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Bagan
Conceived By: Tomoyuki Tanaka & Akira Murao / Kazuki Omori
  Powers/Weapons: Flight; can change between a land, aquatic and flying form; changing forms fully regenrates Bagan; able to transform into a larger state but can no longer change forms / Flight; able to fire a beam from his mouth
Considered For: The Reawakening of Godzilla (1980); Mothra vs. Bagan; Godzilla vs. Bagan
Unused Character  

 Description

Toho's most well known failed creation, who was up for a couple screenplays as well as being featured in some of the 1990's Godzilla merchandise. Although up for three films, there are two distinct versions of the character.

The first, and less remembered, is the 1980 version envisioned for The Reawakening of Godzilla. Created by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and Kill! (1968) writer Akira Murao, the first depiction had a shape shifting beast that could alter between a gorilla-like land form, a fish-like aquatic form and a dragon-like flying form. Shape shifting between the forms would fully heal Bagan, which is the primary strife given to Godzilla as he can't injure the creature enough in a single blow to kill it. Oddly enough, Bagan can also transform into a larger beast... but loses the healing ability and this ends up being his downfall as Godzilla can defeat him in this stage.

The second rendering of Bagan occurred following production on Godzilla vs. Biollante in 1989. Toho felt it was time to resurrect the second most popular kaiju, and one of their most recognizable characters: Mothra. For this perceived project, the firm decided to pit the deity against an all new foe for the big screen: Bagan. Despite sharing the name with the 1980 concept, Toho went back to the drawing board. While the creature did grow wings during the film, it lost the shape shifting element and was given an oral beam that it could fire from its mouth. The beast was also now grounded in Chinese mythology in order to work in the location aspect of the production. Of course, in the end, the monster is laid to waste by Mothra.

Unfortunately, the ambitious movie, titled Mothra vs. Bagan and slated for a 1990 release, never came to pass, even though producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had given the project his blessings. The production's cancellation lay in the fact that Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) didn't meet Toho's expectations at the box office, and creating a larger budgeted Mothra picture was deemed an unwise move by the company.

The project didn't mark the end of Bagan, though, as four years later the creature was again being proposed for a new film. To garnish the creature a reputation before the movie hit the big screen, Bagan was placed as the final boss in the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) game Super Godzilla. The production was planned for a 1995 release, and dubbed Godzilla vs. Bagan. However, Bagan's big screen appearance was not in the cards. With Tristar's GODZILLA (1998) looming on the horizon, Toho decided to finish their Heisei series and started work on Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), which marked the end of Bagan's failed career.

Three years later, Bagan gave his last hurrah when he was featured, alongside Dogolas, in the 1998 CD-Rom Godzilla Movie Studio Tour. The disc revealed how close the monster has come to being made as it featured what appears to be a highly detailed, full color and poseable character design model that has been produced.

Note: The pictures seen, above and below, were taken from the Godzilla Movie Studio Tour CD-Rom. They, like all of the other pictures in the program, were originally uploaded as gifs at less than 128 colors, which is why some of the shots look very rough.

Images