Godzilla vs. M (2001)
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An unnamed proposal for the 26th Godzilla film, popularly referred to by the name Godzilla vs. M, was proposed in 2001. Written following an unused concept by Shusuke Kaneko which pit Godzilla against the monster Kamacuras, it served as a precursor for what would ultimately become Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
Takegami, a space shuttle astronaut, is rescued from a strange accident while orbiting Earth's atmosphere. However, days later, during his hospitalization, he began to transform internally. In order to prevent his daughter Yumi from seeing him, Takegami flees and goes into hiding within the forests surrounding Mount Fuji. Yumi eventually tracks down her missing father, only to discover that the incident has mutated him into a giant monster. But thankfully, the monster has still retained his human memories and soul, as well as his existing love for his daughter Yumi.
Around this time, Godzilla returns to menace Japan once again. Takegami, whose monstrous form is given the name 'M,' goes forth to battle Godzilla. M engages Godzilla in battle, only to be easily defeated and retreat back to the forests of Mt. Fuji. After the military's forces are decimated by Godzilla, M engages the monster in battle again, but is killed. Yumi gives up her life force to revive and re-energize M, allowing him to triumph over Godzilla. After defeating Godzilla, M grabs him and carries him out to sea, where they both disappear.
After his work on the film Pyrokinesis and his previous success with the Heisei Gamera trilogy, Shusuke Kaneko was hired by Toho to direct the 25th Japanese Godzilla film. Kaneko initially planned for a film where Godzilla would face Kamacuras, however he discarded the idea after Godzilla faced insectoid enemies, Megaguirus and the Meganula, in the previous film, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. Instead, Kaneko decided for a new story, in which Godzilla battles an astronaut who mutates into an alien monster. Like Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, this film would be set in an alternate timeline, this one being a reality where Japan is known as the Republic of Japan and has a large military at its disposal. However, Kaneko discarded the idea, as he felt the concept was too grim for a New Year's season event feature. Instead, Kaneko began work on a new idea, Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, which would eventually become Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
Worth noting is that the film was never given an official title. "Godzilla vs. M" is a conjectural title given to the project due to the alien creature simply being referred to as 'M' in the screenplay.
- The concept of the creature "M" is similar to Frankenstein from Frankenstein vs. Baragon, a misunderstood giant humanoid creature who hides in the wilderness only to do battle against another more threatening monster, and Jamila from Ultraman, an astronaut who is exposed to a mutagen while in space and mutates into a kaiju.
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