With the first trailer for the Godzilla reboot having been released earlier this week, we thought it was a good time to take a look back at all the Godzilla films that lost the pre-production battle and remained cursed to development hell. Here's a tribute to the King of All Monsters and the films that never were.
Frankenstein vs. Godzilla
In 1963, Toho was working with SFX pioneer Willis O’Brien, who created the effects for the 1933 King Kong film. O’Brien had the idea of making a stop-motion film where the King Kong scuffles with an enlarged Frankenstein monster. The idea was scrapped in favor of King Kong vs. Godzilla, although the concept of the giant Frankenstein Monster was later utilized for Frankenstein Conquers the World. For a while, however, Toho toyed with the idea of giant Frankenstein being Godzilla's opponent.
The plot: The heart of the original Frankenstein Monster is discovered by scientists and brought to Japan, where it is exposed to radiation during the Hiroshima bombing. 10 years later, this heart is the seed that grows into a giant kaiju-sized monster, which ends up battling Godzilla.
Godzilla vs. Gargantua
Planned as a sequel to 1966’s War of the Gargantuas, the giant monsters of that film were meant to be added to the Godzilla franchise.
The Plot: The eponymous monsters were apparently swallowed by a volcano at the end of War of the Gargantuas. The evil green monster somehow survives, only to find himself faced with an even more formidable foe in the form of Godzilla.
Godzilla vs. Batman
In 1968, an intended comedy Godzilla movie was planned, where the king of the monsters would face Adam West’s Batman. This cross-over was supposed to be a joint Toho/Warner Brothers production, done in the campy spirit of the 1960s Batman TV series, which was a huge hit on TV at the time.
The Plot: Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) go on a business trip to Japan and find themselves in the middle of an attack by Godzilla. The caped crusaders must pit their wits against the giant monster.
Godzilla vs. Redmoon
This aborted project was planned for a 1972 release, but just didn't pan out. Perhaps it had something to do with all the Kaiju baby making?
The plot: A creature from the moon comes down to earth; becoming known as Redmoon. At the same time, another creature called Erabus appears from a remote island. The Japanese government tries to bring the two monsters together so that they will kill one another. Instead, the creatures start to mate, threatening to unleash hundreds more of their kind. Fortunately, our hero Godzilla arrives in time to destroy the two beasts before they reproduce.
Godzilla vs. the Devil
Conceived as a result of popular demonic films of the 70s like the Exorcist and The Omen, this was planned for a 1978 release. However, the strange combination of sci-fi and the supernatural did not appeal to studio executives.
The Plot: Mankind's evil grows and begins to manifest into physical forms. Monsters begin to appear, such as a giant spider, a demonic fish, and a huge bird. Godzilla arrives to fight these menaces, but even the king of monsters may be unable to prevail when the Devil himself takes a physical form to bring about the apocalypse.
Godzilla vs. the Wolfman
Planned for 1983, this non-Toho independent film was supposed to pick up the slack of the stalled Godzilla franchise. The Plot: A werewolf is mutated by radiation and grows to monstrous Kaiju size, coming into conflict with Godzilla.
Godzilla vs. Gigamoth
In 1991, after a planned Mothra film was cancelled and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was almost finished, the script for this film was written. However, the script did not satisfy Toho, so it was scrapped.
The plot: A nuclear waste dump on an island in the South Seas is causing giant mutations to the local wild life. A giant moth hatches and flies from the island. Gigamoth starts feeding off reactors and other radioactive sources. The ultimate radioactive meal arrives in the form of Godzilla, who suddenly finds himself as prey to a predator.
Godzilla vs. the Gryphon
Witten in 1994, this unmade effort was the first script by Tristar Pictures in their attempts to make an American Godzilla film.
The Plot: Scientists discover Godzilla in some deep caverns. The monster awakens and kills the scientists. Godzilla then attacks the Japanese Kurila islands. Surviving fishermen call the creature "Godzilla", based on an ancient Japanese legend. Later, in Kentucky, an old probe crashes into a lake, where it merges with the ancient technology of an old, crashed spaceship. It becomes sentient and crawls into a cave, where it copies the form of a bat and begins to grow. Meanwhile, Godzilla is swimming toward San Francisco, only to be captured by the American military. Elsewhere, the Gryphon grows large enough to become a threat, immune to human weapons. Godzilla is unleashed to be used as a weapon against the Gryphon. With help from the American army, Godzilla defeats Gryphon and retreats to the sea.
Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla
Written after Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, this was planned for a 1995 release. However, it was deemed too similar to Space Godzilla and so was scrapped.
The plot: We learn that the current Godzilla is not the original Godzilla (who was killed by the oxygen destroyer in the original Gojira) but an identical creature of the same species, also mutated by radiation. Now, Godzilla 2 must face off against the angry spirit of the first Godzilla.
Godzilla vs. Bagan
Written in 1995, this was planned to be the end of the Showa series, but was scrapped in favor of Godzilla vs. Destroya. The Plot: In order to beat the unstoppable Bagan, Godzilla mutates into a larger ‘Super Godzilla’ version, which proves unstable.
Godzilla vs. Uchujin
Intended to kick-off the Millennium Series, this was planned for a 2000 release, instead of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
The plot: An astronaut returning to Japan has unknowingly been infected with a strange alien virus. As he starts to mutate, he runs off to hills, in order to protect his daughter from himself. After he becomes giant-sized, the mutated man-beast learns that Godzilla has returned to attack Japan. He rushes to defend his daughter, who is at the heart of Godzilla’s rampage, leading to a monster slug-fest.
Intended for a 2007 release, this was meant for same-day US/Japanese release. The story would be set in America.
The Plot: A new monster called Deathla appears and awakens Godzilla from hibernation in the Iguazu Falls, located between Argentina and Brazil. A battle breaks out, progressing through Mexico and all the way to Las Vegas.
Sometimes it's easy to see why a film got the boot, and we're probably better off for it. Even so, there appears to be some gems in here as well. Which of these failed Godzilla films would have liked to see?