Godzilla has seen all kinds of incarnations across the decades, but one of its most infamous takes was the first initial Western take on the famous Kaiju. But fans could have seen a United States produced Godzilla long before the 1998 release.
Speaking with podcast Best Movies Never Made, Monster Squad director and The Predator co-writer Fred Dekker detailed Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3D, a film he wrote in the '80s with Friday the 13th Part 2 Director Steve Miner set to direct.
According to Dekker, Steve Miner approached Dekker when he acquired the rights to Toho's famous monster and wanted Dekker to write a new, 3D version of the famous beast. In the interview (transcribed by Bloody Disgusting), Dekker mentions how he tried to write the Godzilla script in such a way that it "would be interesting even if Godzilla didn't show up."
His pitch involved a child not acting as Godzilla's friend, but more of a stand in for the "conscience and heart of the audience as treating the monster as more than just this force of nature." That's sort of inline with the human presences in Toho's original franchise, but the rest of the ideas differ entirely.
Dekker elaborated that he wanted there to be a "spy element" to the film in which characters would soon discover Godzilla is out there in the world but remains unseen, "We followed the Jaws template… we did that on a massive scale for the first act of the movie. We suggest Godzilla's out there, but we don't actually show him." That is until the spy element ties back in, "the end of the first act, our spy guy gets a call from the state department or the feds or whoever… he goes to Mexico… there's this giant dead reptilian creature the size of an apartment building on the beach."
But the kicker of Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3D was that it would involve Godzilla's child (though it's unclear if its referring to Minilla or Godzooky), "But what we find out is that it's the progeny of Godzilla. And that the real dude is much, much, much bigger. Godzilla comes looking for the baby Godzilla." Once all of this kicked off, Godzilla's big rampage would ensue and the rest is history.
Reports of the film's early production state that Miner was interested in using suitmation, and even animatronics (much like the Tokusatsu productions in Japan), but things just never quite clicked. Though there seemed to be interest in the project, it never got the funding it needed to really get off the ground. This left Miner with no choice but to have the film rights revert back to Toho in the 1980s.
It's probably for the best considering this Godzilla would have been a mix of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Godzilla's original look. Godzilla fans know how that design philosophy turned out. But soon Godzilla fans will be seeing a new King of the Monsters soon.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, Bradley Whitford, among many other talents. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 31 with Godzilla vs. Kong scheduled for a 2020 release after.
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