Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal)

Unmade Film
Intended Release:
1980

Conceived by:

Akira Murao,
Tomoyuki Tanaka

Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal)


Japanese Title

ゴジラの復活
[Gojira no Fukkatsu]

The Northern Alps are shrouded in dusk. In an instant, Mount Kiso Ontake violently erupts, and a huge, dinosaur-like silhouette is spotted by Shinpei Muraki, a photographer for the news company World Press. While investigating the incident, Muraki rescues a female hiker, who holds a large fern-like plant in her arms, and he snaps pictures of the silhouette as it disappears into the night.

Elsewhere, a "UFO" is spotted above the skies of Shinshu-Matsumoto, and a Self-Defense Force jet scrambled to the area is destroyed by a pterosaur-like organism.

Muraki learns of this incident, and after spotting the large creature in his photographs, comes to the conclusion that a giant monster is on the loose. While largely ignored, his theory is picked up on by the T University Ancient Biology Laboratory, and Muraki meets with Akiko Inamura, a female assistant biology professor and the same woman he rescued at Mount Ontake. She reveals to Muraki that the plant she was holding was an ancient species of fern from over 230 million years ago, and that more ferns like it were sprouting up around the Fossa Magna fault line.

Later that night, Akiko introduces Muraki to her father, the brilliant Masao Inamura. Inamura is responsible for the creation of a "Laser Nuclear Power Plant" at the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute, utilizing a superatom called "Reikanium" in order to create a new generation of nuclear power plants without the fear of radioactivity. However, the super nucleus Reikanium could also be very effectively weaponized, forcing Inamura to keep his manufacturing method a secret.

During their discussions, the subject of Akiko's mother is brought up. A woman of Chinese descent, "Reika" died while giving birth to Akiko, though Inamura sorrowfully refuses to share more details. Suddenly, news of the charter cargo ship the Shigefuku-Maru's disaster circulates on the news, as the ship vanished somewhere in the Devil's Sea triangle.

As the ship belonged to the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute and was used for dumping radioactive waste in the Mariana Trench, Inamura becomes suspicious of the vessel's whereabouts. The ship was far off its usual course, causing Inamura to suspect it was dumping radioactive waste illegally.

Meanwhile, Muraki and Akiko search for the mystery monster of the Northern Alps, and discover a giant sea dragon residing at the bottom of the Kuroyon Dam. After an assault by the JSDF, the sea dragon reveals itself, and the dumbfounded Akiko identifies the creature as the "Water God Beast", a creature she read about in Chinese literature due to her interest in her mother's homeland. The legend also described two other monsters - a "Monkey God Beast" and a "Dragon God Beast" - and all three beings were said to be controlled by the powerful magic beast named "Bakan".

After the JSDF's failed assault against the Water God Beast, the creature mysterious disappears underwater and the Monkey God Beast appears out of nowhere. Soon after, the ape-like creature vanishes into the trees, only for the Dragon God Beast to fly into the skies, engaging Phantom units dispatched to the area and later retreating into the Alps.

The appearance of the three monsters causes an uproar in Japan, and Muraki's scoop coupled with Akiko's comments end up gaining a lot of attention. Akiko and Muraki are later assigned to a "Monster Task Force" designed to hunt the three monsters.

Meanwhile, Isao Kagami of the lost Shigefuku-Maru is miraculously rescued, and he describes a terrifying tale: after being swallowed into an undersea cavern, his fellow survivors were brutally murdered by man-eating plants and blood-sucking mites, while Kagami encountered the body of a massive creature sleeping in the sea. Upon seeing a sketch of the creature, Inamura recognizes the beast as the "Nuclear Incarnation" Godzilla, and he joins an investigative team to seek out the monster at the Devil's Sea triangle. Upon reaching the area, however, Inamura is targeted by a nuclear submarine of unknown nationality, the people aboard wanting his manufacturing method for Reikanium. But the submarine, startled by a regretful Kagami wishing to atone for his mistakes for illegally dumping radioactive waste, ends up colliding with the undersea cavern, releasing strong amounts of radiation and reviving the sleeping Godzilla.

Elsewhere, the Monkey God Beast is discovered hiding in a canyon in the Alps. After being buried in rubble by the specialized VTOL aircraft Super-Weapon "Flying Angel", the Dragon God Beast appears, only to flee south towards the awakened Godzilla. The two briefly fight before disappearing into the ocean, and Godzilla eventually resurfaces at Kujuukuri Beach - its target being the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute.

During an assault by the JSDF and the Super-Weapons Flying Angel and the submersible Giant Bus, the Water God Beast reappears as well, and in the ensuing scuffle the Super-Weapons are destroyed. Suddenly, the Water God Beast leaps into the sky, transforming into the Dragon God Beast, and after reaching land, the pterosaur-like creature morphs into the Monkey God Beast, confirming Akiko's suspicions that the shapeshifting monster was indeed the Demon Beast Bakan of Chinese legend.

Bakan rapidly exhausts Godzilla, who collapses onto the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute's nuclear reactor's core, seemingly dead. But Bakan's victory is short-lived as Godzilla's body quickly absorbs the core's released radioactivity. With renewed vigor, Godzilla gains the upper hand in the fight, and Bakan is disposed of once and for all by a powerful atomic ray, its body disappearing into the sea.

After Godzilla returns to the ocean, the world is once again in a panic, as Godzilla's movements have it heading towards Tokyo, and fears that a worldwide economic crisis have both Japanese and Western forces on Inamura's doorstep, appealing for the use of his Reikanium. Their plan is to turn Godzilla's body into a giant nucleus using the superatom, and fire a laser beam from the military satellite "Red Bird" to trigger nuclear fusion within Godzilla's own body. However, the bedridden Inamura continually refuses the appeal, even after Godzilla reappears and places his own daughter in harm's way, much to Muraki's dismay.

Elsewhere, while retrieving her mother's photo and her father's diary from her family house in the path of Godzilla, Akiko narrowly avoids the monster's wrath, escaping into a drainage system with other survivors, and barely outrunning a deadly poison gas released within the sewers. Akiko and her group attempt to reach the summit of a nearby mountain using a ropeway, only to be stranded midair when a fire destroys the power generator. Just as all hope seems lost, Muraki arrives in a helicopter and rescues the survivors, dropping them off at a nearby safe zone, but ends up seriously injured after Godzilla blasts the helicopter with an atomic ray.

Remarkably, both Muraki and Akiko survive, and after the pleading of his daughter and remembering fond memories of his wife, Inamura gives in to the government's appeal.

Godzilla is successfully lured to the Bayonnaise Rocks using plutonium and away from Tokyo, and after being struck by small explosions of Reikanium, the military satellite Red Bird unleashes its powerful laser beam, causing nuclear fusion in Godzilla's body. The monster's white hot body explodes into a massive fireball, and it disappears from sight. And as everyone watching aboard an escort vessel cheer, Inamura sees the illusion of his wife, who nods at him reassuringly, as if to soothe his agony for weaponizing the Reikanium, and the scientist drops dead. Akiko learns that both her parents were victims of Hiroshima 35 years ago, and that her mother actually died due to radiation poisoning, while her father suffered with it for the remainder of his life, becoming a nuclear physicist and dedicating himself to finding a peaceful use for nuclear energy as a result. Muraki consoles the grief-stricken Akiko, and both read the final words of Inamura in his diary: "Godzilla is immortal. As long as there's a nuclear threat in the world, Godzilla will be revived however many times."

Elsewhere, off the West Coast of the United States where nuclear power plants are stationed, the giant black body of Godzilla rises from the ocean. As if to prove that it will continue to live as long as there are nuclear weapons on Earth, Godzilla musters continuous, earth-shattering roars.

 

※ For a more detailed look at the plot, please refer to the article: Tanaka's Proposal: Resurrection of Godzilla Story Translation

Background - Images - Concept Evolution

LOST PROJECT HISTORY

After KING of MONSTERS: Resurrection of Godzilla failed to be greenlit, writer Akira Murao went back to the drawing board. By this point, "Godzilla" was now becoming a household name worldwide, in the same league as Mickey Mouse, King Kong, or Superman. Earning foreign capital was also becoming commonplace in the box office market, and Toho wanted to pursue pioneering a major Sci-Fi movie that represented Japan using Godzilla. Unfortunately, due to soaring production costs, paying down a Godzilla-related production post-release of Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) had been driven to a difficult place. Regardless, Tomoyuki Tanaka was adamant in creating a film aimed more towards adults, after the Showa-era Godzilla films had become overly-inclined to catering to a lower age group. Tanaka wanted a film reminiscent to the original 1954 Godzilla, in that the fear of nuclear war was a theme but with a modern twist, while also being a bold spectacle that could be enjoyed by people overseas and keep up with cinematic titans such as Star Wars and Superman.

Influenced by the global Sci-Fi trend and keeping Tanaka's words in mind, Akira Murao started work on the fourth major draft of a "Resurrection of Godzilla", which continued to borrow elements from previous manuscripts, while also introducing one of its most noteworthy inclusions - the legendary Chinese monster Bakan, a creature capable of shapeshifting between three different forms, each with their own unique powers. In addition, several "Super-Weapons" were thrown into the mix for added variety, acting largely as fodder while keeping the battle between Godzilla and Bakan as one of the primary aspects of the film.

This revised manuscript for a "Resurrection of Godzilla" was created to commemorate Toho's 50th anniversary since its founding in 1932, and the printed 47-page proposal was presented to Toho by Tanaka in hopes of a 1980 release.

Sadly, while the proposal did pique Toho's interest, it simply would have been too much of a gamble to produce something so costly, even with Godzilla's name attached.

Following this, a very similar draft would be submitted by writer Shuichi Nagahara in 1983 for a 1984 release, but this too would meet a similar fate as Tanaka's proposal. Finally, after years of revisions, the "Resurrection of Godzilla" would meet its release in Japan under the title "Godzilla", or The Return of Godzilla (1984) internationally.


Monsters

Meat-Eating Plant
Meat-Eating Plant



Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Flying Angel
Flying Angel
Unknown Nuclear Submarine
Unknown Nuclear Submarine
Giant Bus
Giant Bus
Red Bird
Red Bird



Background and Trivia

  • The article and gallery pictures featuring Bakan's Monkey God Beast, Water God Beast, and Dragon God Beast models were created by digital artist Digiwip using published artwork as a basis and commissioned for use on Toho Kingdom by staff. They are not created by Toho nor are they their official designs for the unused character.
  • The intended release date for Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal) of 1980 is often mistakenly associated with the manuscript created by Shuichi Nagahara in 1983, Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft), though it is understandable given how similar the two drafts are.
  • The ending sequence where Dr. Inamura sees an illusion of his wife and subsequently dies is incredibly reminiscent to the end of Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), where protagonist Dr. Shiragami sees an image of his deceased daughter in Biollante's ascent and is shot dead by an assassin very shortly after.
  • The illustrated poster for The Return of Godzilla (1984) created by Noriyoshi Ohrai, featuring a vibrant red-colored Godzilla looming over a city, may actually have been inspired by the events of this unmade film. When Godzilla is exposed to the Reikanium and shot by a laser beam from space, his body explodes in a white-hot light, similarly to what is transpiring on the aforementioned movie's poster. This would not be the first time Ohrai would use early drafts of Godzilla movies as a basis for his art, as an early concept for the 1993 Mechagodzilla, dubbed "Union Mechagodzilla", can be seen on his illustrated poster for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), while two Mothra Larva can be seen on his poster for Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), where one of the larva was originally intended to be a Gigamoth Larva.

Images


Concept Evolution

Resurrection of Godzilla (1st Draft) Concept Evolution Godzilla, Great Resurrection! Concept Evolution From the Bride of Godzilla: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (2nd Draft) Concept Evolution
Resurrection of Godzilla (1st Draft)   Godzilla, Great Resurrection!   From the Bride of Godzilla: Resurrection of Godzilla   Resurrection of Godzilla (2nd Draft)  
Tanaka's Order for Nakanishi: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (3rd Draft) Concept Evolution KING of MONSTERS: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution Revived Devil: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution
Tanaka's Order for Nakanishi: Resurrection of Godzilla   Resurrection of Godzilla (3rd Draft)   KING of MONSTERS: Resurrection of Godzilla   Revived Devil: Resurrection of Godzilla  
Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal) Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft) Concept Evolution The Return of Godzilla
Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal)   Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft)   The Return of Godzilla