Resurrection of Godzilla (1980)
Following the closure of the Showa series in 1975 with Terror of Mechagodzilla, Toho and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka spent the better part of a decade searching for the right film to revive the Godzilla series. In 1980, Tanaka and Akira Murao pitched a new film in the series titled Resurrection of Godzilla. The film would effectively reboot the franchise, ignoring all entries in the series save for the original 1954 film. While Tanaka felt the proposal incorporated many of the ideas he wanted for a new Godzilla film, it went through several revisions over the next four years, with Hideichi Nagahara collaborating with Tanaka to create a new proposal in 1983. Ultimately, Resurrection of Godzilla became The Return of Godzilla, the 30th anniversary celebration of the franchise and the first entry in the second series of Godzilla films, the Heisei series. Many plot points and elements from Resurrection of Godzilla were carried over into the finished film, although the overall story is much different.
A shapeshifting mystical creature called Bakan appears in Japan and battles the JSDF, switching between its three forms: an ape, a dragon and a fish. Meanwhile, illegal nuclear dumping in the Pacific Ocean awakens Godzilla, who travels to Japan in search of more nuclear fuel. When Godzilla arrives, he encounters Bakan, who is unable to defeat Godzilla and is eventually destroyed. With Bakan out of the way and the JSDF's advanced "super weapons" destroyed, Godzilla rampages through Japan, causing the government to fear he will attack Tokyo. A scientist named Dr. Inamura is convinced to use his nuclear fission device, the Reiconium, in order to hopefully kill Godzilla. The Reiconium is used to lure Godzilla to a remote atoll, and is detonated once Godzilla nears it. Godzilla is consumed in a fiery explosion and falls into the sea, seemingly defeated. However, Godzilla later washes ashore on the west coast of the United States, where he is awakened by a nearby nuclear power plant and lets out a vicious roar.
- This is the first proposed appearance of the kaiju Bagan, who would later be considered for the unmade film Mothra vs. Bagan before making his debut in the video game Super Godzilla. Some publications refer to this initial version of the monster as "Bakan."
- Worth noting is that Bagan's design in Resurrection of Godzilla is very different from his design from Mothra vs. Bagan and Super Godzilla.
- Had this film been made, Bagan would have been Toho's first chimeric monster, with his final form being comprised of all his previous forms. Toho would later go on to make several monsters in the Godzilla series be hybrids between Godzilla and another creature.
- Several plot points from this proposal were carried over into The Return of Godzilla, including the giant sea louse Shockirus, the JSDF's secret possession of advanced military crafts, the main characters being left behind after an attempted helicopter rescue, and Godzilla feeding on nuclear energy.
- The role of the Reiconium in this script is similar to the Oxygen Destroyer in the original film. Both are powerful chemical weapons that were invented in the hopes of benefiting humanity, but are forced to be used as weapons against Godzilla despite their creators' misgivings. Like Daisuke Serizawa in the original film, a character by the name of Dr. Radner sacrifices his own life to detonate the Reiconium and stop Godzilla. While the Oxygen Destroyer killed Godzilla, the Reiconium would not have done so.
- Translated summary of Tomoyuki Tanaka's story proposal, as published in "Godzilla" Toho Special Effects Unpublished Material Archive: Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and His Era
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