One of the coolest success stories of the movie year 2023 was the surprise box-office success of Godzilla Minus One, the stellar new Japanese Godzilla prequel that has already grossed more than $50 million in U.S. theaters alone. (Seriously, it’s outstanding; it made my list of the best films of the year.)

The appeal of Godzilla Minus One stemmed from the fact that it wasn’t just a narrative prequel to the classic monster movie; it was a throwback to Godzilla’s origins as a genuinely frightening creature, plus a walking, fire-breathing metaphor for the atomic horrors of World War II. In Minus One, that same, terrifying Godzilla returns, this time as an allegory for the lingering trauma that the war left on the survivors, as an emotionally scarred veteran of the war must try to hold his surrogate family together when a certain atomic dinosaur rises from the depths and begins stomping through Japan.

The original Godzilla from 1954 directed by Ishiro Honda was in black-and-white, something that surely inspired this news: A black-and-white cut of Godzilla Minus One (cheekily titled Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color) is coming to theaters in the U.S. after its recent premiere in Japan.

READ MORE: The Best Modern Black and White Movies

Here was Godzilla Minus One director Takashi Yamazaki’s statement on the news:

 GODZILLA MINUS ONE/MINUS COLOR is not just a simple black and white version. Our colorist took the time and care to go through a very meticulous and complex process. The black-and-white images make Godzilla look very realistic and documentary-like, which leads to even more fear. Even though we have seen GODZILLA MINUS ONE many times, we felt that something completely different appeared here -and it’s very scary! So this is not only for those who liked GODZILLA MINUS ONE  but also those who are seeing it for the first time –  they should definitely see this black-and-white version. Especially the scene at the beginning where Godzilla appears in the night - it is so terrifying that it made my knees shake!’

The black and white Godzilla Minus One will premiere in theaters on Friday January 26 and play for just one week. And all versions of the film will leave theaters on February 1, so if you want to get that big-screen Godzilla experience, your time is running out. If you’re interested at all, you definitely want to catch it (in black and white or color) in the theater; it is a great theatrical experience.

104-5 KDAT logo
Get our free mobile app

The Best Movie Every Year Since 1980

Here are several generations worth of classic, must-see movies.

More From 104-5 KDAT