eye out for in 2023. I think in the Summer is a good bet to expect this show to release on Apple TV+.

I would like to thank KdM for always giving us updates on "HourGlass." He has been on the ball with behind the scenes photos, cast reveals, and all of the other production details behind the show since the beginning of the year. If KdM has information, he reports on it WAY ahead of any professional journalist like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, or Deadline. He even revealed this show was happening months before Legendary and Apple could make the official announcement. KdM is keeping tabs on Godzilla AND Kong, as well. So if you want to keep yourself updated on the productions of the movie and the Apple TV show, go check him out.

"Godzilla Zero":

Afterwards, there is a new Godzilla movie (currently being called "Godzilla Zero") coming out in Japan on November 3rd, 2023. This movie has been in production from Toho Co. since it was first announced back in February. Back then, we didn't know if this was a new Godzilla movie Toho is making or a new monster movie in general. All we knew at the time was that it was being directed by Takashi Yamazaki and the movie takes place after World War II. "Godzilla Zero" was officially revealed on November 3rd, 2022 during the Godzilla-Fest event.

Yamazaki is known for the Always: Sunset On Third Street movies, but he is also being recognized for his work on "Godzilla: The Ride" in the showa era themed park called the Seibuen Amusement Park.

This will be the first live-action Godzilla movie to come out of Toho since Shin Godzilla back in 2016. There is a rumor that Toho wants to start a new series of Godzilla movies starting with "Godzilla Zero," but they need to really make sure this movie successful before moving forward with a new series.

When we see "Godzilla Zero" get an international release, it will most likely be some time in 2024. I am guessing between May and July because Shin Godzilla got released in the U.S. six months after the movie's release in Japan and Shin Ultraman is getting released in the U.S. on January 11, 2023, which is eight months after that movie's release in Japan.

I hope it does do well and all I can ask for is to be a good movie. I have not been impressed with Toho's latest movies and Godzilla: Singular Point was a total snooze fest. In my opinion, Legendary Pictures understands Godzilla better than Toho Co. at the moment, which is sad since Toho is the owner of Godzilla.

Gamera: Rebirth: