- Do not confuse with Griffon.
The Gryphon's design varies depending on concept art, however the original script mentions the monster has the body of a puma, the wings of a bat and a hydra-headed tongue composed of snakes. Stan Winston's model for the creature includes most of these features, however also includes hooves on the back legs much like those of a horse or cow, as well as large clawed hands on the frontal legs with spikes along the fingers. There are also three crests on the back of its head.
In the early 1994 script for TriStar Pictures' American Godzilla film by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot, the Gryphon was created by a hostile alien race as a biological weapon designed to wipe out life on Earth and allow the aliens to colonize the planet for themselves. The monster first arrived at a lake in Utah, United States within a meteorite, sending Probe Bats to gather the genetic material from many different Earth animals to construct a new body for itself. Godzilla, a monster created by an ancient civilization by combining dinosaur genes many years ago to yard off this threat, begun to travel toward the site to destroy the meteor and probe bats, but was tranquilized and captured at the Golden Gate Bridge by Jill Llewellyn and the Navy. With the only creature that could stop them in custody, the Probe Bats continued to gather DNA from various animals to construct a body for the monster. After learning of this growing threat, Vaught, and local store keeper Nelson Fleer, headed toward the lake to investigate, but they were too late. The Gryphon finally emerged with a completed body, and traveled to New York. Godzilla reawakened and met up with the Gryphon in NY, where they did battle. The Gryphon had the upper hand at first due to a tranquilizer tank on Godzilla's neck still being active, but Godzilla eventually breaks free from the fluid and turned the tide of the battle. Godzilla then defeated and beheaded the Gryphon, destroying it.
A popular misconception is that Toho's agreement with TriStar forbade them from creating any monsters of their own. Toho allegedly told TriStar that if "their" Godzilla was to battle another creature, it had to be a Toho creation. The two monsters Toho offered, Mothra and King Ghidorah, were supposedly too expensive, making TriStar decline. However, this was not the case. While screenwriters Ted Eliott and Terry Rossio originally planned for King Ghidorah to be Godzilla's enemy in their film, they created the Gryphon after learning that King Ghidorah would have to be licensed separately from Toho. Sony's executives could not agree on the proposed budget for the film, eventually causing would-be director Jan De Bont to drop out of the project. After several rewrites to the script and unsuccessful attempts to renegotiate the budget and find a new director, TriStar brought in Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin to direct and produce the film, who accepted on the condition that they be allowed to discard the original script and handle the film however they wanted. Their new script removed the Gryphon from the story and made Godzilla the central antagonist of the film. Ironically, Emmerich and Devlin's GODZILLA ended up being more expensive than the proposed budget for De Bont's film that Sony and he could not agree on.
The Gryphon can attack with claws and teeth. It also has a hydra-headed snake tongue in its mouth.
The Gryphon can fire blasts of electricity from its wings.
The Gryphon can modify Probe Bats to collect animals for it, and absorb genetic material from different creatures to build a new body for itself.
By accessing Pike's memories, the Gryphon understood that it could weaken Godzilla by exposing him to a tank of amniotic fluid.
- The role of the MUTOs in Legendary Pictures' Godzilla somewhat mirrors that of the Gryphon from the unmade 1996 film, in that they wreak havoc in the United States while the military initially considers Godzilla to be a threat. In both scenarios, the military is ultimately forced to let Godzilla battle his enemy himself in a major city. Godzilla also kills the female MUTO by beheading her, which was how he destroyed the Gryphon in the 1994 script.
- The Gryphon's role is also reflected by Gyaos from Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, which is also a malevolent monster created by an ancient civilization that threatens to wipe out all life on Earth and continues to evolve throughout the film. It too is opposed by another monster engineered by an ancient civilization, in this case Gamera, and is allowed to run rampant while the misguided military focuses its attention on Gamera. It is ultimately defeated following a battle in a major city, Tokyo in this film, when Gamera decapitates it with a fireball.
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