HBO Max hosts an impressive number of Godzilla movies, but quite a few are missing. The brand new streaming service from WarnerMedia features few exclusives at the moment, but is packed with an abundance of older movies and TV shows at launch, especially those from Warner Bros.
The service offers a wide range of movies, from Casablanca to Detective Pikachu. It’s also the home of several popular movie franchises, such as the DCEU, Alien, Jaws, Harry Potter, and Godzilla. Of the large selection of Godzilla movies currently available to HBO Max subscribers, there’s the original 1954 film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Destroy All Monsters, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and more. In fact, it has most of the movies in the Showa series of Godzilla movies, which lasted between 1954 and 1975.
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The main reason it provides access to so many Godzilla films is because the licensing rights to several of them are held by the Criterion Collection, which is available on HBO Max. Not all of them, though, are in the Criterion Collection. The rights to a significant number of Godzilla movies are currently owned by Sony Pictures, thus keeping them from being added to HBO Max’s library, though isn’t the explanation for every omission. Here’s every live-action movie missing from HBO Max’s Godzilla collection.
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
The 1962 crossover film which pit RKO’s King Kong against the Japanese pop culture icon was one of Toho’s biggest hits. As this was only the third film in the Godzilla franchise, this movie was made prior to Toho’s decision to make Godzilla into a heroic figure. So in King Kong vs. Godzilla, Kong is the hero who has to save Japan from the rampaging villain.
All Monsters Attack (1969)
Also titled Godzilla’s Revenge, 1969’s All Monsters Attack is an odd installment in the series, as the main story of the movie takes place in the dreams of a young boy, who imagines life on Monster Island with Godzilla and his son. The movies relies heavily on stock footage from previous films.
The Return of Godzilla (1984)
The first film in the Heisei series (1984-1995) reboots the franchise, but keeps the original film in-canon. Return of Godzilla also serves as sort of a modern-day retelling of the 1954 movie, as it breaks away from the tradition of Godzilla fighting a new monster and centers on Japan’s efforts to defeat the creature.
Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
Godzilla battles a mutated plant-like monster created from his own DNA in Godzilla vs. Biollante. Against Biollante, an antagonist with a tragic origin, Godzilla is forced to face a foe who appears to be unkillable.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the human main characters use time travel to change Godzilla’s future, and for the first time in Godzilla’s history, the King of the Monsters gets to battle his greatest enemy in one-on-one combat. This is also the only movie in which Mecha-King Ghidorah appears.
Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
HBO Max does offer 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla, but it doesn’t include the 1992 rematch, which introduces Battra, Mothra’s dark counterpart, an ancient creature who believes humanity to be a threat to nature. In the movie, Godzilla gets caught in the struggle between Mothra and Battra.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
Godzilla, Rodan, and Mechagodzilla clash in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, which tells a deep, emotional story about Godzilla’s search for his son, Rodan’s quest to find his “brother“, and humanity’s efforts to defeat them both through their new creation, Mechagodzilla.
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
Godzilla and Mechagodzilla’s replacement, Moguera, defend the planet from an alien beast in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. Created from Godzilla’s cells, SpaceGodzilla proves to be more than a match for the titular anti-hero.
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
Japan worries that Godzilla is leaking so much radiation that he will explode in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. The movie pits a dying Godzilla against a fearsome new adversary created by the same weapon that killed his predecessor in 1954, the Oxygen Destroyer. The film, which brings Godzilla’s story to an end, is the final installment in the Heisei series.
Released in 1998, Roland Emmerich’s universally-criticized film is the first American adaptation of Godzilla, starring Matthew Broderick as the lead human character. The movie reimagines Godzilla as a giant lizard running loose in New York City.
Developed by Toho partially in response to Hollywood’s Godzilla, Godzilla 2000 reboots the franchise, updates Godzilla’s design with red atomic breath and purple back spikes. It also gives him a new enemy in the form of an alien invader named Orga.
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
The second movie in the Millennium series shows what happens when a scientific experiment brings a prehistoric dragonfly egg to the present. When the dragonfly is mutated into the terrifying Megaguirus, Godzilla is forced to deal with him.
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
Existing in a separate continuity from the other 2000s Godzilla movies, this film puts a whole new spin on Godzilla by making him into a malevolent entity who feeds on tortured souls. The heroes of the movie are guardians monsters Mothra, Baragon, and Ghidorah. This is the first time Godzilla is depicted as evil, though it didn’t last for long.
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
A new version of Mechagodzilla, “Kiryu” is the hero of the Japanese people in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The movie focuses on Akane Yashiro (Yumiko Shaku), who hopes to save her country from Godzilla by piloting Kiryu and leading him to victory.
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. – a direct sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla – continues Godzilla’s battle with his robotic counterpart, and also throws Mothra into the mix. In order to beat Godzilla, Mothra must team up with Kiryu.
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
The last installment in the Millennium series, Godzilla: Final Wars, sees the King of the Monsters plow through enemy after enemy. The film is packed with long-absent Godzilla characters, including Rodan, King Caesar, Hedorah, and an updated version of Gigan. There’s even a cameo that ridicules the 1998 Godzilla movie.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Godzilla reinvents the character as ancient force of nature whose main responsibility is to preserve the balance of nature. To protect that balance, Godzilla rises from the depths of the ocean to contend with two giant creatures, known as M.U.T.O.s. This is the film that launched Legendary’s MonsterVerse, which now includes Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and the upcoming Godzilla vs Kong.
Shin Godzilla (2016)
Shin Godzilla is Toho’s latest attempt to reboot the Godzilla franchise. Once again, Godzilla is terrorizing Japan, but this time in different ways, as his grotesque new design comes with a drastically different set of abilities that are unique to this version of the character.
More: Every Godzilla Movie Ranked, Worst To Best
Key Release Dates
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)Release date: Nov 20, 2020
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