Godzilla Reborn, an American-made sequel to Godzilla 2000: Millennium, was briefly considered to be made with man-in-suit effects, a lower budget for Hollywood standards, and some of Toho's special effects workers. Godzilla Reborn was conceived by Michael Schlesinger, who also wrote the American version of Godzilla 2000. According to Schlesinger in an interview conducted by SciFi Japan, the proposed film started out as a joke between him and Jon Davison, whom he was friends with. He came across Davison on a lot and they briefly talk about the American version of Godzilla 2000 being liked by Toho. Schlesinger says "Yeah, and if this company [Sony] is smart, they’ll get you, me and Joe [Dante] to do the next American one." and they parted ways. Later on, he thought about it and realized it made sense and called Joe and Jon, asking them if they would like to work on a sequel and they agreed.
Schlesinger gave the idea to the head of production at Columbia Pictures, estimating the budget should be around $20 million. The head liked the idea but said he wasn't in a position to set that kind of project in motion and asked Schlesinger to make a script first.
Schlesinger admitted "I took many of the Godzilla archetypes and turned them inside out," and said the characters in the film were to be light-hearted and the monster action was to be more serious because "the problem with most Godzilla films is that the human characters take themselves so-o-o-o seriously, and that's a large part of why the monster scenes seem funny by comparison." The main character was a female television reporter who was on vacation in Hawaii and is "tired of doing fluff and wants to do more serious journalism." The male lead is a "skirt-chasing smartass" who owns the hotel where the main characters are staying at, and seems to share the same interest the female lead has for him. A convention for scientists was going on there, and Shiro Miyasaka from Godzilla 2000: Millennium was supposed to return. A general in the film is a Bronx Jew who "peppers his dialogue with Yiddish," and there is a chief of police who "drinks on duty because there's never any crime."
Actors of the proposed film included Bruce Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Scott Bakula, Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy, Ken Takakura, Bob Picardo, Belinda Balaski and Dick Miller. According to Schlesinger, "Toho did read the script — they asked for one major change, which I agreed to, but they did like it a lot," with the change being that "Godzilla was killed half-way through the film by the Army, and then cloned when they realized that he was needed to fight Miba. Toho objected to his death, so I changed it to a coma." When he finished the script, Sid Ganis came in as a producer and tried to get the new Columbia head of production to read it, but the head was not interested in "$20 million movies." Schlesinger wanted to give it to other studios but Toho asked too much money for that and the project ended there.
Godzilla rampages his way through the Hawaiian Islands during a scientific conference in Honolulu, gradually making his way to Mauna Loa. However, the military manages to knock Godzilla out during this rampage, only to discover Godzilla's target: a lava bat kaiju dubbed Miba resting in the volcano. Godzilla is then revived to take on the threat.
- After TriStar decided not to produce this film, Sony began to consider producing a new reboot to the Godzilla series with no connection to the 1998 film, but ultimately decided not to and allowed their rights to the series to expire.
- Interestingly, the idea of Godzilla first appearing in Honolulu made a reappearance in the 2014 American Godzilla film, although this is probably a coincidence.
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