Lost Project: GODZILLA 2 (TriStar)

Unmade Film
Intended Release:
2000

Conceived by:

Tab Murphy

GODZILLA 2


Japanese Title

ゴジラ GODZILLA 2
[Gojira GODZILLA 2]

Godzilla is dead. After the military destroyed the creature in New York, the world's scientists begin to dissect it. Scientist Nick Tatopoulos is there. However, feeling guilty over his part in Godzilla's death, Nick promptly leaves. Sneaking past police barricades, Nick searches in the Manhattan underground. Looking where Godzilla had burrowed, he hopes to find some trace of the nuclear creature. To his surprise, he finds the last surviving baby Godzilla, weak from starvation. Nick runs back to the surface to visit a fish market, where he buys every last fish on display. Returning underground, Nick starts to feed the creature until voices in the distance catch their attention. Realizing the baby Godzilla will be destroyed if discovered, Nick uses the remaining fish to lure the young Godzilla to the surface. The pair try their best to avoid the military. However, eventually they attract their attention when the baby Godzilla snaps at a homeless person who screams. Realizing the situation, Nick forces the young Godzilla into the water. The baby Godzilla, which had bonded with Nick, attempts to return to him but Nick starts throwing rocks to chase it away. This works as it swims away.

Two years later a series of strange events begin to occur. A cruise ship is found adrift near Australia, with all passengers gone. A village on Fiji is decimated, it's population completely whipped out without a trace. An Indonesian jet is sliced in half, with no bodies found at the crash site. To address this, a global task force is created with General Hicks leading it. One of their first assignments is to investigate a strange, giant egg sighted in New England. However, upon arriving the egg has already hatched while the town is destroyed, with its inhabitants all gone. With no leads, the task force assumes the Godzilla species is back and on the rampage. Hicks begins to recruit a special team for this assignment.

Meanwhile, Nick and Audrey have just gotten married in Vermont. The pair make their way to a waiting limo. As Nick gets in first, the door suddenly closes and locks before Audrey can get in. The limo then speeds away, as the driver turns to reveal himself as French agent Phillipe Roache. He apologies for interrupting their wedding as he hands Nick a folder about their assignment. Phillipe has been recruited by Hicks, with Nick also eyed for the team. Nick reluctantly agrees to join, although insists that Godzilla couldn't be responsible for these attacks. Phillipe plans to find out one way or another. Although if the culprit is Godzilla, he plans to destroy it.

With the team assembled, they begin their search. Australia, determined as the only landmass in the general vicinity of the incidents big enough to hide Godzilla, is their first stop. While in the outback, they come across biologist Anna Charlton. Anna is uncooperative, asking them to leave so they don't disturb her research. Convinced she's hiding something, Phillipe plants a tracking device on her jeep. While following the vehicle, the pair suddenly hear Godzilla's roar. Going on foot, they discover a full grown Godzilla alongside its young, each around 35 feet in height. The smallest of these young is being attacked by dingoes. The adult Godzilla is roaring at them, ready to advance which spooks the other young Godzilla. Stampeding toward Nick and Phillipe, the pair are narrowly rescued by Anna in her jeep.

Once to safety, they leave the jeep as Phillipe tries to radio an update to General Hicks. However, Anna destroys the radio. She explains she is devoted to protecting the Godzilla species and blames Nick for its almost extinction in 1998. Feeling he has no other choice, Nick reveals what happened two years ago when he saved the infant Godzilla. Phillipe feels betrayed at this news. He reminds them of the danger involved due to the speed at which they multiply. Phillipe will not back down from his mission to notify Hicks and eradicate the Godzillas. Desperate, Nick leaps in the jeep by himself and drives toward the big Godzilla. Seeing the jeep, Godzilla roars at it, shattering the windows in the process. Godzilla raises a foot to smash the vehicle but pauses after eyeing the inhabitant. Recognizing Nick from years ago, the giant creature tries to nuzzle with the scientist, as Phillipe and Anna watch on in astonishment.

Meanwhile, another giant egg is found in Sydney, Australia. Hicks mobilizes, while growing concerned that he still hasn't heard from Phillipe or Nick.

In the outback, the full grown Godzilla begins following Nick everywhere. It even tries to sleep near the scientist to watch over him. As a result, Anna now fully trusts Nick and shares her research. One startling discovery is that a full grown Godzilla can only reproduce once, and that the size of the brood is determined by where it gives birth. However, despite their efforts, they continue to have trouble convincing Phillipe that the species isn't dangerous. Phillipe's suspicion is aroused when they witness the creature sneak off for the North Coast. Jumping into the water, Nick becomes fearful that perhaps some of the attacks are the fault of Godzilla. That it is capturing humans and feeding them to his young. A blue flash of light appears as schools of tuna swim toward the surface. Exploding out of the water, the fish are tossed onto the nearby beach by Godzilla. His young emerge to begin to feast on them. Confident that Godzilla isn't the cause of the attacks, they now wonder what is.

On a hunch, the three visit the original Godzilla's birthplace. Now dubbed as Monster Island, the place is under constant guard from the United Nations. Sneaking by underwater, the three see a giant blue whale that is three times normal size. Once on the island they spy other mutated species. Eventually, they hear a strange buzzing sound and discover a swarm of mutated insects. To their horror, the swarm has human captives. When a human tries to escape, the three witness him being stung to death by the giant insects. The other survivors are then herded underground, where screams are heard before silence. Shortly afterwards, a mammoth insect, called the Queen Bitch, emerges from the underground lair. Feasting on one of her own kind, she then flies off. The trio realize that this mutated insect species is the cause of the recent disasters. They also suspect that Godzilla might be a natural predator to the insects, feeling the solution is to bring Godzilla back to its homeland. This is all interrupted when Phillipe admits he contacted Hicks about the Godzillas in the Outback. Feeling betrayed, Nick and Phillipe fight before Anna breaks it up telling them they need to leave to save Godzilla now.

By the time they make it back, most of the young Godzillas have been killed. The area is ravaged from air and ground strikes from the military. The three arrive just as the task force is advancing on the giant Godzilla and one last baby, the runt who earlier was attacked by dingoes. Nick rushes himself into harm's way, causing Hicks to order a cease-fire. Nick apologies, tears in his eyes, but Godzilla simply roars and burrows itself and its last young to safety.

Meanwhile, Hicks congratulations Phillipe, but is told they made a terrible mistake. The cause of the recent attacks was not from Godzilla at all. On cue, Hicks receives a message from Sydney about the giant egg. Venturing to the city, they see a greenhouse-like enclosure that had been built around the egg, with the area evacuated. Realizing the egg is from the mutated insect species, Nick pleads for it to be destroyed. However, the Queen Bitch suddenly emerges to protect it. Her presence is greeted by a familiar roar as Godzilla bursts through the pavement to do battle. The queen gains the upper hand by stinging Godzilla. As its surviving young tries to rush to its aid, the giant insect attacks and appears to kill it with its stinger. Seeing Anna nearby, the Queen Bitch grabs her as well. In an act of vengeance, the adult Godzilla releases its atomic fire breath, destroying the egg. Shrieking, the queen takes flight toward Monster Island, with Anna in its clutches.

Hicks organizes a military rescue, led by fighter jets. While en-route in a helicopter, Hicks gives Nick a note: his marriage has been annulled. The gravity of the news is interrupted by a swarm of mutated insects. The fighter jets engage them, but are overpowered and destroyed. As the copter begins a crash landing, Godzilla wades ashore. As Nick, Phillipe and Hicks scramble for safety, Godzilla attacks the winged insectoids. With the creatures distracted, Nick and Philipple make their way underground in search of Anna while Hicks waits for reinforcements. In the large underground chambers, they find hundreds of starving survivors guarded by insects. Among them is Anna, still alive. Using incinerator grenades, Nick and Phillipe manage to kill the insects and rescue them. While trying to escape, they are suddenly blocked by the Queen Bitch. Ready to strike, the giant insect is interrupted as Godzilla burrows underground after it. This time Godzilla manages to kill the queen, ending its threat.

As Godzilla emerges to the surface, military reinforcements are waiting for it. Prepared to kill Godzilla, Hicks is about to give the order when the human survivors circle themselves around Godzilla to protect it. Leading them is Phillipe, who Hicks sees. The general calls off the attack, to cheers from the survivors. At that instance, the small, injured Godzilla emerges, having survived the queen's attack. Everyone then watches as the pair return peacefully to the ocean...

Background - Images - Concept Evolution

LOST PROJECT HISTORY

When Sony purchased the rights to create films around the Godzilla character, the company had envisioned creating a franchise. While it was a bumpy start to launch, the company found a creative team in producer Dean Devlin and director Roland Emmerich that carried a concept to release. That led to GODZILLA (1998), which had tremendous licensing from toys and an astounding $150 million in promotional tie ins, such as with Taco Bell.

As the movie neared release, a sequel began early pre-production. Devlin and Emmerich were attached, as producer and director, while Tab Murphy, fresh off his work for Disney's Tarzan, was tapped to write the screenplay. However, during this time the 1998 Godzilla film released in the United States to a $44 million opening weekend. Sony put on a brave face, with a spokesperson noting: "It's the seventh-biggest opening of all time, I don't know how anyone could be disappointed with these numbers." In the years that would follow, though, it became more apparent that the $130 million production, which had $50 million in marketing muscle behind it, missed expectations.

During the next six months, the company was still interested in a sequel but at a reduced budget. However, this idea did not interest Devlin and Emmerich. By December 1998 they publicly noted they would no longer be involved with the sequel, except possibly as executive producers. To muddy the waters further, Toho announced at the end of 1998 they would be making a new Godzilla movie on their own, despite protests from Sony.

While all of this was going on, Tab Murphy worked on writing the sequel. This continued despite Devlin and Emmerich exiting the project altogether in the summer of 1999, realizing the budget would be reduced. As Toho's next film on the character, Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999), neared release, Murphy put the final touches on his script treatment. Submitted on October 19th, 1999, Murphy handed in his concept. The sequel placed Godzilla against a rival creature: a giant mutant insect queen, called the "Queen Bitch". It also featured Godzilla using his atomic breath and almost entirely sidelined the Audrey Timmonds character, even making special note in the treatment of the only time she would be seen at a wedding scene.

The reception at Sony to Murhpy's treatment is unknown. However, the company surprised everyone by announcing they would release Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) in theaters in the US in 2000. Wondering what this meant for the future of GODZILLA 2, Sony Pictures' Chairman John Calley stated it doesn't mean there wouldn't be a sequel, but that creating one was not a priority.

Lacking a champion for the project at Sony, the concept lamented. It was noted that at one time the company considered rebooting it for a fresh start, but ultimately nothing materialized before the rights reverted back to Toho in 2003.


Monsters

Queen Bitch
Mutant Insectoid
Giant Whale
Giant Whale



Background and Trivia

  • Two sequels were planned for GODZILLA (1998), getting as far as being registered with the US copyright office. Registered on April 13th, 1998, the submitted material indicates that the agreement between Toho and TriStar occurred on June 17th, 1997 for these additional entries. The registration numbers are V3414D227 and V3414D224 respectively.
  • The script treatment was submitted by writer Tab Murphy on October 19th, 1999. The full script can be found on Monster Zero.
  • The intended release of the movie is unclear, although had been noted by E! News in 1998 as "probably" coming out in 2000. The script was finished in late 1999, which would place the earliest release date possible as 2000. Had Sony liked the concept and planned to go through with it, it would have had to have released before May 2003. This is because Sony's rights to produce Godzilla films expired on this date according to Sci-Fi Japan, which also notes they considered rebooting the franchise prior to this similar to what was done with The Amazing Spider-man.
  • Word regarding the sequel started early. Director Dean Devlin notes the 1998 movie as Part 1 although cited that at that time nothing had been written for the follow ups. He stated that there is an aspect to Godzilla's "mythology which we do not explore in the first film that can take us into a new direction for the second and third [movies]." An early hint at what the sequel would be comes from an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer with Dean Devlin, where he notes the possibility for the story to be about "Godzillas (as in lots of 'em)". Mentioned in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • For the time line of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's involvement, in December 1998 E! News noted they had already started to distance themselves from the project and would not be involved "except perhaps as executive producers". Sci-Fi Japan notes they left the project entirely in May of 1999. By June of 2000, Devlin opened up in a Los Angeles Times article that it was due to the budget, mentioning: "They wanted to tailor it budget-wise, so it didn't make sense for us creatively."
  • In June 2000, Sony Pictures Chairman John Calley fielded questions about their theatrical release of Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999). Noting to the Los Angeles Times, he stated that it "doesn't preclude the studio from someday making a sequel" to GODZILLA (1998), but Calley admitted it "is not a priority at this time. It's not a picture that people are rushing around the studio trying to get made." He went on to say any sequel "would be made for much less money" noting that the original "cost too much, took a lot of time, a lot of marketing and a lot of technology development. It was a killer." The article also notes that the 1998 movie had $150 million in promotional tie-ins.
  • Sony's initial reaction to the box office of the 1998 Godzilla was more positive as noted in Entertainment Weekly in June of 1998.
  • E! News in 1998 noted that Sony protested, unsuccessfully, to Toho making their own Godzilla movie in 1999.
  • Note the image used for this concept is not representative of how the Queen Bitch would have looked like in the movie. This is Toho Kingdom's interpretation and nothing more. The image of Godzilla used was adapted from the amazing work of JacksonDean.