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
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
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
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
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
(1998) looming on the horizon, Toho decided to
finish their Heisei series and started work on
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.