Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Unmade Film
Intended Release:
2001

Conceived by:

Shusuke Kaneko,
Keiichi Hasegawa,
Masahiro Yokotani

Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus:
Giant Monsters All-Out Attack


Japanese Title

ゴジラ×バラン・バラゴン・アンギラス 大怪獣総攻撃
[Gojira X Baran, Baragon, Anguirus: Daikaiju Sokogeki]

Communication with an American atomic submarine is lost in the waters off the island of Guam. A vessel is then sent out to try and find the missing sub; however, the reconnaissance craft meets the same fate, although it's able to report a sighting of a huge living creature living in the murky depths before being destroyed. The report sends some in the Self Defense Force into a warning stage, as fear starts to linger that Godzilla could be rising again for another attack on humanity.

Meanwhile, a strange phenomenon starts to occur throughout the Japanese islands. The bizarre coincidence is that each of the locations where supernatural incidents occur are the very same areas mentioned in the ancient record, "The Guardian Monsters", where three sleeping giants reside: the white wind monster, Varadaki; the red-hot monster, Baragora; and the golden freezing monster, Angira. According to ancient folklore, the Royal Court repelled the three deities a thousand years ago, forcing them into a state of hibernation to one day serve as guardians to mankind.

The first of these guardians, Varadaki, rises from the depths of Lake Tazawa in Akita, and attacks campers playing loud music on the lakeside. Next, Angira surfaces in Aokigahara near Mount Fuji and assaults a group of cultists. Finally, a gang of noisy motorcyclists disturb Baragora, whom burrows its way from beneath the earth. While the monsters aren't initially identified, none of the victims from the three areas are found and are presumed eaten, as large amounts of saliva is collected from each of the three sites.

But before the relationship between these incidents and legend can be unlocked, Godzilla appears on land for the first time in nearly fifty years, and commences an assault on Japanese soil. The SDF amounts an offensive against the creature, utilizing Maser Tanks, but their strike proves ineffective against the nuclear menace. Amidst the chaos, TV news reporter Yuri Tachibana pieces together that the earlier mystery attacks were caused by the three Guardian Monsters of legend. She also learns that the reason the three monsters awoke and attacked people was because they had misidentified the commotion as being Godzilla's roars. Armed with the knowledge of the beasts, she informs her father Admiral Taizo Tachibana, who in turn relays the information to the SDF. Now aware of who is friend and who is foe, the SDF rename the three Guardian Monsters: Varadaki becomes "Varan", Baragora becomes "Baragon", and Angira becomes "Anguirus".

The fiery guardian Baragon suddenly appears at the Fuji Speedway and eventually intercepts Godzilla at Owakudani, but is soundly defeated. Godzilla proceeds to Yokohama, where Varan and Anguirus converge to take down the spiteful creature. Meanwhile, Baragon is struck by a lightning bolt and resurrected, and later joins forces with its companions. The three "Guardian Deities of Yamato" fight in unison against Godzilla, forming an incredibly powerful team of cold, heat, and wind, but in the end their efforts prove to be in vain. As Baragon and Anguirus wither away, a mortally wounded Varan catches Yuri on its back as she falls from the Bay Bridge, then perishes as she escapes.

Elsewhere, the SDF, seeing this as their only opportunity, launch their secret super-weapon. A multi-purpose battleship which was constructed due to the SDF's failure to defeat Godzilla nearly 50 years ago, the Gotengo arrives in Yokohama and miraculously finishes off Godzilla once and for all.

Background - Images - Concept Evolution

LOST PROJECT HISTORY

This storyline by Shusuke Kaneko was his original pitch for the "Guardian Monster" concept. The idea was approved by producer Shogo Tomiyama, but to Tomiyama's surprise his superiors requested changes to the concept, insisting on the inclusion of Mothra and King Ghidorah into the story due to character bankability, as well as wanting more "flashy" monsters. After the dismal box office performance of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), some in Toho felt this was the last chance for the Godzilla series in a box office environment that continued to favor non-special effects domestic features.

Reportedly, Kaneko agreed after discussing the situation with some of his friends and discovering that most of them weren't familiar with the monsters he was proposing. His compromise, though, was to still include Baragon in the final treatment. Thus, Varan and Anguirus were replaced by Mothra and King Ghidorah respectively, and the screenplay was further altered as the Gotengo and Maser Tanks were also dropped in favor of more realistic military weapons, with the Gotengo in particular being replaced by the much smaller D-03-equipped Satsuma.

As it turns out, the final product would go on to be the most successful film in the Millennium series at the box office, and convinced Toho to continue the Godzilla series for a few more years.


Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Gotengo (2001)
Gotengo (2001)



Background and Trivia

  • The initial concept was submitted on July 28th, 2000, and was done by just Shusuke Kaneko. The director was joined by Keiichi Hasegawa and Masahiro Yokotani when the concept was adapted for a screenplay treatment.
  • In regards to the title, the first screenplay was submitted on November 30th, 2000 with the name: Godzilla X Varan · Baragon · Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (ゴジラ×バラン・バラゴン・アンギラス 大怪獣総攻撃). Upon revision, it was resubmitted on January 19th, 2001 as Godzilla X Mothra · Baragon · King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (ゴジラ×モスラ・バラゴン・キングギドラ 大怪獣総攻撃) with Varan and Anguirus being replaced by Mothra and King Ghidorah respectively, before the final draft dropped both the "X" and "Baragon" from the name. These titles are found on the covers of the various screenplays.
  • In an interview featured in the 2001 book Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Super Complete Works (ISBN: 409101481X), Kaneko talks about how when going back to the drawing board after he found Godzilla vs. M to be too tragic and somewhat uninteresting, the concept for Godzilla to battle three guardian monsters popped into his head, exclaiming the idea was "sudden". He also points out that another reason for King Ghidorah and Mothra being chosen as replacements was to bring a more "festive" feeling to the movie as it ushered in the New Year.

    Also featured in the book are prototype sculpts of Godzilla in more horizontal and vertical stances, as sculptor Fuyuki Shinada (seen in the gallery with modeling assistant Takuya Yamabe) played around with the idea on which to use - a leaning posture so Godzilla could more effectively fight his quadrupedal foes, or an upright posture more inspired by the incarnations from Godzilla (1954) and The Return of Godzilla (1984). As time went on and an early suit was constructed, Godzilla was given the more vertical posture, with his mouth being capable of fully closing and sporting two small fangs. However, the suit design was further modified, and it was decided to give Godzilla more of a hunch by fusing aspects of his vertical and horizontal concepts, and having him bare a full set of teeth with much larger fangs at the expense of his mouth only being able to partially close.
  • In the plot, the three Guardian Monsters are named "Varadaki" (波羅蛇麒 [バラダキ], "Baradaki") for Varan, "Baragora" (罵螺醍羅 [バラゴラ]) for Baragon, and "Angira" (晏麒羅 [アンギラ]) for Anguirus. The monsters would only gain their traditional names when renamed by the SDF in a sequence very similar to the final movie. Incidentally, while Baragon would be the only one of the three initial guardians to remain in the final script, much like King Ghidorah and Mothra, his original name would be retained, albeit not traditionally spelled using Katakana (婆羅護吽 [バラゴン], "Baragon"). Likewise, a tribute to Godzilla and Anguirus's first battle from 1955's Godzilla Raids Again would be incorporated in the final movie, when Godzilla bites into one of Ghidorah's necks and draws blood. These details were included in a special booklet supplied with the 2002 Toho-published 3-disc DVD set of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001).
  • Some of the images in the gallery with the three Guardian Monsters' models also feature various Toho-related staff in the midst of a story discussion, including Fuyuki Shinada, Makoto Kamiya, Satoshi Murakawa, Mamoru Oshii, Eriko Suzukawa, and Shinji Higuchi. Their talk can be found in the special features of disc 3 of the aforementioned 3-disc DVD set release of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001).

Images


Concept Evolution

Godzilla vs. Kamacuras Concept Evolution Godzilla vs. M Concept Evolution Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Concept Evolution Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla vs. Kamacuras   Godzilla vs. M   Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack   Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack