Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Movie That Never Was - GODZILLA 1980

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Wilmington Morning Star (Saturday August 25, 1979) / Associated Press

An archived newspaper article from 1979 has just become available through Google that reveals some information about a proposed Godzilla movie that was to be released in conjunction with the monsters 25th birthday. If you know your G history you probably already know that Toho played around with two different ideas for a Godzilla movie to be released in 1980, one being "Godzilla vs Bagan" and the other entitled "The Resurrection of Godzilla." It is the second film for which I believe this article is referring to.

Check this out:

Godzilla Returning As Nuclear Hero
Associated Press

TOKYO - Godzilla, the Japanese movie monster who first stomped across movie screens 25 years ago as a film argument against the A-bomb will make a comeback next year as the hero of a nuclear power plant accident.

Born in the south seas as a result of U.S. atomic-bomb testing, and a veteran in the fight against the powers of evil, the prehistoric monster will reappear after a six-year absence, apparently a confirmed good guy.

"It will be a serious film, just like the first movie, which was a reaction to uncontrolled atomic bomb testing in the atmosphere," Tomoyuki Tanaka, president of the Toho Motion Picture Co. said in an interview Friday.

"We are in the middle of script writing. The Japanese are now fearful of the future much as at the time of the 1954 film," said Tanaka, creator of the series of 15 movies starring a giant flying prehistoric monster that tore up commuter trains and kicked its way through oil refineries.

The monster's 25th birthday was celebrated in July in New York and this month in Tokyo with a screening of all 15 films. Tanaka said the new film is a response to renewed popular interest in Godzilla. About 60,000 people saw the film revival in Tokyo.

Godzilla toys brought in $4.5 million for makers in the past four years and books and other memorabilia are also said to be selling well after a lapse.

Ishiro Honda, director of 10 of the 15 movies said, "We went downhill in the last five or six pictures. The First film was pacifistic in intent."

Tanaka said European critics saw Godzilla as a Japanese reaction to the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States during World War II. "I think that appraisal is correct. Godzilla shows the Japanese attitude toward the atom," he said. The monster turned friendly in later films, and in one epic warded off monsters from outer space.

In the first film, a monster emerges from the depths of the South Pacific after U.S. atom bomb testing in the Bikini atoll.

In the American version, Raymond Burr, later to be known as Perry Mason and Ironside, played the part of an American reporter investigating the appearance of a monster in Japan. Burr's investigating activities were shot in Hollywood and spliced into the Japanese film.

The first film featured major Japanese actors but the later, cheaper films used mostly lesser-known younger talent. "Godzilla is hard act to follow," said director Honda.

There was even a Godzilla film that dealt with the dangers of industrial pollution, which are very serious in Japan. Another monster called Hedora, from the Japanese word "hedoro" meaning industrial sludge, rose from polluted Japanese seas and engulfed everything in its path.

2 comments:

  1. Please tell me that that poster is real!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That poster is pretty sweet, but why is it associated with this article? Are there parallels between the new movie and that one?

    ReplyDelete

"LEGENDARY PICTURES TO DEVELOP AND PRODUCE MAJOR MOTION PICTURE BASED ON TOHO COMPANY’S ICONIC MONSTER, GODZILLA

Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.