Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

For discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released from 1980 up to 1998 (includes Gamera 3)
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Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby G2000 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:09 pm

Saw the writeup on the main site but didn't see a thread on it yet. If one exists a merge would be nice.

In the late 1970s, Toho was looking to revive the Godzilla franchise. Looking for fresh ideas for future films, longtime Godzilla producer Tomoyuki Tanaka commissioned several prominent Japanese science fiction authors to write their own takes on Godzilla. One of these authors was Yoshio Aramaki (probably best known in the West for his Konpeki no Kantai series, an alternate history revolving around a victorious Imperial Japanese Navy in WW2). In April of 1979, Aramaki submitted a story treatment known as either God's Godzilla or Godzilla: God's Angry Messenger. A translated version of Aramaki's original story treatment is now on the main site for anyone who wishes to read it; it's fairly "out there" for a Godzilla film.

Spoiler:
The basic backstory of the film was that millions of years ago, a race of "consciousness-based galactic life-forms" descended upon planet Earth to conduct genetic experiments on the dinosaurs inhabiting the planet's surface. These experiments ultimately result in the creation of Godzilla, who is then placed in suspended animation for future use. Godzilla's origins as an alien bioweapon that is later discovered by humanity are somewhat similar to his origins in the famed unused 1994 TriStar script, but yet stranger still even closer to the 1999 Yonggary remake. The aliens remain a force on Earth throughout early human history, serving as the inspiration for the mythical gods of numerous ancient cultures; an element which some have speculated was inspired by Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods, which posited that many ancient myths and architecture were the result of ancient alien visitation.

The film itself begins sometime in the then-near future of the 1980s, as the comatose form of Godzilla is discovered along the South American Nazca Lines. Meanwhile, a worldwide energy crisis mounts. Cold War tensions threaten to boil over into World War III as the opposing blocs struggle for control of Middle Eastern oil reserves. Just as the crisis reaches it's peak, the aliens return to Earth in a starship emitting strange flashing lights that cause hallucinations and nightmares in the humans that look upon them. Their intentions are not made entirely clear by Aramaki’s treatment; they are describes alternately as merely wanting to give humanity a “warning” against their warlike ways or if they truly wish to destroy mankind in an apocalyptic “last judgement”, and some of their later actions (destroying the Van Allen radiation belt) seem as if they would doom humanity for good.

The ship heads for Godzilla's resting place, unleashing him to wreak havoc upon the world. Aramaki describes his version of Godzilla as being a "a malevolent god, a god of destruction, a being akin to the Hindu god Kali," and as being capable of summoning tsunamis against the coastal cities of the world. Some sources, such as John LeMay, claim that this version of Godzilla is able to emit the same nightmare lights as the alien starship from his eyes. In perhaps the strangest element of Godzilla’s depiction, he is controlled by a glowing, golden humanoid being created by the aliens that calls itself “Jesus, Son of God.” Stranger still, Aramaki declares that “Their relationship is akin to a Jungian schema. The humanoid is the superego, and Godzilla is the Unconscious … humanity is the Ego. Thus, humanity … is, unbeknownst to themselves, under the binding spell of the Superego.” The formerly warring nations of the world now rally under the UN to stop Godzilla and his creators, but all efforts prove hopeless. The aliens, for their part, destroy the Van Allen radiation belt as Godzilla wreaks havoc below.

The story ends in Egypt. Commanding the survivors of mankind to “behold their future,” Jesus stands atop the very peak of the tallest of the pyramids in Giza as grotesque images of mankind’s horrifically mutated descendants are projected on the sky above. As Godzilla “crouches like the Sphinx,” Jesus “ascends on a stairway of light to the heavens,” and the film ends.

Definitely would have been a sight to see if nothing else. Much closer to a "Neon Genesis Evanzilla" than Shin Godzilla turned out with it's odd Christian and Freudian symbolism. It seems that Aramaki wanted Tadanori Yokoo, a Japanese artist with a psychedelic sort of style, to direct (he evidently did have some acting and directing experience under his belt), so the film would have probably had some fairly trippy visuals. According to John LeMay the treatment was even translated to English and presented to Henry Saperstein, and when it became clear it would not be adapted into a film Aramaki tried to get it released as a novel, evidently to no avail.

One thing I find interesting about this draft is that despite Godzilla's unusual origins and depiction is that in terms of symbolism he does return to his nuclear roots, in a fashion. He is unleashed by the aliens to punish humanity for their warlike ways as a crisis in the Middle East is on the verge of escalating into WW3; at the time Aramaki wrote his treatment (1979) Cold War tensions were beginning to mount as US-USSR detente fell apart, with a number of crises in the Middle East (most prominently the ongoing Iranian Revolution and the outbreak of civil war in communist Afghanistan that would lead to Soviet intervention later that year) serving as prominent flashpoints. The energy crisis that starts the war, too, is clearly drawn from the real-life oil crises of the 1970s (the first a result of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the second being as a result of the aforementioned revolution in Iran).
Last edited by G2000 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby miguelnuva » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:41 pm

This is without a doubt the Evangelion of Godzilla films, everything about it sounds like an End of Eva version of a Godzilla film. Glad Toho went in a the direct of Godzilla 1984 however. Wonder how traditional Godzilla would have looked. God's angry messenger really does sound like a Shin Godzilla however.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby Arbok » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:28 pm

I definitely got shades of Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974) about a few details, in particular the future glimpse of humanity as mutants and... well the fact that it literally brings up Nostradamus at one point.

Like miguelnuva, real glad this, and a lot of other lost projects of this era, didn't get made so we did end up getting The Return of Godzilla in the end.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:13 pm

Would’ve been way too out there for the early 1980’s, at least I mean I’m glad that things didn’t go to that level until sortve recently. I do like the sort of apocalyptic imagery/fantasy inagery revolved. Feels like after Shin though that this would be sort of be redundant.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby GigaBowserG » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:32 am

G2000 wrote:In April of 1979, Aramaki submitted a story treatment known as either God's Godzilla or Godzilla: God's Angry Messenger.


"God's Godzilla" is the shorter treatment, the other one (titled in full as "Super Godzilla: God's Angry Messenger") is nine times as long and goes into much more detail regarding Godzilla's origin and the destruction of Earth. Shame Aramaki couldn't get a novel released, but at least his stories were shared in some manner.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby G2000 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:07 am

GigaBowserG wrote:
G2000 wrote:In April of 1979, Aramaki submitted a story treatment known as either God's Godzilla or Godzilla: God's Angry Messenger.


"God's Godzilla" is the shorter treatment, the other one (titled in full as "Super Godzilla: God's Angry Messenger") is nine times as long and goes into much more detail regarding Godzilla's origin and the destruction of Earth. Shame Aramaki couldn't get a novel released, but at least his stories were shared in some manner.


Is there a translated version of God's Angry Messenger anywhere for public consumption? Would love to read it.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby kingkevzilla88 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:09 am

Sounds like it would have been a film bursting with trippy, nightmare fuel.

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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby UltramanGoji » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:22 am

I think this would've been an interesting film to say the least, but the treatment didn't get me really invested too much. I feel like a lot of essential foundations are missing from it and as a result the movie would look nice but probably end up being fairly middle-of-the-road.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:22 pm

Glad this wasn't made, seems way too pessimistic for a Godzilla film, and really, really out there lmao. It would've had quite a bit of controversy, especially if the ending showed mutated humans.

Not to mention it completely wraps up its story, and we all know Toho wants sequels. :lol:
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby Living Corpse » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:36 pm

And people said Shin Godzilla was too different.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby GigaBowserG » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:16 pm

G2000 wrote:Is there a translated version of God's Angry Messenger anywhere for public consumption? Would love to read it.


Not to my knowledge, unfortunately.

Arbok wrote:I definitely got shades of Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974) about a few details, in particular the future glimpse of humanity as mutants and... well the fact that it literally brings up Nostradamus at one point.


Turns out in the treatment notes, Prophecies of Nostradamus was indeed an inspiration! (According to a summary in LeMay's "The Lost Films".)
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby Titanoterror98 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:43 am

I think this clip is a good summary of my feelings:


But seriously--as far as apocalypic Godzilla stories go, this would have been the darkest, most controversial, most surreal, most ambitious one of all. However, I'm pretty glad it didn't get made. Between the way it portrays Godzilla himself, Christ, and the end of the world, I don't think it would have sat well with a lot of people. I can see it finding popularity with the arthouse crowd, but otherwise it just sounds too pretentious or pessimistic for casual Godzilla fans and the general audience.

However, it is interesting to note that Return of Godzilla had a certain apocalyptic feel to it as well. Although, it made the wise chocie of tackling nuclear armageddon as opposed to a Biblical/Nostradamus-esque end-of-days scenario.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:04 pm

Titanoterror98 wrote:I think this clip is a good summary of my feelings:


But seriously--as far as apocalypic Godzilla stories go, this would have been the darkest, most controversial, most surreal, most ambitious one of all. However, I'm pretty glad it didn't get made. Between the way it portrays Godzilla himself, Christ, and the end of the world, I don't think it would have sat well with a lot of people. I can see it finding popularity with the arthouse crowd, but otherwise it just sounds too pretentious or pessimistic for casual Godzilla fans and the general audience.

However, it is interesting to note that Return of Godzilla had a certain apocalyptic feel to it as well. Although, it made the wise chocie of tackling nuclear armageddon as opposed to a Biblical/Nostradamus-esque end-of-days scenario.

While I don’t disagree with you in regards to the West and more specifically the United States, I doubt Japanese audiences would have had any issue with any of the religious elements in the script. Additionally we only have the rough outline of what would be done.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby Titanoterror98 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:27 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:
Titanoterror98 wrote:I think this clip is a good summary of my feelings:


But seriously--as far as apocalypic Godzilla stories go, this would have been the darkest, most controversial, most surreal, most ambitious one of all. However, I'm pretty glad it didn't get made. Between the way it portrays Godzilla himself, Christ, and the end of the world, I don't think it would have sat well with a lot of people. I can see it finding popularity with the arthouse crowd, but otherwise it just sounds too pretentious or pessimistic for casual Godzilla fans and the general audience.

However, it is interesting to note that Return of Godzilla had a certain apocalyptic feel to it as well. Although, it made the wise chocie of tackling nuclear armageddon as opposed to a Biblical/Nostradamus-esque end-of-days scenario.

While I don’t disagree with you in regards to the West and more specifically the United States, I doubt Japanese audiences would have had any issue with any of the religious elements in the script. Additionally we only have the rough outline of what would be done.

Fair point. If I remember correctly, the Japanese view Christianity the same way us Westerners view the Greek Pantheon or Shinto Gods. That being, mythology to base their entertainment upon.
And I have to admit, it would be pretty interesting to see just how this movie would have looked for real. No doubt that it would awe-inspiring in every regard.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby miguelnuva » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:43 pm

If they ever wanted to revisit this I feel this is the only way a Shin Godzilla 2 could work.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby AllosaurHell » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:23 pm

miguelnuva wrote:If they ever wanted to revisit this I feel this is the only way a Shin Godzilla 2 could work.


Hmm... So a continent sized Shin Godzilla (with bigger, more useful arms) peaking out of the sky as two of his dorsal fins become large wings and the humanoid Shin Godzillas just destroying stuff all over the planet. End shot is the giant Shin Godzilla spreading his arms out (forming a cross since you know Hideaki Anno loves crosses) while the humanoids try to enslave mankind or something.... No matter what, it's gonna lead to freaky imagery.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby cloverfan98 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:35 pm

I'm not sure what I understand what the goal for this story would have been I mean trippy visuals would have been unique but Godzilla and spiritual concepts were not new to the character then or now. I mean the Odo Island sequence set up the idea of Godzilla as a vengeful god.

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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby AllosaurHell » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:39 pm

cloverfan98 wrote:I'm not sure what I understand what the goal for this story would have been I mean trippy visuals would have been unique but Godzilla and spiritual concepts were not new to the character then or now. I mean the Odo Island sequence set up the idea of Godzilla as a vengeful god.

Yeah but it was still nowhere near as crazy as this, because this story straight up establishes Godzilla as God's messenger of doom whereas the other films had spiritual ties that weren't really connected to Christianity.
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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby Rhedosaurus » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:42 am

You know something? I would really like to see this movie. I'm not sure if it would be good or not, but it would certainly be a very interesting movie to watch.

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Re: Lost Project Discussion: God's Godzilla/God's Angry Messenger (1979-1980)

Postby GoWhaleTours » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:55 am

I love this. I wish this was made.
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