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Godzilla x Kong director names his favorite Godzilla movie and shares his thoughts on the Oscar-winning Godzilla Minus One

 Godzilla x Kong.
Godzilla x Kong.

In Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, director Adam Wingard - who previously helmed Godzilla vs. Kong - wears his love of monster movies on his sleeve. Really leaning into the VFX and foregrounding the monsters more than they ever have been in the MonsterVerse series, Wingard’s warmth towards these fantastic beasts is clear to see, as the giant ape and radioactive lizard join forces to take on the fearsome Skar King.

Wingard also incorporates in Easter eggs and references to the classic Toho films throughout. Speaking to the Inside Total Film podcast and GamesRadar+, he confirms that the Showa era is his favorite Godzilla one. “I like the psychedelic, colorful vibe,” he says. “Godzilla vs. Hedorah is my favorite of that series, because it’s the most experimental. It’s like the Easy Rider of Godzilla movies.”

He’s also a big fan of 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. “I think there’s a lot of good movies in that period. But, you know, I always kind of go from Showa, and then I skip all the way forward to Destoroyah. Because Destoroyah summarises almost the whole history of Godzilla, in a way.

"In a way, it’s kind of the closest anything has ever been to the Showa films, without trying to be…  And it’s just a really beautiful movie that is very moving at the end.”

godzilla x kong
godzilla x kong

Wingard says that his top five Godzilla movies are the original (“you can’t deny that one”), Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. The Astro Monster, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. He also adds, “I’m not including [Godzilla] Minus One because it’s too new to me, but I would definitely say Minus One would be in my top five as well.”

That Japanese film from 2023 won Big G his first Oscar (for Visual Effects), and speaks to what a moment the legendary kaiju is having right now. As Wingard sees it, Godzilla’s success there “absolutely” benefits Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

“I mean, it’s kind of crazy, because I’ve been in the MonsterVerse now for seven years or so – if you count the pre-production on Godzilla vs. Kong," Wingard explains. "And it’s just incredible to see how Godzilla’s just become such a cultural phenomenon right now. Everything’s kind of syncing up. It’s interesting how that’s kind of syncing up with Oppenheimer winning [the Oscar] as well, you know, because obviously the roots of Godzilla – and you see it very clearly in Minus One – come from the same sort of story that Oppenheimer is telling.

“I think it’s a good thing, and I’m really happy for [Minus One director Takashi] Yamazaki. He’s such a great guy. We both really hit it off the other day. I was actually surprised how many of our influences within Godzilla are pretty consistent. He’s a big Showa era movie fan. He really likes Hedorah. And it turns out that both of our cats are a big inspiration in terms of our approach to Godzilla, which is an interesting thing as well!’

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opens in theaters worldwide on March 29. Hear more from Wingard on the upcoming episode of the Inside Total Film podcast that drops later today.