The Millenium Series is a series of Godzilla films which appears to be something like weak and unserious rip-off spin-off sequel films to the American Godzilla (1998 film). The Millenium series also very obviously appears to be very greatly influenced and inspired by the American original film, mostly because of all references to the American Godzilla which appears in practically everyone of the millenium era films. The Millenium series is not necessarily considered canon, at least not to the more serious American Godzilla world and universe, even though the American and Japanese Godzillas might exist in the same big monster movie universe.

In the terminology of daikaiju eiga the Millennium Era (Mireniamu Era, romaji for the Japanese approximation to "Millennium") refers not to the third millennium but to all daikaiju eiga made since 1999, beginning with Toho's Godzilla 2000, which was jump-started in response to the American Godzilla (1998) film. The most recent film of the era is Kadokawa-Daiei Film Co., Ltd.'s Gamera the Brave. The Millennium era closely follows the Heisei era.Unlike the Heisei era and, to a lesser extent, the Shōwa era, the Godzilla films of this series do not fall within a single timeline. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS is a direct sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, but otherwise the films are unrelated with one another and include only Shōwa era daikaiju eiga in their individual chronologies, often only the original 1954 Godzilla; and not all Millennium era movies even acknowledge the full course of events of that movie — for example, according to Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla was not destroyed by the Oxygen Destroyer, but instead attacked Tokyo and retreated to the ocean, never to be seen again until 1966. Likewise, the first Gamera film of the Millennium era ignores the events in the Heisei era films, starting a new story. Other films that fit in this era include the Korean daikaiju films D-War and The Host, and the American film Cloverfield.[1]

Relationships to the American Godzilla

There are many similar traits that the Millenium series share with the American Godzilla and it's world.

Produced by TriStar and Sony

The 1999 Japanese film Godzilla 2000 was, just like the 1998 American Godzilla film, distributed by TriStar Pictures and Toho Co. Ltd. 

A screenshot of Orga from "Godzilla 2000".

Orga's appearance in the film is also slightly influenced by the American Godzilla, especially his head.

References to locations from the American Godzilla universe

On the poster of Godzilla 2000, we can see what appears to be the Brooklyn Bridge, which is also the place where the first American Godzilla died. In Final Wars, however, we see the location of Sydney (Australia) where Gojira fights Toho's Zilla. This is also a proposed location in Tab Murphy's script treatment of the cancelled American Godzilla film sequel Godzilla 2.

Gojira in reptilian-like appearance

In all millenium films, it's very clear that Gojira has been given a more reptilian-like look, much like the American Godzilla.

Inspired by cancelled American Godzilla sequel

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), the concept of Godzilla battling giant insects seems to be very much inspired by the script treatment written by Tab Murphy for the cancelled film, Godzilla 2, which would serve as a sequel to the American 1998 Godzilla film, followed by yet another film, Godzilla 3, creating a trilogy of Godzilla films.

American Godzilla mentioned

In GMK - Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla was mentioned in the very beginning of the film.

Parody-mockery version of the American Godzilla

The last film in the Millenium Series, Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), very briefly featured a new American Godzilla creature called Zilla. Toho created the Japanese Zilla as an evident parody and mockery of the American Godzilla, despite that the American Godzilla wasn't a mockery and all, and despite that the film was a great box office success, and although some Godzilla fans didn't like or hated the new Godzilla, many more now likes or loves the new monster.

In one scene we see screaming Americans fleeing from a fire breathing Zilla, and in the last scene we see a veru unreal Zilla avoiding Gojira's atomic breath and jumping at Gojira. But Gojira uses it's tail to smash Zilla into the Sydney opera house and then Gojira uses it's atomic breath to disintegrate the building with Zilla in it. In the original Japanese version of the film, the Xilien controller utters "I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless"; the line was changed in the American dub: "I knew that tuna-head wasn't up to much." Those lines were obviously references to the fish diet of Godzilla.

With the appearance of Toho's Zilla, the director of Final Wars, Ryuhei Kitamura, tried to officially rename the American Godzilla into Zilla, because in his own words "it took the 'God' out of Godzilla", although this is only his personal opinion and whether Godzilla should actually be renamed Zilla is a matter of opinion and debate, and the Godzilla and Zilla debate is still to this very modern day very much alive among Godzilla fans. Although the American Godzilla is claimed to have been officially renamed "Zilla", it appears there are many fans, facts and statements that are talking against this what appear to be an invalid claim. The so-called "official" name change is considered a disproven myth to some, while others think otherwise.

Films from the millenium series

Title   Release   Director   Producer  Notes   Picture  
Godzilla 2000 1999 Takao Okawara Shogo Tomiyama The new Godzilla design in this film appears to be very similar to the American Godzilla's reptilian design. This film was, just like the American Godzilla film, distributed by TriStar Pictures and Toho Co. Ltd. The American poster also seems to show the Brooklyn Bridge (the death place of the American Godzilla). This film is not necessarily considered canon.

Tristar Pictures theatrical poster for the 2000 North American release of "Godzilla 2000".

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus 2000 Masaaki Tezuka Shogo Tomiyama This film seems to be very much inspired by the cancelled American Godzilla film sequel Godzilla 2. This film is not necessarily considered canon.
GXM Poster

Japanese theatrical poster of "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus".

GMK - Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack 2001 Shūsuke Kaneko Shogo Tomiyama and Hideyuki Honma In this film, the American Godzilla was only mentioned in a scene from the beginning. This film is not necessarily considered canon.
Godzilla mothra and king ghidorah 2001 poster 01

Poster of "GMK - Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack".

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla 2002 Masaaki Tezuka Takahide Morichi and Shōgo Tomiyama This film is not necessarily considered canon.
GXMG Poster

Official Japanese poster of "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla".

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 2003 Masaaki Tezuka Shogo Tomiyama This film is not necessarily considered canon.
GTSOS Poster

Official Japanese poster of "Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.".

Godzilla: Final Wars 2004 Ryuhei Kitamura Shogo Tomiyama In this film, the American Godzilla was only featured in a short scene where it's attacking humans and a last 13 seconds long parody scene. The rather unserious scenes are regarded by fans of the American Godzilla as jokes and insults. This film is not necessarily considered canon.
Godzilla final wars poster2

Poster of "Godzilla: Final Wars".