Here's everything you need to know about the ending of Godzilla Minus One and the potential for a sequel to the Japanese movie.
Japanese filmmaker Toho Studios has returned to theaters this year with Godzilla Minus One, having told many tales with the iconic kaiju in the 20th century and most recently in 2016 with Shin Godzilla.
The movie, which hails from director Takashi Yamazaki, has no connection to Legendary Films' ongoing Hollywood MonsterVerse franchise.
Godzilla Minus One focuses on Japanese kamikaze pilot Kōichi Shikishima who, after surviving encounter with the monster in 1945 at the end of World War II, comes to blows with Godzilla once again two years later.
Godzilla Minus One Ending Explained
The plan to destroy Godzilla came from weapons engineer Kenji, who developed a plot to rupture freon tanks attached to the monster, the bubbles from which ought to sink it deep into the ocean and, hopefully, crush it with the intense air pressure of a massive 1500-meter depth.
Should that have failed, a backup plan involved inflating carbon dioxide-filled balloons that would also be attached to Godzilla to rapidly drag it back to the surface, thus killing it through explosive decompression (a rapid and violent change in air pressure to the lungs).
This didn't quite go according to plan as dragging Godzilla 1500 meters deep failed to kill him, and on the trek back to water level, the monster was able to break free until two ships and a fleet of tugboats were able to drag it back to the surface.
While this injured Godzilla, it was not enough to kill the beast, who was left enraged and prepared to use his famous atomic breath to vanquish the ships.
Well, at least that was until the last saving grace from leading kamikaze pilot Kōichi, flying his plane into Godzilla's mouth while the aforementioned atomic breath was charging, overloading it and destroying the creature.
Fortunately, Kōichi was able to eject himself from the plane in time to survive, despite tragic assumptions from some that he had sacrificed himself.
With the monster seemingly vanquished, Kōichi and Akiko ventured to the hospital to reunite with Noriko, who had survived Godzilla's destruction of Tokyo but appeared to be plagued with radiation sickness.
Alas, in a shocking twist, Kōichi turned out not to be quite enough to stop Godzilla for good as a chunk of its flesh was shown sinking to the ocean floor, only for it to begin to regenerate - one of its long-standing abilities in lore.
Does Godzilla Minus One Have a Post-Credits Scene?
Following the tease of Godzilla regrowing back to life after the climax of Godzilla Minus One, many will be wondering whether that truly marks the end of the Japanese flick or if any surprises await after the credits.
But alas, once the credits roll on Godzilla Minus One, audiences can comfortably vacate their seats, as the kaiju flick has no mid-credits or post-credits scenes.
Instead, Takashi Yamazaki leaves the breadcrumbs for more tales with this version of Godzilla at the movie's ending but doesn't do anything to directly promise further stories as no sequel has been announced just yet.
Will Godzilla Minus One Get a Sequel?
Speaking in the October 30 issue of the Japanese Aera magazine, Takashi Yamazaki seemed to suggest the ending may not be there to tease a sequel, but more so that the "characters are kept alive in the hearts of the audience:"
"I think it's more cinematic if it doesn't end neatly and properly. It's not just so a sequel can be made, it's also so the characters are kept alive in the hearts of the audience."
That said, Yamazaki did seem to reveal a desire to develop another Godzilla movie while discussing the movie on opening day, questioning if he would be allowed to "shoot one more picture" after Godzilla Minus One:
"I wonder if you'll let me shoot one more picture?"
After releasing Shin Godzilla, Toho Studios wasn't allowed to develop a follow-up until after 2020 - via Bleeding Disgusting - due to its partnership with MonsterVerse studio Legendary Films. As such, should the same logic apply now, Toho and Yamazaki may be stuck until Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire hits next year.
But, in an interview with Bleeding Disgusting, Toho’s Keiji Ota revealed a plan to release Godzilla movies "uninterrupted at a rate of every two years" in an effort to build an MCU-esque cinematic universe, meaning fans of the Japanese franchise may see a new movie as soon as 2025 or 2026 if all goes well:
"After 2021, we’re thinking of a potential strategy that [releases] Godzilla movies uninterrupted at a rate of every two years, although there is a preference for a yearly pace as well. The future of the series and its forwarding developments are very conscious of the method of 'shared universe'. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, etc. could all share a single world view much like a Marvel movie where Iron Man and the Hulk can crossover with each other.”
Reviews for Godzilla Minus Zero have so far been overwhelmingly positive with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%. Meanwhile, the Japanese box office alone has been able to draw $23.1 million already on just a $15 million budget.
So, if Godzilla Minus Zero does mark the beginning of this new "shared universe," things are off to an excellent start for Toho to expand this world on the big screen globally in the coming years with sequels and spin-offs.
Godzilla Minus One hits U.S. theaters on Friday, December 1.