Early in the stages of production for the sixth Heisei Godzilla film, it was proposed for Godzilla's enemy to be an alien King Ghidorah, similar to the concept for the earlier unmade film The Return of King Ghidorah. This King Ghidorah, dubbed "Emperor Ghidorah," would have been more like the Showa incarnation of the character, being an evil alien creature rather than the mutated fusion of three Dorats. However, Toho was concerned that Emperor Ghidorah might be viewed as too similar to Yamata no Orochi from the then-upcoming Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, and so it was decided to create a new enemy for Godzilla instead. Toho retained the idea of Godzilla's new foe being an alien creature, and decided to have it be a clone of Godzilla himself. This extraterrestrial Godzilla clone went through numerous revisions before finally resulting in SpaceGodzilla.
- Emperor Ghidorah may have inspired Keizer Ghidorah, as Keizer Ghidorah's name comes from the German word "kaiser," meaning "emperor." Keizer Ghidorah's gravity beams also levitate Godzilla into the air, which was conceptualized as one of Emperor Ghidorah's abilities.
- In the Japanese novelization for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the corpse of a purely extraterrestrial King Ghidorah was found on the surface of Venus by the Futurians, who later used his DNA to engineer the Dorats, which eventually merged to become the King Ghidorah featured in the film. This concept was originally meant to be included in the film itself, but this was changed because director Kazuki Omori reportedly did not want King Ghidorah to be a space monster again. After the film's release, Toho considered producing a direct sequel to Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah titled The Return of King Ghidorah, featuring an alien King Ghidorah arriving on Earth to challenge Godzilla. It is possible that Emperor Ghidorah was a continuation of this concept.
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