12.25.2014

"Unseen," Unproduced, and Pre-Production Godzilla and Tohoverse Master List

This post exists just to get this information out there. It took me about two months to finish off that in-depth article about just the first 5 years of "unseen" (in quotes because some of this stuff does get published in various forms), and while I certainly want to make more of the same, getting into detail about things like A Space Godzilla and Godzilla 2, there really is just SO much stuff that for no discernible reason is completely unattested to in English, and I kinda just want to get this out there.

So of course you've got your Rodan's Roost (or whatever the current iteration is called) and Toho Kingdom and various wikis with their lists, all of which are incomplete, and they themselves are rife with made up legends and half-truths and just straight up lies. Three "lost projects" in particular seem to be complete inventions by western authors. So, just on a practical level, this article will serve as an actual complete (as far I know, and I will update this if anything is missing) reference point, as opposed to the main, in-depth articles which will focus only on specific decades.

I was getting to this kind of a point in the introduction to the 60's article I was writing, but it's probably better said right here. Regarding whether or not I am a trustworthy source, as on this blog I've continually drawn attention to the failings of the fantastically inept Toho Kingdom, I of course am not making any of this up. Beyond that, though, I'm just a secondary or even further source, all the stuff I know comes from what others have written and researched. This listing, and the articles on the specific decades, are just aggregates. I can't vouch for everyone, but what I can do is, when I think something sounds fishy, mention that it should be taken with a grain of salt. The flip side of that, of course, is that at the end of the day none of this actually matters. The historical truth, which if there are doubts about I'll point it out, is a totally different animal than they actual stories themselves. Given this, I absolutely do not care about whether a story has been conclusively shown (and, by the way, none of them have, some just seem a little suspicious) to be the invention of later commentators and the rumor mill. At the end of the day, a story is a story, and that's what I'm trying to share: all the stories from this mythological body which have for one reason or another have not appeared in their intended form.

So what counts and what doesn't? Naturally we start at film ideas, scripts, or early drafts, which I'm only going to draw the line at deleted scenes. I figure once something was actually filmed it stops being removed from what's already out there. Additionally, there are ideas or pitches for video games or comics that never saw a commercial release, including a novel which apparently was actually written. The last thing I want to specify about what counts as "unseen" for the purposes of this list, are published stories which were at one point intended to be the basis of something else, but were instead released independently of that finished product OR that product in particular never got made.

Anwyas, here's the list:



1954 - Development of Godzilla; alternate and early production titles of The Giant Monster from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Project G; Shigeru Kayama's original story which was published on its own: Original monster ideas included a giant ape and an octopus, one of the names considered was Anguirus, significant changes in the nature and motivations of Godzilla between the Kayama story and the film script.

1955 - Shigeru Kayama's original story for Godzilla Raids Again: Differences are unknown, at least to me. Kayama struggled with it for a while before arriving at the decision to keep the second Godzilla alive by just freezing him at the end, refused to write the third movie. Storyboards show Godzilla battling Anguirus on Iwato Island on all fours, but this probably wasn't a part of the script and seems more likely just an interpretation of the specific artist.

Bride of Godzilla?: Japanese robot-building masochist Dr. Shida travels to the Hollow Earth and discovers a prehistoric ecosystem where Godzilla, Anguirus, giant fleas, and a race of beautiful mermaid people live. Godzilla, Anguirus, a giant Archaeopteryx monster (prototype of Rodan), and a giant chameleon monster get to the surface, but are beaten by a gigantic humanoid robot with the face of Dr. Shida's (former?) foster child.

1956 - Early concept art for Rodan: Shows the monster as a flying dinosaur rather than a pterosaur, a carry-over from the monster in Bride of Godzilla?

1957 - The Volcano Monsters: Original idea for the U.S. release of Godzilla Raids Again as a Power Rangers-esque re-contextualization rather than just a straight dub. Godzilla and Anguirus are referred to as a "Tyrannosaurus" and "Ankylosaurus" respectively, and location was changed to Chinatown in San Francisco. New suits were made for both monsters, with Godzilla's being essentially Gyakushu-Goji's head on King-Goji's body.

Jojiro Okami's original story for The Mysterians: No monster existed in this version of the story.

Early drafts of The Mysterians: Moguera originally an organic monster resembling a prototype of Baragon, first of many monsters inserted into Toho's sci-fi pictures at the insistence of Tomoyuki Tanaka. Possibly at one point was going to be a mechanical monster, but this is only discovered after the apparently organic creature is "killed," before deciding to drop the disguise and just make it obviously mechanical from the beginning. Although I'm not certain this isn't a rumor.

1959 - Early drafts of Battle in Outer Space: After attacking the mothership on the Moon, the fleeing moon-buses battle with a group of pillbug-like Natal tanks. Early ideas for the Natals themselves included six-armed, tentacled, cyclopic, and insectoid designs. Also early drafts made the connections with The Mysterians much more direct, including carrying over characters, and may have re-used the Mysterians as the primary alien invaders.

1960 - King Kong vs. Frankenstein (Willis O'Brien): The grandson of Frankenstein, hiding out in Africa, creates a giant monster called Ginko out of various pachyderm parts. Carl Denham finds it as well as a third King Kong in Africa, decides to exhibition both of them in San Fancisco, then of course a fight breaks out. Another story I've heard is that Frankenstein (the doctor) doesn't die prior to the story, and actually works his magic on King Kong, who in this story is the original one.

The Luminous Fairies and Mothra: Enormous number of differences and additional story elements, too much to list here. The most notable being an outline of the mythology of the Infant Islanders and there being four fairies with individual names, one of which is "Airenas" or "Alena."

Giant Monster Mothra: Fairies are renamed the Pichi fairies, 60cm tall, and three of them are taken. Mothra to spin her cocoon around the Diet Building, and the original art for the monster resembled a more or less non-embellished actual moth, which looks kind of creepy. Numerous other differences as well.

1961 - King Kong vs. Prometheus (George Worthing Yates): In this story, Dr. Frankenstein definitely survives into the third act, although his identity is kept a secret until he's killed by his own monster, which is re-named "Prometheus V" which might be a reference to Universal's monster, it's bride, Hammer's first monster, and Hammer's second monster. Prometheus V gets Frankenstein to believe he can be controlled by a device, but it's just a ruse, and as soon as he gets to a populated area with King Kong (again a new individual from Africa) he kills the doctor and starts boxing Kong.

1963 - King Kong vs. Godzilla II: Likely just a quick pitch which never got much further than that, with a totally new story being preferred, particularly one utilizing...

Frankenstein vs. the Human Vapor: ...Frankenstein. This particular story was never finished, instead Shinichi Sekizawa ditched it as a new project emerged, since Toho's mutant films were now playing second fiddle compared to...

1964 - Frankenstein vs. Godzilla: ...Godzilla, since KKvsG was such a monumental hit, it just made way more sense to do another crossover with a western monster. A solid idea, unfortunately never realized on film, but this story is just terrible. It's essentially Frankenstein Conquers the World except the Frankenstein boy is the main villain, being portrayed as an unsympathetic human eating monster, so much so that Godzilla is intentionally released from an iceberg (more on this in the appropriate article) to fight him. The story ends with both monsters tripping over rocks and falling over, basically.

Early drafts of Mothra vs. Godzilla: Two major differences are the absence of another Mothra egg, making the climactic battle between Godzilla and the adult Mothra, who spins the cocoon and drops Godzilla in the sea, and in place of the egg is Godzilla's body, which is assumed to be lifeless, but still used in the story as a public attraction. Yuriko Hoshi's character didn't exist yet.

Jojiro Okami's Space Mons: I don't know of any differences at the moment between this and the finished film, but I'm sure there's something different.

Early drafts of Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster: Both Mothras were going to come back, with one of them being an adult and the other still a larva. King Ghidorah's color scheme was red, white, and blue, like the colors of the French flag.

1966 - Batman vs. Godzilla: Shinichi Sekizawa's pitch, involved a villain character with two doomsday weapons; a weather control device (later used in Son of Godzilla) and a Godzilla control device. Batman was to fight the monster using various Bat-vehicles (Bat-Gotengo, anyone?), and once the monster controller is destroyed, Godzilla and Batman team up to finish off... I think it's safe to assume the villain would have been the Joker, right?

Batman Meets Godzilla: A U.S. pitch, developed independently of Sekizawa's. In this one, Police Commissioner Gordon and his daughter Barbara are vacationing in Tokyo when Godzilla returns, and it's up to Batman (and Batgirl, it seems) to save the day... somehow. Less details about this plot are known, it seems.

Operation Robinson Carusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah: Essentially Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster but with King Kong. Intended to be a commercial tie-in to Rankin-Bass's then-current Kong cartoon, the script was rejected for having nothing to do with it. So they dropped Godzilla into the story, changed nothing, and kept rolling, and that's why Batman never fought Godzilla, it's all Kong's fault.

The Flying Battleship: A sequel to Atragon (The Undersea Battleship), which Toho Kingdom has confused itself into believing that it would have featured the Beta from The Mysterians as well as SPIPS and a new space-faring ship, and probably a million other incongruous things. In actuality, the concept eventually evolved into the Tsuburaya series Mighty Jack, so the original concept was likely something like that, only with the Gotengo.

The Frankenstein Brothers: Early drafts of War of the Gargantuas had much more direct references to the first movie and even featured some of the same characters, but I don't know much more.

Great Monster Assault: Original proposal for what eventually became Space Amoeba, here imagined as another Toho-AIP co-production. So I guess Nick Adams vs. Gezora. New drafts were written in 1967 and 1969 before it was finally given the green light. The name changed with each draft as well.

1967 - Early drafts of Son of Godzilla: I'm not too clear on this, but I believe the original location was going to be Guam, and then the Phillipines. These might have just been potential filming locations, though. Initially there was some debate over whether Godzilla was male or female.

Monster Chushungura and Monsters Total Mobilization: Earliest drafts for what would become Destroy All Monsters. Initially the ideas were incredibly lofty, Honda imagined that Monsterland contained every monster that was still around, and in addition to this there would also be an extensive underwater farm where they bred a "Ogasawara Whales" with two dorsal fins, and even attempted to mate the monsters. When a more concise list of monsters was nailed down, it included 12 inhabitants of Monsterland and of course KG as the main antagonist. The monsters were: Godzilla, Rodan, Varan, Mothra, King Kong, Magma, Manda, Baragon, Gaira, Sanda, Ebirah, and Kumonga.

1968 - Monsters Total Advancing Attack: King Kong was included in the early drafts of Destroy All Monsters, written in 1967, since Toho's license for Kong extended for 5 years. The writing process took longer than that, though, and he, and for some reason the Frankenstein monsters Gaira and Sanda, were dropped from subsequent drafts. As for the other monsters, Magma would have joined Baragon in defending the first Kilaak base, and as scripted the final battle was to involve EVERY monster in the film, something that continued over into...

Destroy All Monsters in an idealized form, before shooting: ...what was supposed to be shot. Unfortunately the logistics of fitting 11 monsters running around into tight 90 minute narrative and dealing with the headaches created by the demands of the special effects, meant that a good deal of what was intended wasn't accomplished. All of the monsters got attention and screen time, Baragon played a far more important role and wasn't just continually shoved to the side, etc.

1969 - Early drafts of All Monsters Attack: While it was always a Honda author tact story, originally all of the monster footage was supposed to be new, and the cast was a more conservative Godzilla, Minilla, Gabara, Rodan, Oodako, and Kumonga. Of these, Rodan's role became that of Kamacuras in the final film (chasing Ichiro, fighting Godzilla), and Oodako's role was given to Ebirah, which would have been the only time Godzilla and Oodako fought in live action. Schedule and budget issues forced the use of stock footage, something that will become a trend.

1971 - Godzilla vs. Hedorah II: And yet another one? There seem to be three phases of development for this story, if everything I've read is true, which I can't guarantee. Originally, according to Toho Kingdom, the first idea didn't feature Hedorah at all, but rather a giant echinoderm monster mutated by pollution as a sort of Hedorah stand-in. Then there's the well-known story about Godzilla fighting Hedorah in Africa, and there's also a version where a disaster at the Fukushima power plant (yes, really, 40 years earlier) revives some Hedrium which creates "another one." Supposedly GvsH2 continued development even after Banno was let go, so those ideas might be pre- and post-Banno one way around or the other, or they could be from the same story.

The Return of King Ghidorah: The evil alien space brain Miko commands a fleet of flying space monsters, Gigan, Mog, and King Ghidorah, to take over the Earth. Opposing them is a team of Earth monsters being Godzilla, Rodan, and Varan.

Godzilla vs. the Space Monsters: Different iteration of the Miko story which is essentially at this point just a draft of Godzilla vs. Gigan. The monster line-up is still 3-on-3 though, with Gigan, King Ghidorah, and Megalon invading, and Godzilla, Anguirus, and Majin-Toul defending. Majin-Toul, a large statue in Children's World, is something of a pre-cursor to Godzilla Tower, although the role is different. Gigan cuts open the statue intending to place Miko inside of it, only it bleeds, then comes to life.

Earth Defense Directive: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah: Supposedly an intermediate draft between Space Monsters and Gigan existed by this name according to Toho Kingdom, although how it differed I don't know.

1972 - Godzilla • Redmoon • Erabus • Hafun: Savage Alien Monsters popularly known as Godzilla vs. Redmoon: As a follow-up to the Tsuburaya-Toho co-production Daigoro vs. Goliath, plans were put in place for a Godzilla movie following that route. A flying red monster comes to Earth from the moon, and meets up with a weird fox-esque monster on Earth. It's revealed that they are different sexes of the same species, and they have a child named Hafun, who is accidentally killed by the JSDF who perceive the monsters as a threat. Because of this, they do become a threat, and it's up to Godzilla to stop them. Whether a falling out between the two companies or the development of Megalon spelled doom for this movie isn't clear.

Toho Hero Contest: Toho was ready to jump into the giant hero arena, at first with a film series ala Godzilla. The winner of the contest was a robot hero named Red Alone...

Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon: ...who was altered in both name and design before work on his first starring role commenced. Western and Eastern traditions regarding the development of Godzilla vs. Megalon aren't completely mutually exclusive, but they certainly don't mesh well. The story, as the English speaking world tells it, is that the Megalon and Seatopian scenario began with a solo Jet Jaguar film, which almost certainly was a thing at some point. However...

Godzilla vs. Megalon: Undersea Kingdom Annihilation Strategy: ...across the pond the story goes that Sekizawa, who was swamped in his work as a lyricist, was asked to write the next Godzilla movie, and all he could manage was a single sentence "Undersea people attack the Earth" which was then flesh out by Jun Fukuda later. Now how the draft named Undersea Kingdom Annihilation Strategy differed from the final product is unknown, but given how little time they had to do anything I'm guessing the only difference is that the title was shortened.

1973 - Toho Monster TV Film Project: Zone the Meteor Man: The first proposal for Zone Fighter had two giant heroes, with both Zone Fighter and Zone Angel being able to transform to giants, at the cost of Zone Junior being able to transform at all, and they had to shake hands with another family member to do it. There was also a monster named Pandaran who was a stuffed panda that transformed into a human-sized kaiju when bad guys threatened Angel.

Toho Special Effects Terror-Beast Series: Zone the Meteor Man: A pilot script, this is essentially the first episode of Zone Fighter as it is now, but for the inclusion of Godzilla and Gigan. This would have broken the tag team tradition, with a 2-on-3 battle of Godzilla and Zone vs. Red Spark, Jikiro, and Gigan.

Giant Monsters Converge on Okinawa! Showdown in Zanpamisaki: Garuga/Garga/Galga aliens invade the Earth using their mechanical monster Garugan/Gargan/Galgan. Opposing them are, of course, Godzilla and Anguirus, but the Okinawans also manage to call Mothra to their aid, which would have been her only appearance in the 1970's.

Great Duel of Zanpamisaki: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla: Garuga/Garga/Galga aliens replaced with space invaders from Planet R. And in this draft they bring two monsters to attack Earth, Mechagodzilla and a second or revived Gigan. Opposing them is Godzilla and a crimson and bronze horned monster called King Vulcan who takes Mothra's role. I'm not sure if Anguirus was in this draft. King Vulcan of course became King Caesar.

1974 - Yukiko Takayama's original Terror of Mechagodzilla: The major difference is that instead of the singular monster Titanosaurus, Mechagodzilla is aided by two "Titans," a land and a sea monster who fuse together to become Titanosaurus.

1975 - Prophecies of Nostradamus II: A mysterious UFO hovers over Tokyo, and then... ? Apparently the story was never finished.

The Invisible Man vs. the Human Torch: A second entry into the 70's "mutant" films never really got anywhere. This is a different invisible man than the one in the 1954 film, and the Human Torch can't just immolate himself, but he also has pyrokinesis, making this a sort of precursor to Pyrokinesis.

1976 - S.O.S. Japan! Godzilla's Suicide Strategy: Godzilla battles a pair of alien monsters being a second or revived Gigan (the second time this has happened, Tanaka REALLY loved Gigan) and Chamelegon, a robotic monster made from a peculiar space metal which is invisible to the human eye, but not to Godzilla's.

1977 - Rebirth of Godzilla: A straight remake of the original Godzilla movie, only in color, I guess. Perhaps coincidentally the same year Luigi Cozzi's colorized Godzilla, il Rei di Monstri was released. And that's a big "perhaps."

1977-1978 - U.S.-Japan Co-production Godzilla, possibly Godzilla vs. the Gargantuas and/or Godzilla vs. the Devil: Rumors abound about this one, and that's all there is, rumors. No scripts or hard evidence exists for the content of this proposed film, all that is absolutely known for sure is that the title U.S.-Japan Co-production Godzilla appeared in listings for both 1977 and 1978 Toho film productions. Recently Toho Kingdom has claimed the Devil is outright untrue, but have you seen  their website? Supernatural horror being a big ticket seller was a fact of the time, and so was Tanaka's desire for Godzilla to return to his darker roots. Equally plausible is the Gargantuas as Henry G. Saperstein's love for War of the Gargantuas is well documented. But was the U.S. contributor even AIP at all? A synopsis for the Devil circulating since the 80's sounds suspiciously like the plot of the 1980 Godzilla script with some of the details changed. Whether that's because of misinterpretation or the 3-devils plot structure survived into a later project is also unknown for certain.

1978 - Battle of the Galactic Empire: Both a new entry in the "space opera" revival of the 70's which, like the supposed second 70's "mutant" film, never got anywhere, as well as a story based on a series of books by Isaac Asimov. How in the hell those two were supposed to coexist I have no idea, and there simply isn't enough information about this that I'm aware to even say whether the Gotengo was supposed to star.

Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla: Initially the cartoon was supposed to follow the continuity of the films, including attacks on cities and the like, but U.S. laws about what children's cartoons could and couldn't show made these plans difficult, and eventually any attempt to fit in to the world of the films was dropped. There was also a back-story where Godzooky was saved by the crew of the Calico from a... storm or something? And this is why Godzilla befriends them, and I think I've heard that this was planned to appear in a pilot episode, but of course that never happened also.

1977-1979 - Nessie: Unlike the U.S. collaboration, a Toho-Hammer Co-production about the Loch Ness Monster is very well documented and got so far into production that the monster itself was actually made by Teruyoshi Nakano and later appeared in Princess from the Moon, although many miles away from Scotland.

1979 - Godzilla Legend Asuka Fortress popularly known as Godzilla vs. the Asuka Fortress: The details on this one are very confused. Recently Toho Kingdom brought it to awareness in the western world as Godzilla being pitted against a humanoid mecha built by the JSDF and a plot which involved a revolt within or against the government. Sort of a big brother dystopian thing, where you get to technically still have Godzilla be a hero monster, but at the same time his primary opposition comes from the military. Wikipedia confuses the details by mentioning James Bannon's entry for Godzilla 2 was based on this, and mentions a story involving the evil computer Asuka and how it fights Godzilla by controlling a giant mobile weaponized fortress, but doesn't make it clear if this is the synopsis of Asuka Fortress or if Bannon borrowed the name for the computer in his script.

A Space Godzilla: It is unclear if this was a story first, then a film pitch, or if it was developed as a film and then was published as a story after the production fell through. Western rumors about the story had it be about Godzilla's death, and his dream-like psychedelic journey through space where he battles a monster named Gamora, framed as a sort of trippy internal or spiritual struggle. The actual published story, though, all happens in the analog world. Godzilla washes up on shore with severe wounds and dying of diabetes. Medical examination determines that Godzilla is a female alien from the planet Godzilla who is actually named Rolan, and she's pregnant with a child named Lilin. Turning her body into a spaceship, humans manage to send her back to her home planet, where she reunites with her husband Kushan. But instead of peace, she finds her home world at war with a race of sphinx-like aliens called Sunerians. The climactic battle is between Kushan and a space shogun monster called Gamony. As a film, this was supposed to be helmed by the director of House, and would have therefore been the greatest thing in the history of anything ever.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Marvel) #25: The Marvel Godzilla comic writers planned further ahead than their license allowed, and envisioned a story where Godzilla battles some I guess superhero guy named "Dragon Lord" who either summons or creates dragons. In place of Godzilla, a monster resembling the "totally-not-Godzilla" or Leviathan Marvel later used in the 80's and named Wani appeared, and that comic, called "A Hero is Also a Man!" was published in 1980.

1980 - Resurrection of Godzilla: Take Return of Godzilla as it is now, then, just in the middle of the story, inject a completely different and totally unrelated plot involving a monster named Bakan (no, not Bagan, the name of the monster in this story is Bakan, yes, really. Look it up.) who shift between four different forms. Essentially, in 1980 the basic story was hammered out, except that the story just stops in the middle.

1982 - Legendary Beastman Wolfman vs. Godzilla first version: Before the fan film that we (don't) have today, early plans were for it to feature the Mosu-Goji design for Godzilla, a pre-1981, Lon Chaney-style design for the Werewolf (including a damn shirt and jeans), and Baragon was supposed to play a role. I've heard that the plans go back as far as 1980, which would easily explain why the Werewolf looked like a shittier version of Waldemar Daninsky, but even then the Werewolf in the film as it is has a shorter snout and buff shoulders, making it look closer to a yeti than a typical bipedal 1980's Werewolf like those in The Howling.

1983 - Zilla, King of the Monsters in 3-D: The earliest attempt at a pure American-made "Godzilla" film is also the first appearance of the prototype of the monster we know today as Zilla. This creature, a Tyrannosaurus headed monstrosity that's killed by conventional weapons, goes on a rampage after its child is kidnapped, so it's basically Gorgo but with an 80's version of Zilla. While embarrassingly bad in every way, this film would have not only been in 3D, but would also feature stop-motion special effects by David Allen. As anyone who's ever seen a stop-motion monster movie not made by Willis O'Brien knows, the thing about these films is that you grit your teeth or fast-forward the the horrible, nigh unbearable schlock to get to the meat of the film, which is fantastic. Stop-motion is just gorgeous, and even if the story of this film was an absolute turd, it would still have been an incredible sight to see regardless.

R.I.N.O. in 3-D: The plan was that after Zilla in 3D, the next project would be Rodan. A Zilla-fied version of Rodan has never been done before, so I can only describe it here as "Rodan In Name Only." While I hope it stays that way, Legendary is currently planning on using "Rodan" for their sequel to gino 2, which could very well end up reviving this long-lost Hollywood abomination from the 80's.

1985 - Godzilla 2 Story Contest: Godzilla vs. Ankyron: A contest entry by Guy Tucker, Japanese sources don't acknowledge him as being a runner-up, but sources close to Guy can not only attest to the adoption of story elements in hist entry, at least one guy has actually read it. The story featured Godzilla "overheating" and threatening to turn into a walking nuclear meltdown, and an antagonist monster named Ankyron (similar to Anguirus) who had formed a connection with a young psychic girl. You will likely recognized these as being prototypse of Burning Godzilla and Miki Saegusa, respectively.

Godzilla 2 Story Contest Runner-Up: Godzilla vs. the Robot Army: As mentioned earlier, Godzilla battles an evil super computer who may or may not be named Asuka. Japanese sources say the story was based on Sekizawa's Asuka Fortress, but given that it was written by an American, James Bannon, it seems a little unlikely that he could have known of, much less read, the story. Eventually became GunHed.

Godzilla 2 Story Contest Winner: Godzilla vs. Biollante: The wining story was far different from the resulting film, with Godzilla being more of a bit player whose DNA isn't even a part of Biollante, which in this story is just a fusion of a rose and Erika. The story is far more atmospheric and better suited to the written medium than an action-packed finished kaiju film would be, and features a third monster named Deutalios who is a fusion of rat and fish DNA.

1988-1989 - Early drafts of Godzilla vs. Biollante: A number of changes occurred in the journey from story to screen. While the original featured no super weapons of any kind, later drafts had a proto-Super X 2 called the "Angler" which fired a beam directly rather than reflecting Godzilla's, and something called ZEUS. A storyboarded scene of Godzilla and Biollante's first battle is far more brutal, with Godzilla ripping Bio out of the ground and tossing her into the city among other things. Concept art shows a Matango-esque transformation of humans into plantmen (the original name of the humanoid Matango in The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig') and Bio still as a human-headed blossom, showing that particular aspect survived pretty late into the game.

1989 - Godzilla 3: Godzilla vs. the Robot Army: Even after Biollante won the contest, Koichi Kawakita was reluctant to let the Godzilla vs. computer scenario die, and tried to develop it into a sequel to Biollante. Whether this is before, during, and/or after GunHed I couldn't tell you.

Mikado Zombie: In what would eventually become Toho's sort-of answer to the new school of independent, regular-sized kaiju films (this is post-Tetsuo but pre-Zeram), a story was developed about WWII era zombies killing people in a dance club. These were replaced by a single cyborg, but the props made for the zombies still made an appearance in the final film.

1990 - The Mysterians remake: Kawakita had a huge soft-spot for The Mysterians, in fact I'm pretty sure it was his favroite from the entire Toho sci-fi catalog. While he would eventually end up adding Moguera into Space Godzilla, Justirisers, and Sazer-X, his initial desire was to create a straight remake.

Godzilla vs. the Mysterians: Written by an American, as the story goes traveling to Japan and chancing upon Kawakita. When he discovered that there was no Godzilla 3 lined up for 1990, he took it upon himself to write his own story, with Godzilla, Rodan, and Anguirus fending off a second Mysterian invasion and in particular battling their cyborg gila monster kaiju Gila-Jin (or Hira-Jin). The story is strange and oddly brutal given the rather simplistic 50's sci-fi set up, and was actually set in the Showa continuity. Kawakita of course loved it because it tied right into his desire to remake The Mysterians, but, again according to this guy's story, the project fell through because Tanaka refused to make a Godzilla movie written by a baka gaijin. If you think this story sounds like a lot of bull, you're not alone.

Mothra vs. Bagan: Properly named Bagan this time, the monster awakens from an icy slumber due to global warming and exacts revenge on humanity for their reckless endangerment of the environment. Opposed to him are both an adult and a larval Mothra, who engage in a series of skirmishes with Bagan around the world, including Indonesia and the Phillipines (well, some of the world). While definitely not intended as the 18th Godzilla movie, the king does make a cameo at the very end where he recovers from the effects of the ANEB, which was going to be a sequel hook into the real Godzilla 3.

1991 - Rodan for NES: Much has been made about this non-game, but all that's known is a single advert in a gaming magazine claiming the game was coming in 1991. Instead, Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters came out on NES. Since one level's scenario is a battle with two Rodans, the natural conclusion is that these games are one in the same, and Godzilla was added to the formula later.

Godzilla vs. King Kong: Not much is known of the development process for King Ghidorah, but almost too much is out there about the road to Godzilla 4. In the earliest stages, a planned Heisei rematch of Godzilla and King Kong was intended to coincide with Toho's 60th anniversary, but this didn't move forward because of the incredible difficulty involved in licensing Kong.

Micro Super Battle: Godzilla vs. Gigamoth: So instead a new idea was developed where two simultaneous battles would occur: one inside of Godzilla's body ala a micro-sub battling "micro" organisms called G-Antibodies in an attempt to shut off Godzilla's reactor, and another with Godzilla battling a new monster named Gigamoth. Four distinct "types" of Gigamoth exist, and if I'm interpreting this right, and I may not be, this draft was to feature "Type A" which was a dragonfly kaiju reminiscent of what would eventually become the adult stage of the Meganulons, Meganula, in GxM. An American setting, I believe Las Vegas, was also established.

Godzilla 4: Godzilla vs. Gigamoth: From there the script developed in two different directions. This one is far more well known in the west, and is directly ancestral to the finished film, with this iteration of Gigamoth being a mutated Mothra larva, who hatches from the same egg as the un-mutant larva. Instead of twin fairies, this story features only a single 60cm tall one named Mana whom the male lead has an extremely inappropriate romantic subplot with. She also has the ability to control Mothra and Gigamoth directly by teleport herself inside of the monsters, but because there's only one of her one of the monsters is going to be out of control by necessity. At the end of the story, the two adults fuse together into the "true" Mothra which not much has been written about, but may correlate to a "third form" of Gigamoth observed in some of the concept art. Gigamoth, of course, became Battra in the final draft.

Godzilla 4: Godzilla Raids Again and Godzilla vs. Mechanikong (Micro Universe in Godzilla): In this one, the method of injection of the micro-sub became a second mecha, presumably built from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, is built in the image of the legendary monster King Kong. Based on Kong's annoying licensing cost and other issues, combined with how well received MKG was, that putting Mechanikong into the story would give them best of both worlds. Unfortunately this was not to be, as Turner threatened to sue anwyas. The version of Gigamoth in this story, I'm assuming, is "Type C," which is no longer really Gigamoth at all but actually the giant Archaeopteryx kaiju from way back in the Bride of Godzilla and early Rodan days. In the west, the monster is actually named as Archaeopteryx, although whether or not the monster's name was actually changed in these drafts is unknown. Gigamoth "Type B," which resembles an ancestor of the Gigamoth larva seen in the storyboards for Godzilla 4: Godzilla vs. Gigamoth, is, I'm assuming, the iteration of the creature in the Godzilla Raids Again draft, which was developed simultaneously with the well known "Gigamoth as a prototype Battra" script.

1992? Godzilla 4: The Return of King Ghidorah: I've seen the date for this idea listed as 1992, but it must have taken place much earlier in the development of Godzilla 4 than the Gigamoth and Mechanikong cycles. The gist of it is that the real King Ghidorah comes to Earth, which explains where the Futurians got those Ghidorah cells to genetically engineer the Dorats. This idea didn't last long, so other than there being a Space Ghidorah, nothing much else is known about it.

1992 - Godzilla 5: Godzilla vs. Mechamothra: What Kawakita wanted to do for the next one was kill Mothra off, then have her resurrected in Godzilla 5 as a cyborg, much like what happened with King Ghidorah. What's really interesting about this is that her physical form was described as resembling a dragonfly more than a moth, which, counting Gigamoth "Type A," is now the second time a Japanese person has referred to a dragonfly as such. Is this like a weird cultural thing or is Kawakita just a weirdo?

Godzilla 5: Godzilla vs. Berserk: The earliest story for bringing back Mechagodzilla involved a computer virus from space that took control over technology (ala Virus, but not THAT Virus) which built a giant robot body mimicking Godzilla's. The virus itself was named Berserk, but concept art uses the name Mechagodzilla as well, implying a differentiation in named from that particular body and the virus. This might mean that there would have been multiple robots created by Berserk, in a sort of continuation of the Robot Army, but that just my own guess, I haven't seen anyone confirm it.

Hollywood GODZILLA version 1: The deal which would eventually produce ZILLA was made way back in 1992. While no script was written until 1993, early concept art and rumors indicate there was a story where Godzilla would have fought two monsters, the Gryphon as well as a Gorilla-Lion-Crocodile hybrid (possibly of the same liquid-shape shifter alien species that created the Gryphon) that I call "the Centaur" due to its stance as a quadrupedal monster with an upright torso and two extra arms, but no official name was ever given to it. In addition to that, Toho early on tried to upsell the producers on Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, but they declined.

Godzilla 5: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla: Thinking of this as the "last" Godzilla movie, early story ideas involved the introduction of Baby Godzilla and then killing off Godzilla and passing the crown to Baby. This never made it into any of the script drafts, though, as there was staunch objection to it from the producers. There were going to be two Rodans, or possibly unmutated pterosaurs, one of which would die in a battle with the flying section of Mechagodzilla (and then the Garuda warship), and the second would be turned into Rodan. Specifically, White Rodan, so named because it was... you know, white. Mechagodzilla of course split into two machines, both of which are featured on the poster art, and foregoing Baby replacing Godzilla, after his "death" he was going to be revived by the explosion of the Garuda warship's on-board nuclear reactor. There was also a scripted sequence involving a battle between an unmutated pterosaur and a Godzillasaurus explaining how Baby's egg got on Adonoa and his exact familial relationship to Godzilla (they're second cousins).

1993 - GODZILLA (vs. the Gryphon) (Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot): The draft of the script freely available online that most folks are familiar with, featuring Neo-Godzilla battling the Gryphon, probe bats eating animals in the desert, Jill and Keith Llewelyn, etc. etc. A fine story which is directly ancestral to a Gamera movie of all things, as well as that festering, horrible piece of bullshit Legendary squirted out of their asshole.

Godzilla 6: The Return of King Ghidorah: A story idea revived with a title revived for the third time. Just like last time, the original, space-faring King Ghidorah was to invade Earth, only this time it was directly inspired by Orochi's Ghidorah-esque design. Whether the Ghidorah in question was actually supposed to be Orochi, framing this as a sequel to Orochi, the Eight Headed Dragon or a descendant with a new suit made to resemble it is unknown. Either way, there eventually would be a Ghidorah movie which does present itself as a sequel to Orochi and directly states that the two monsters are one in the same. Space Godzilla's powers, especially the gravity tornado, are the descendants of this version of Godzilla 6.

Godzilla 6: Godzilla vs. Crystal Godzilla: I currently know next to nothing about this story. For the development of the Space Godzilla script, I can tell you that originally Mechagodzilla was a part of it and that a swarm of giant dragonflies, either Meganula prototypes or vanguards of Crystal/Space Godzilla were going to attack Little Godzilla. However, there's a core component of what makes Crystal distinct from Space, as illustrated in the concept art in the Godzilla Heisei Perfection book's Space Godzilla section... but I can't figure it out. I might be able to, but it'll take time. The concept art in question? Throwback 70's-looking art for the antagonist monster, and a series of weird, flowy, phantasmagorical interpretations of all of Godzilla's past foes, with the exception of Mechagodzilla and the addition of something that looks like a silver version of Cosbydaf's "RED" monster from that creepypasta that's become so popular lately.

Super Godzilla: Original ideas for the game included three additional original monster bosses for Godzilla to fight, and a demonic super-form for Bagan.

1993-1996 - Various proposed Dark Horse crossovers; Godzilla vs. Terminator, Superman, Justice League, and Gamera: Dark Horse was the king of crossovers back in the 90's, their most enduring legacy of course being pitting the Aliens against another Fox property Predators, which not only eventually worked its way into the films, but also single-handedly made the Predator slightly a little sort of relevant for a little while, even getting them a third solo movie. Which... which was a bad idea, but hey, there you go. They tried to do the same for Godzilla, but Toho just kept objecting, even to the obvious match-up against Gamera which the entire world has been waiting on with baited breath for 40 years. Oddly, the most obvious matchup of Godzilla vs. Aliens was never on the table, but Godzilla did battle a race of Predator expies in the Target: Godzilla story arc of issues 5-8 of their main Godzilla series.

1994 - GODZILLA (vs. the Gryphon) (Rossio and Elliot version 2): This draft of the film features only slight changes to the original, such as Jill accompanying Keith to the Arctic.

Godzilla vs. Bagan: Although a popular story in the west, this story almost certainly was never under consideration for Godzilla 7. For one thing, from the earliest stages the plan was to kill Godzilla off, which is not an element of the "Godzilla vs. Bagan the Movie" story. Furthermore, rumors indicate that the Gotengo was to play a large role in the story, yet here too the facts simply don't add up, as the Gotengo's role in Godzilla 7 was to kill Godzilla, meaning this would have entered into the story after Ghost Godzilla but before Destroyah. It's the only explanation we have as to why the hell they actually made a Bagan suit though, and perhaps for this reason alone (well Toho Kingdom touting the story as fact certainly doesn't help) the story of a mythical Godzilla vs. Bagan movie is still very much alive and well today, with many people still genuinely believing such a thing once existed.

Death of Godzilla and Godzilla 7: Godzilla vs. Godzilla: The original name didn't last long before the traditional in-development moniker of Godzilla 7 took over. The original Godzilla from 1954 returns as an incorporeal Ghost Godzilla, who kills the current Godzilla, but is... destroyed? By Godzilla Junior. In this earliest story, the elements of Junior becoming the next Godzilla and the incorporation of the Oxygen Destroyer as a means to kill Godzilla have yet to be incorporated, but notably Anguirus was a part of the story, although in what capacity exactly I'm not sure. At some point in the Ghost Godzilla phase of Godzilla 7 an new monster was introduced called Barbaroi.

Godzilla 7: Godzilla vs. Barbaroi: Thinking that audiences were getting a little tired of watching Godzilla fight doppelgangers, Ghost Godzilla was removed, and so the instrument of his death had to be re-thought, naturally arriving at the conclusion that the only way to kill him is, of course, the Oxygen Destroyer. For this, the Gotengo was introduced, under the moniker "Super X 3," featuring a new design with 3 drills (hence Super X 3, a design that would be carried over to Super Atragon as the U.S. version of the Gotengo called Liberty) and the ability to deploy the "Neo Oxygen Destroyer," presumably related to the Micro-Oxygen of the final movie. Barbaroi was a shape-shifting monster who is essentially Toho's version of The Thing, which can mimic other organisms as well as store their DNA to create new, progressively larger and more terrifying forms. One such form was called the "Anguirus Hound," a copy of Anguirus which "things-out" into a vaguely insectoid form. This is the first in a long series of scripted Anguirus deaths, also this one is thankfully off-screen.

Godzilla 7: Godzilla vs. Destroyah: The Oxygen Destroyer and the shape-shifting monster were combined to form Destroyah, who, perhaps owing to Barbaroi's cosmopolitan nature, went through an enormous number of design concepts before arriving as a sort of crustacean like motif. Because it no longer copied DNA, Anguirus was dropped from the story altogether, and since the enemy monster itself used the Oxygen Destroyer there was no reason to have a super weapon use it. Instead, a new mecha was introduced, built from the remains of Moguera, named G-END. While this monster never appeared in name, a similar one called "MGR-IInd" or "Moguera II" appeared in the video game Godzilla Generations: Maximum Impact which retains the four-armed design but switches the legs for tank treads. The films original end was to have Godzilla Junior emerge into "New Godzilla" after Godzilla's meltdown like a chrysalis or shedding a skin.

1995 - GODZILLA (vs. the Gryphon) (Donald MacPherson): This draft shook up a number of the established elements of Rossio and Elliot's story. The date is specified as 1999, and overall the story has a darker X-Files tone to it. Characters are shifted around, and perhaps the most dramatic change, or at least what I've always thought of as such, is that Fleer's wedding is crashed by a swarm of probe-bats who murder his almost-wife. This version of the script was all set up to shoot, with ALIEN 3's David Fincher directing, but NOOOOOOOOOOO, Hollywood had to go shit it up some more.

1995-1998 - Godzilla vs. Destroyah sequel: There are many rumors, well there used to be far more but they still persist today, about plans for the next Godzilla movie that featured Junior in the starring role and taking place after Destroyah. This includes the possibility that the six original monsters in Godzilla Trading Battle were candidates for "New Godzilla's" opponents. After many years, however, it seems like there's no real meat to the tale, and those monsters really were just created for the game, and Godzilla 2000 really was always not going to be about Junior.

1996 - Rebirth of Mothra concept art: Art of Death Ghidorah makes his two stages, which are only vaguely apparent in the finished film (with and without wings), far more distinct. In particular, at one point his pre-flight stage was only going to have one head, and the other two would have grown in after absorbing enough life-force.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Dark Horse) #16-1?: Just as with the Marvel series, the writers planned further ahead than their license would take them, and they originally wanted to have issue 15 be the first in a story arc featuring Godzilla and G-Force combating Dr. Yamazaki's monster creations. Instead, as #16 became the last issue, it was passed over to Bob Eggleton who created issue 16's beautiful story (and art) featuring a King Ghidorah expy which later became the basis of Mothra 3 featuring the real KG but a far more convoluted and nonsensical plot. In the very last bit of Dark Horse Godzilla, Origins of a Species, we can catch a glimpse for a single panel of a fish-octopus monster Yamazaki is breeding in a tank, possibly Dark Horse Godzilla's intended next opponent.

1998 - Godzilla Millennium: Immediately after ZILLA dropped, Toho went straight into crisis control mode, and plans were hastily drawn up to save Godzilla's life. The first idea for the 23rd Godzilla movie was to show a united military force from multiple nations - something like a U.N. strike force - combat Godzilla directly. It doesn't seem like this concept got very far, but it seems like the sort of idea that would have given birth to some new super weapons, in addition to Godzilla fighting a military force the size of which has never been seen before in Tohoverse history.

Godzilla 2000: Godzilla Raids Again: But this wouldn't do, you simply needed Godzilla to fight another monster, and doing so would also help heal the wounds created by ZILLA, which neglected to do just that. The first opponent tossed around was Anguirus, who was planned for the last film but got lost in the flow, and would have been thematically appropriate since this would be the inaugural entry for a third "series" and Anguirus was Godzilla's first opponent.

Godzilla 2000: Godzilla vs. King Caesar: But for some reason they didn't do that, and instead decided King Caesar was the way to go. Because of... ? My only guess is that it had something to do with Y2K working into a fictional prophecy about a dragon besieging the land in 1999 and King Caesar once again coming to defend the people of Okinawa.

Godzilla 2000: Godzilla vs. Kumonga: OR, what about Kumonga? Now I've made my affection for Kumonga clear on this blog a number of times before, but I honestly have to say I'm not really sure what this is about. A cool idea, and giving such an underexposed monster with, and here's the cincher, a ton of hidden depth which has been continually glossed over, his day in the sun. This has, still, yet to happen for Kumonga, which is just lame.

Zilla: The Series early monster concepts: Before work on the actual episodes started, a handful of ideas for enemy monsters were thrown around, all of which are based on pre-existing Toho monsters, as a sort of microcosm of a "GINO-fied" Tohoverse. These included a "A.I.N.O. (Anguirus In Name Only)," "Gabara (although the series did feature an episode with a monster created by a dreaming human)," a "Moguera" in name only that would be an organic monster who after losing a fight to Zilla comes back as a cyborg, and perhaps most insultingly shitty, butt-ugly Biollante-In-Name-Only which looks more like the DOOM 3 Mancubus than the most beautiful monster ever created. Featured in the opening credit sequence are a quartet of these, most given slightly distinctive names, which got even closer to being used in an episode, these are "Manda the Worm," "Gus (Kumonga) the Spider," "Megalon," and the most well known of them all, "Flying Gigan," as opposed to the non-flying variety of Gigan, I suppose. Two monsters in the series that changed before the episodes were sent off for animation was a female Zilla (I... I thought they were asexual?) who became Komodithrax and a "Bird of Prey" monster who became the flying Manta Ray, which of course is a direct rip-off of the much more awesome flying Macro-Manta from the Godzilla cartoon.

2000 - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2000: Less a full-fledged story pitch, Shogo Tomiyama, going into the 24th Godzilla movie, really wanted to use Mechagodzilla again. What context he had in mind I can't tell you, or even if he thought about it much. That the director of the resulting 24th Godzilla film and the eventual Millennium Mechagodzillas are one in the same may or may not be a coincidence.

Godzilla X Kamacuras: When Shusuke Kaneko was brought on to do the 25th Godzilla film, it was so early in the game that when he came up with a pitch to have Godzilla's opponent be Kamacuras, he was totally unaware that the movie currently in production already had him battling another insect monster.

2001 - Godzilla X M: So instead he came up with the idea to have Godzilla fight an astronaut who slowly turns into a monster after being bombarded with terrifying cosmic space rays from beyond, and eventually use this horrible curse to defend Japan from Godzilla, which sort of works. Plot involves his daughter slowly coming to understand the monster is her father, and protesting his decision to fight Godzilla, for obvious reasons. Toho Kingdom's disinformation machine, for all the lies it has spread about Deutalios being some stupid Ultraman monster or Galgan being Troidon, actually hit this one out of the park. It really is just "Godzilla X Jamila," but honestly Jamila is one of the only Ultra-monsters worth their salt, and this match-up definitely sounds interesting.

Godzilla X Varan • Baragon • Anguirus: This was just going to be the movie. The decision to swap out Varan and Anguirus for Mothra and King Ghidorah, respectively, via executive meddling, came late in the game. And it shows. It's more or less what we got just with different monsters.

2002 - Godzilla X Gamera: In 2002 the shambling corpse of Daiei was bought out by Kadokawa, seemingly specifically so that they could make Gamera movies. Granted, there was probably more going on, but it's hard not to get the sense that the primary motivation was a little less than business-oriented when, like, the day after the merger they immediately announce that they not only intend to bring back Daimajin, but are TOTALLY going to make Godzilla X Gamera happen. Toho, of course, refused to cooperate, so nothing became of this. This and GxVBA mark the beginning of a period when, despite the Millennium series' intial origins as a reaction to Hollywood's evils, Toho would emulate of lot of the same ideas. No fun, no variety.

Early drafts for Godzilla X Mechagodzilla: An appearance of Anguirus was planned at some point, and maybe scripted, but I guess ultimately there was no room in the story for him.

2003 - Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.: Kamoebas' role in the film, as a corpse to signify that Godzilla was still out there, started with another case of Anguirus murder porn, then turned into a new monster, basically a Liopleurodon with multiple dorsal fins (as opposed to the 0 fins on the real animal), before being handed to a bit player in the Tohoverse who had never been in a Godzilla movie before, making the somewhat pointless and thankless role actually accomplish something.

2004 - Godzilla 2 (Playstation 2): As Simon Strange worked on this game from the beginning, this game reeks of his design and work ethic. Biollante was basically in the game, with a model and everything, before she was axed, and Titanosaurus appears in mock-ups but was strongly considered in later stages. As for the rest of the game, Strange at first didn't even want to do a fighting game, but rather make the entire thing like the Maximum Impact-esque single player targeting stages. While that didn't last long, the single player mode of the fighting game initially had a strong story and a number of scripted scenarios rather than just a straight tournament fighter progression, including a battle with Mecha-King Ghidorah where you could gather G-Cells and use them to activate a statue of Jet Jaguar who would come to life and fight with you. Space Godzilla's role as a main villain woud have actually been a role, where he plays a part in a story.

Early drafts of Godzilla: Final Wars: As I've mentioned time and time again, not just on this blog, but basically pretty much anywhere I go, like to a grocery store or on top of a large building with a microphone, the original story for GFW was that of a sequel to Destroyah and the Godzilla featured is Junior. Of course, while the finished film still retains this element in its editing if not the dialogue, the original drafts had both, and made the continuity connections much more explicit. The time period is somewhere between 2029-2039 (cited as 20XX in official sources for the finished film), 40 years after Junior was frozen in Antarctica. As for elements that haven't survived the scripting process at all, the original cast included Mechagodzilla, Gorosaurus, and "King Ghidorah," who, as the monster selection process as we know it happened tells us, was selected as King Ghidorah, but whenever it was that the Heisei timeline was established, it was clearly the Return of King Ghidorah style Space Ghidorah, and I can't imagine the Keizer Ghidorah as it appears in the finished film is much different from what the original plan was. There is also a piece of concept art which shows the 1965 Oodako next to some buildings, for scale. This has been interpreted in the west as being evidence the monster was once considered for inclusion in the film, but I have no reason to believe this. Especially when you consider there wasn't really a Bandai figure of the monster, so how could he have even been included in the selection process?

2004-2006 - Choseishin series Biollante: Concept art for a Biollante monster exists for one of the Choseishin series in the Godzilla Heisei Perfection book. Which series this monster was intended for I can't say, but it seems reasonable that Gransazers isn't a canidate, since the mythology-to-monster-of-the-week episode ratio leans so, so heavily in favor of the former, that it really only could have fit with the other two. I'm thinking there might have been more Sazer-X episodes planned (that series has 38 rather than 51 as in the other two), but stuff happened and it got shortened and the "Walking Biollante" monster got axed. Following suit with Megarion, Deathball, Bulgario, and Scarabeus, it's likely the monster wouldn't have been named Biollante.

2005-2009 - Godzilla 3D to the Max: Immediately after it was announced GFW would be the "final" Godzilla movie, this thing made headlines. Yoshimitsu Banno had wanted to do Godzilla vs. Hedorah 2 since the 70's, and this is basically that, only in 3D, and 30 years later. It even appears to take place in the Showa timeline. The monster opponent, Deathla, is a Hedorah that seems to have been fused with a Matango, a concept that first appeared as Neo Hedorah (not to be confused with Neo Deathball, who is a red Hedorah but has nothing to do with Matango) in Godzilla Island. Like the original this Hedorah would have a number of forms, in addition to it's initial mushroom form and final humanoid form with a skull-like face, it would have broken apart into a swarm of locust like creatures (ala Destroyah, who's shapeshifting abilities in the final film owe more to Hedorah than The Thing) which is how the action changes location. Banno was trying to make this as a licensed picture, and had the rights from Toho in place, and was all ready to being the project with the incredible Eiichi Asada on special effects, but he needed more financial backing, which brought him to Hollywood's doorstep. And... well, we all know what happened after that.

2007 - Godzilla: Critical Mass: Like Save the Earth, Simon Strange had big plans for the third Atari Godzilla game, but almost none of it remains. In terms of playable monsters, everything that was planned made it in, and then some, but in the earliest stages Hedorah, Keizer Ghidorah, and Zilla were on the table, but rejeccted because of technological issues and of course because Zilla is just awful. For the original monsters, a number of concept designs were created, all of them terrible, which were then voted on... somewhere... online? And of course the shittiest monster won, and while a subsequent internet vote somewhere in the deep web came up with the name "Obsidius," the in-house nickname for the monster was "Magmouth." Story elements and free-roaming sections were cut out, far reduced from the original "globe hopping giant monster GTA" pitch which would have made for an amazing Rampage game. Unlike Save the Earth, however, some of the original design still survives, and what's left of it is actually really cool.

2011 - Godzilla: Monster World: When IDW's Godzilla comics were announced, the title was different and at first the only revealed monsters were Godzilla, Anguirus, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Kumonga, although they said they had more. As the issues roled out, something strange happened. The covers didn't match the content, nor did the monthly synopsis of each issue released before they dropped. It seems like originally the story for the first two issues was the same, but instead of Battra, Mothra was going to be introduced afterwards, and the blurb about issue 4 indicated it was supposed to tease King Ghidorah's impending arrival, making him a space monster rather than an Orochi/GMK-style Earth monster as in the final series. At a certain point, though, the synopsiseseses caught up with with the current storyline in the comic, so if there was more to the original outline for Monster World, I don't know it. I can only assume that given Kumonga's promonent role in the announcement and art, he was going to be a major player in the books.

Godzilla Legends: Gigan: One of the issues of Legends was going to be a backstory for Gigan, explaining the gradual process of cyborg-ification. He would start out, totally organic, as a sort of "monster of justice" defender for his home world. Over time, while battling various monsters, he would augment himself (that's the way it's described, but it seems more likely he's being augmented by the Nebulans) based on inefficiencies, sort of like how Doomsday or that SCP lizard get stronger based on what kills them. As the process continues, he gradually loses a grip on his mind and becomes a psychopathic killing machine. Toho said no based on this last part, being that they didn't want IDW to portray a characterization of the monster that they hadn't already established, and Gigan as-is is more of a coward than a psycho-killer.

2012 - GODZILLA 2012: While it was announced as early as 2009 that what we all thought was the 29th Godzilla movie was actually going to be a second G.I.N.O., one thing that did change about the film was... well, everything else. While the final version of gino 2 is clearly based on Rossio and Elliot's GODZILLA script, there were all sorts of rumors and loose ends that may or may not have had anything to do with the final project. First of all, it was in production for five fucking years, and on top of that the release date was changed to two years later, which meant Godzilla would be missing an anniversary for the first time in 50 years. Concept art, apparently independent of the production but of what could easily have just been things released well after that pitch was dropped, show a red-Barugaron like monster who cocoons a juvenile Godzilla, and a large, blue, brutish Jyarumu-looking monster without the wings. There is also the matter of the monster in the teaser trailer, which resembles a giant mutant tardigrade - a fucking incredible and awesome idea for an opponent of a deep sea Godzilla - which isn't in the movie at all. I've heard that this monster was only made for the teaser, and I've also heard that it wasn't. While no clear picture of the development of gino 2 exists now, other than the concept art, with all the post-release special edition bullshit going on, it probably won't be long until more information becomes available.

2012-2013 - Kaiju Combat original Kickstart pitch: Kaiju Combat, while it is now a fairly infamous piece of vaporware about over 9,000 giantess diaper-furs and interchangeable "it's like a yellow-spotted African tum-tum toad but it's really big" fighting each other with art by Matt "not enough spikes" Frank, began life as something completely different. The original pitch, and the sole reason they ever got funded to begin with, was to create a "lego-like" system of individual, fully autonomous games which sold on their own, but possessed an infrastructure that allowed assets from them to stack. Not only was Simon Strange going to try and make Godzilla 4, but he was going to, by extension, finally give the world the round-the-block, take-my-money-please battle royale it had been waiting for since... since forever. Godzilla X Gamera X King Kong X Ultraman X... whatever else. It got funded, and it looked promising, and at least while I paid attention to it it looked like the plan was to release a game of original monsters first, just as a proof of concept, then focus on making the Gamera game happen because that was the most sensible at the time. I was actually there as I watched the whole thing sort of fall apart into a gino 2 cult of Godzilla-hating furries who only wanted the "game" to serve as a vehicle for watching real life animals and fursonas battle in cities, and it's one of the more gruesome things I've witnessed.

2014-??? - This is where you come in. I've got my own stories to write, like Godzilla X Biollante and a solo KG and Rodan story, the late 70's Godzilla project, etc. But with the recent news of Toho's attempted second revival of Godzilla, this might not be the end. Certainly the comics are still fantastic, especially the mini-series, of which Cataclysm is so incredible it briefly made me think that I didn't really need to write GxB at all. But then there's you, the reader. Commercialism is sucking the life out of Godzilla, who for our culture is the equivalent of both the epic hero and the central king god of the pantheon. We don't believe he's real, literally, but that's not the point. He's the center of post-modern mythology, and he belongs to us, the people, and not the corporations. And certainly not to Hollywood. However Toho decides to run damage control this time, whether they are successful or not, is just one facet now. The only true way to keep Godzilla alive is to de-centralize him, and while he won't be in the public domain for... well, I don't want to think about it, but he doesn't need to be for stories to exist. Keep writing fan fiction, and making flash games, and coming up with your own monsters, and for the love of god(zilla) keep world building. Hollywood can take our money, but they can't take Godzilla from us, from me, not as long as we control the legend. 100 Godzilla vs. Bombshell Ghidorah fanfics may not seem like something to write home about now, but, and this is important, when the book is closed on our society, our civilization, our culture, what will the future remember about it? Will they remember that financial interests dictated what the people were allowed to imagine? Or will they remember that we fought back, and took Godzilla back from the machine, and used whatever means available to us to keep our stories, the things that really mattered to us, alive?

That's up for you to decide. As for me, if I can accomplish one thing, I would like to preserve Godzilla for as long as I possibly can. This is, I believe, the reason that I exist. Please, keep telling the stories, and don't let them die, not even if they're "unseen."

2 comments:

  1. Great blog! Cleared up alot of confusion but gives new info about what could have been!

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  2. Hey there! Really amazing article of the unmade movies and other media. No idea if you're active here anymore... but I was really curious about where you read the info regarding the cut Super Godzilla bosses. I've come across a lot of what you've posted already, but never anything about cut bosses (also haven't come across info of early GFW being a continuation of the Heisei era).
    Thanks!

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