Lost Project: Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft)

Unmade Film
Intended Release:
1975

Conceived by:

Yukiko Takayama

Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft)


Japanese Title

メカゴジラの逆襲
[Mekagojira no Gyakushu]

While doing research on ways to control sea life, Dr. Mafune uncovers two dragon-like monsters called the Titans. Revealing his findings to his colleagues, the other scientists disregard his outlandish claims and after an outburst Mafune leaves the institution. However, the doctor continues his research with the help of his only daughter, Katsura. Consumed by rage for his mistreatment, Mafune becomes obsessed with his work and ultimately learns to control the two dinosaurs.

Many years later, the doctor is confronted by a group of mysterious men asking for the aide of the two Titans. They reveal themselves to be spacemen from the black hole, and explain how they want the Titans to join forces with their newly constructed Mechagodzilla II - a proposition to which the doctor agrees. However, Mafune starts to become envious of the robotic monster, and sends out the two Titans to attack Tokyo ahead of schedule. The two Titans manage to merge into a much larger Titan, which has a brief fight with Godzilla before retreating back to the sea.

A second attack is then prepared, this time with both the fused Titan and Mechagodzilla II. The two monsters immediately start leveling Tokyo, and Godzilla once again appears to stop them. During the skirmish, the entirety of Tokyo is leveled, but in the end Godzilla emerges victorious.

Background - Images - Concept Evolution

LOST PROJECT HISTORY

The original screenplay that Yukiko Takayama created after winning Toho's story contest for the next establishment in the Godzilla series, which was picked by assistant producer Kenji Tokoro and was submitted for approval on July 1st, 1974, less than four months after Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) was released.

The original concept is similar to the finished version of Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), with many of the changes being budgetary in nature. The most obvious alteration is the removal of the two Titans, which merged to create a singular Titan in the first draft. It was an interesting concept, although something that was also underexplained considering the magnitude of such an occurrence of the creatures merging. Another noticeable change to the script is that of the final battle, which doesn't move to the countryside but instead would have reduced Tokyo to rubble during the ensuing conflict between the three monsters.

After her initial draft, Takayama submitted a revised version on October 14th, 1974. This went through a third revision on December 4th, and then yet another on December 28th of that same year before it was met with approval and filming began.


Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Background and Trivia

  • The illustrations of the Titans featured in the article picture were created by artist Chris Eye and commissioned for use on Toho Kingdom by staff. They were not created by Toho nor are they their official looks for the unused characters.
  • During an interview with David Milner for the magazine Cult Movies #12 (1994), writer Yukiko Takayama noted that her script underwent heavy revisions before filming, although her priority during the process was to maintain the integrity of the Katsura character. In particular the concept that after being altered and turned into a cyborg she “still had emotions… as long as this idea was not removed from the script I didn’t care that much about what was done.” Takayama said many of the screenplay revisions were budgetary in nature, aimed more towards the special effects sequences. The original draft also contained two monsters, called Titans, that would fuse to form a more powerful Titan. This was dropped in favor of a single Titanosaurus concept. Additionally, all of Tokyo was originally going to be destroyed during the battle. However, the scope of this destruction is greatly minimized in the final film.
  • In the article "Words from the Heart: Yukiko Takayama Remembers Terror of Mechagodzilla" by totorom in issue #91 (Spring 2010) of the quarterly fanzine G-FAN, Takayama mentioned that one of the earliest working titles for the movie was Revenge of Mechagodzilla (Japanese: メカゴジラの復讐). She also noted that she was also partly influenced by 2001: A Space Odyessey (1968) when creating her draft.
  • In Age of the Gods (self-published), director Ishiro Honda thought of the original concept involving the Titan monsters as “psychological – you could even call it poetic – but not terribly cinematic.”

Images


Concept Evolution

Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft) Concept Evolution Terror of Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft)   Terror of Mechagodzilla