Godzilla: The 80s American screenplay

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Godzilla: The 80s American screenplay

Postby ilovebaragon » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:54 pm

Has anyone ever read the screrenplay for the original American Godzilla from the 80s? As far as I know it was basically just a typical 1980s Cold War spy thriller that just happened to have Godzilla in it. Maybe a real blessing, plus the ditching of that film paved the way for the heisei days.

All I know is that it had a "Gorgo" like plot, and enough Soviet steryotypes to fill about two hours. What was it like?
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Postby GhostMachine » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:13 pm

If its the script for that movie they were thinking of doing in 3D back then, I read it, and it was okay, but there were some parts of it that were lousy. And the way Godzilla was defeated was pretty idiotic.
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Postby ilovebaragon » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:43 pm

GhostMachine wrote:If its the script for that movie they were thinking of doing in 3D back then, I read it, and it was okay, but there were some parts of it that were lousy. And the way Godzilla was defeated was pretty idiotic.


Yes, it is. Is it online? Do you have a link to it? Does anyone have a link to it?
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Postby mr.negativity » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:39 am

From The Rainer Blog:
The American Godzilla that never was
Perpetually in production between 1983 to 1985, this Americanized film (called Godzilla: King of the Monsters) came close to, but didn't due to budget concerns.

Of course it's impossible to judge a movie that was never made, but are there any indications? Would it be worst than the 1998 remake(Personally, I'm pretty sure that hit the bottom of barrel).


Monster Planet of Godzilla 3-D Ride Simulator

Monster Planet of Godzilla logoMonster Planet of Godzilla is a theatre style 3-D 70mm virtual ride at Puroland in Japan. Hello Kitty, the mascot of Puroland, in costume character form, appears in the preshow video, scampering around a futuristic control room, pointing to monitors and exclaiming "Gojira!"

Your adventure begins in the prep-room where you wait while the group in front of you are enjoying the film. In the prep-room, there are several video monitors that present a lengthy Godzilla trivia quiz. Then your hostess, played by Megumi Odaka, and her side-kick friend, Hello Kitty, explain your mission. Your UNGCC fighter craft is demonstrated by your pilot. With your 3-D glasses in your hand you are asked to enter the theater. Once safe and secure in your seats, the show begins.

This is a theatre-style show. It's not really a motion simulator, but more of an enhanced movie. The film required the scent system to be fitted with all-new smells. One was simply called the "green" smell - the smell of some kind of fruit which gets dropped on Godzilla to make him stop eating Tokyo. As you fly through the woods, you can smell the trees. When Godzilla crashes through Tokyo Central Train Station, you can smell the dust from the ruins.

Several other scents were considered, then dropped. All the sample scents of gunfire and explosions were rejected on the grounds that their sulphurous nature was nauseating. A proposed scent for Godzilla himself was also vetoed. Godzilla apparently has a rather musky odor.

Sanrio Puroland is an indoor amusement park located in Tokyo about 30 minutes from Shinjuku. It is about a five minute walk from the Tama City train station, on the Keio line. Normal admission is an all rides included 'passport', which is quite expensive if all you want to do is go on the Monster Planet of Godzilla ride. It is possible to purchase a discount admission if you arrive after 4 p.m., which is a bit more affordable for the visiting Godzilla fan.

Godzilla 3-D The Unused Script (1983)

Godzilla 3-D model.In 1983, director Steve Miner proposed to make an American Godzilla film. Toho approved of the plan, since all they had to do was loan out the image and name of their creation, let somebody else make the film and sit back and reap the enormous box-office and merchandising rewards. Toho agreed to allow Miner to develop a conceptualization of his film and begin seeking backing from Hollywood studios. Miner started by hiring Fred Dekker to write a screenplay and William Stout to develop some concept sketches. Stout based his Godzilla design on a prototype developed and constructed by paleontologist Steve Czerkas and even made a teaser poster for the film, depicting Godzilla spitting atomic death on the Golden Gate Bridge. Dave Stevens developed numerous storyboards based on the Godzilla designs.

Miner contacted some of the biggest names in Hollywood special effects at the time. Many of them were invited to a special screening of the original Japanese version of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, and excitement was high. Rick Baker was contacted to develop a cable-operated Godzilla head for close-up shots. Stop-motion artist Jim Danforth was also on hand, with David Allen tapped to head the actual animation team. Bids were also requested from ILM and Dream Quest. To further complicate matters, Miner wanted to do this film in 3-D, an effect that was enjoying a renaissance at the time. Although producers like Jon Peters and Keith Barish expressed interest in the film, Miner's projected budget of $30 million scared the studios away. The big Hollywood studios refused to spend so much money on what they considered a 'children's' film. By the end of 1984, Miner finally gave up trying to pitch the idea and Godzilla 3-D was laid to rest. Interestingly, had this film actually been made, the same team of creators envisioned doing another film. Not a sequel. Another remake. Rodan 3-D!

source:
http://www.rollanet.org/~vbeydler/van/3 ... dr0310.htm


William Stout's Godzilla concept

From CBR:
The Many Careers of William Stout


A scene from the View Master Godzilla reel.
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Postby Gojilove » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:13 pm

Why is it that every Americanized version of Godzilla has to look more like a T-Rex.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:47 pm

GoJiRa07 wrote:Why is it that every Americanized version of Godzilla has to look more like a T-Rex.
I think people figure a more slimmed down, sleek looking creature is more passable...and if you slim Godzilla down and streamline him, he looks a lot like a Trex
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Postby Legion » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:14 pm

GoJiRa07 wrote:Why is it that every Americanized version of Godzilla has to look more like a T-Rex.


Perhaps because most Americans are so thick that things need to look realistic and convincing. No American redesign of Godzilla I've ever seen ever looked as massive and powerful as just about every Toho version does. Godzilla isn't a damn T Rex. He shouldn't have dinosaur legs or a dinosaur stance.

That's why Americanizing something Japanese like Godzilla is so asinine. I'm sure if someone saw a future with Ultraman in this country they'd turn him in just a beefed up guy who puts in a suit and a rocket pack in order to fight human sized monsters. Because the mainstream audience seems unable to just shut their damn brain off for a while and just accept something fantastical. That's why so many horror icons are getting backstories these days. Lame-o.
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except

Postby Xenorama » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:37 pm

well, Godzilla is based on a t rex. circa 1940s version, of course, which is why he is upright, like all two legged dinosaurs were back then.

now they want him to look more like the current vision of a theropod. not surprising.

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Re: except

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:59 pm

Xenorama wrote:well, Godzilla is based on a t rex. circa 1940s version, of course, which is why he is upright, like all two legged dinosaurs were back then.


QFT

People forget that when they complain that Godzilla shouldn't be a Trex, but if Godzilla never existed and Toho were to take a stab at creating the character today, odds are it would be made more toward current thoughts on what dinosaurs looked like.

either that or they wouldnt even ATTEMPT to create Godzilla (which is the much more likely alternative given the amount of creativity at Toho these days)

to me, what defines the appearance of Godzilla and makes it obvious that a monster is Godzilla from looks ALONE is the dorsal fins and I just really hope that they aren't butchered in design like they were in '98
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Re: except

Postby Legion » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:03 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
People forget that when they complain that Godzilla shouldn't be a Trex, but if Godzilla never existed and Toho were to take a stab at creating the character today, odds are it would be made more toward current thoughts on what dinosaurs looked like.


Yes, but that's not how it happened LOL. And it's not an automatic given that if Godzilla was created today he'd look more like a Tyrannosaur. He couldn't, because it's still likely he would be brought to live via a suit anyway.
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Postby Gojilove » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:12 am

I suppose I was always fail to remember the changes in the T-Rex appearance over the years.

But on the same note of the whole slimming down concept, if this film was made how to you suppose they would have done the film?

Robotics possibly?
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Postby Baradagi » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:53 am

I have a copy of the script... Imagine a cross between Tristar's GODZILLA and Fox's GARGANTUA and you'll have 1983's GODZILLA 3-D...

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Postby Legion » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:58 am

Was the entire script that stupid?
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Postby Baradagi » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:04 pm

Legion wrote:Was the entire script that stupid?


Yes. Even THE VOLCANO MONSTERS, as clichéd as that story is, would have made a far better film than what they attempted to do in '83.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:10 pm

to be fair...in 1983, that was pretty much par for the course
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Postby Legion » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:11 pm

Are there people who regret that this movie didn't happen?
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:37 pm

Holy crap...I feel stupid for just reading that.
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Re: Godzilla 1983

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:07 pm

AICN Sept. 22, 2014:
Quint reports on William Stout's MondoCon panel about the unmade Fred Dekker-scripted Godzilla film!
Quint wrote:Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. MondoCon is more than just a bunch of poster nerds gathering together vying for different limited edition prints. The focus of the Con seems to be on the artists with an eye towards hosting intimate panels with these legends.

My focus this weekend has been on Fantastic Fest, but I have made two quick trips up to MondoCon. The first was to check out the prints, LPs and say hi to old friends. Today the detour was to check out the coolest sounding panel ever: brilliant artist William Stout discussing the almost made 1983 Godzilla film. Genre favorite Steve Miner was to direct a script by the great Fred Dekker. This project made it through a lot of development, with Rick Baker brought on board to build a full scale animatronic Godzilla head and Dave Allen to execute the majority of Godzilla's screentime via stop motion.

William Stout came on with another great artist named Dave Stevens to do storyboard and concept art. Stout's work so impressed the producers that he ended up being promoted to Production Designer. Apparently his storyboards detailed the sets so specifically that he was already kind of doing that job.

Stout took the stage with Mondo head honcho Justin Ishmael to give us the backstory to the genesis of the project (calling Dekker's work the “best script I've ever read”) before taking to the first row with a mic and a flashlight to cue the old school slide projector and walked us through the movie that could have been.

So, Steve Miner was coming off the heels of two genre successes in Friday the 13th Part 2 and 3-D and somehow got the rights to attempt to launch an American version of Godzilla. Pre-Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad Fred Dekker wrote the script and William Stout was brought on to do storyboards and pitch art (and, as mentioned above, eventually was elevated to production designer).

They built a pitch package to try to get a studio to sign on to this ambitious project, which was planned to film in 3-D. Stout ran through the storyboards he had, which covered a goodly amount of the action in the film. I was able to snap a few photos, which I'll pepper into the rundown below.

THE STORY:

The film started with a quote: “Listening through the mist --- distant glow of dragon's cries, a warrior waits” before opening in space on a meteor flying towards camera. On Earth some dudes at NASA notice it and realize it's headed towards a satellite carrying nuclear missiles .

The meteor crashes into the satellite, sending one nuke crashing towards the Earth. The NASA guys are able to fire an interceptor missile to knock the nuke off course, away from populated lands and into the sea. It crashes into the water and shortly thereafter detonates. The NASA guys cheer, but the music was supposed to be ominous as the camera pushes into the irradiated water, past fish carcasses, with the title “GODZILLA 3-D” materializing.

He then went through a sequence that introduced the Snake Plissken-esque eye-patch wearing hero of the story, a character by the name of Daxton. There's a salvage flotilla at sea with some trawlers going about their fishing duties around them. One of these trawlers gets raided by scuba divers who turn out to be Russian bad guys (this was 1983, afterall) who want to be able to spy on the flotilla.

They see Daxton arrive. Turns out he's there to investigate something under the water. He takes a team and dives down to a sunken sub. The storyboards made it look like a bit of a horror movie sequence. Dark, creepy, empty sub. No sign of life or death. It's just empty. For a while, at least. They soon start finding bodies and one of Daxton's crew grabs his throat and collapses. The rest put on their regulators and breath tank oxygen as they follow the trail of bodies to a room containing nuclear missiles. One is missing.

Stout didn't say, but I'd guess this sequence happens a little bit after the above-mentioned arrival of Daxton since I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be those Russians getting there before our hero does, gassing the crew and getting out with a nuke.

Some of the connecting tissues will be missing since they didn't need to storyboard most of the exposition stuff and Stout said he hadn't read the script in decades.

The next sequences shown all focused on teasing the arrival of Big G. One very Jaws-like scene sees a fishing trawler (which was boarded to look exactly like the Orca, by the way) whose nets get snagged by something big under the water, which starts towing them around the ocean until they cut free. Another shows some Islander kids playing around a small pond. Camera pulls up to reveal that pond is in the shape of a giant lizard foot. Some soldiers cut through the pond as well, not realizing what they're walking across. Those soldiers enter a village and notice radiation burns on some of the villagers. Something big catches their attention. The soldiers look up, fear on their faces. Cut to...

An iguana's face. This is little Kevin's pet iguana who he's showing off at a school show and tell. Kevin is Daxton's kid and was to be one of the main characters of the story. He goes to school in San Francisco, gets made fun of for bringing an iguana to school and when his hot mom (drawn to look like Pat Benatar) picks him up from school that doesn't help his rep very much.

There was some stuff establishing Kevin as Daxton's kid (shots of his father driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to pick him up, etc) and a bit where this 10-ish year old boy is driving a jeep around sand dunes, his father in the passenger seat looking nervous.

The first big reveal of Godzilla is a personal connection moment between the King of Monsters and this kid. Kevin's iguana rests on his shoulder as Godzilla comes across him. It seems to confuse Big G that this human is friends with a reptile and he regards him curiously before heading off... you know, to "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" up San Francisco.

Much like the recent Gareth Edwards film, he starts with the Golden Gate bridge and moves into the city, the idea being he would be fighting army tanks and choppers and cops and other annoying humans as he destroyed famous San Fran landmarks, including DiMaggios. There were many boards showing army guys firing bazookas at Godzilla, tanks firing on him, etc.

For some reason the Russian bad guys are also in the mix and are in a chopper which Godzilla takes notice of. While trying to evade, the main Russian bald bad guy falls out. Godzilla catches him in the air, looks at him resting in the palm of his hand and then squishes him. As you do.

Not exactly sure the order of events here, but I take this to be part of a big late second act or early third act sequence. I do know that Godzilla ends up hiding out at Alcatraz and that's where the finale is set.

Daxton is piloting a fancy helicopter of some sort that's able to fire one nuke. The plan is to fire it directly into the monster's mouth, detonating inside the beast.

This puts young Kevin in a bit of a bind. He has a bond with Godzilla, but the monster is tearing up the city, killing people and will kill his dad if he doesn't step in. So, he calls out to the monster, distracting him away from his father and allowing him time to aim and launch the missile.

Godzilla crawls towards the ocean after the nuke goes off inside him. I couldn't tell if he sinks into the water or dies on the shore, but either way it's sad for Kevin (and us, too, probably).

But at least Kevin has his family back safe and sound:

That was all she wrote in terms of story beats. The rest of the panel was a Q&A, mostly focused on why it didn't happen. Stout said that at every studio the outcome was exactly the same. They'd get 14 yeses as the project rose up to the top guy and every single studio said no at that stage. Apparently this was right after there were a handful of major budget bombs, including Heaven's Gate, and all execs were gunshy about giant budget movies. Nobody wanted to take a risk, so while everybody agreed the presentation was amazing and the crew they had gathered was great it always fizzled at the top level.

Rick Baker never got to build the full scale animatronic head, but Dave Allen did construct a prototype stop motion Godzilla.

That's about it. A neat glimpse at a movie that never happened. Miner and Dekker ended up collaborating on HOUSE a few years later before Fred got his great one-two punch of Night of the Creeps and The Monster Squad going and Steve found some quality studio work (I still really dig Forever Young and Lake Placid is friggin' great!).

It's possible I may have access to that Dekker draft. If I can dig it up I just might read it and write up a detailed review/rundown of it. If you guys are at all interested in that let me know in the talkbacks below!

With that panel covered I'm back to focusing on Fantastic Fest! Behind on some reviews and I got a sweet Keanu Reeves interview to post as well (I miiiiight have made him promise me that Station would come back if they ever made a Bill and Ted 3). Stay tuned!
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Re: GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS 3D

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:12 pm

Twitter: @NeverMadeFilm
Best Movies Never Made Podcast wrote:New episode is up.

Please join us and Fred Dekker as we delve into his 1983 unproduced film

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS 3D
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