Lost Project: Godzilla vs. Hedorah II

Unmade Film
Intended Release:

Conceived by:

Yoshimitsu Banno

Godzilla vs. Hedorah II

Japanese Title

ゴジラ対ヘドラ II
[Gojira tai Hedora II]

Born from chaotic and turbulent conditions in Africa, Hedorah emerges again. As the Smog Monster lays siege to the continent, Godzilla arrives to once again do battle with the pollution spawned being.

Background - Images - Concept Evolution


Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had been hospitalized during the bulk of the development for Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). Upon recovery and seeing the movie, the producer was infamously distraught by the final product, although the extent of his displeasure has been debated due to mixed reports.

Despite being unhappy with the 1971 Godzilla film, the producer held no animosity against the director, Yoshimitsu Banno. In fact, the producer was impressed by Banno's work on Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974), whose on screen credit as a writer and assistant director undersells his contributions to the movie. As a result, following the completion of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), the producer tapped Banno to direct the 15th film in the Godzilla franchise. This included an announcement from Toho, noting that the 1975 Godzilla movie was to be headed by Banno.

Given the assignment, Banno first envisioned Godzilla having to fight a mutated starfish for the film. However, he pivoted toward doing a sequel to his 1971 movie instead, pitting the King of the Monsters in a rematch with Hedorah in Africa. Although the continent feels like a stark contrast to the heavily developed, overly polluted Japan seen in the 1971 film, it was at that time still making headlines for deforestation and droughts. In justifying the choice, Banno noted in an interview that "if those chaotic, dynamic countries developed a little further it wouldn't be implausible for Hedorah to show up there."

However, Tanaka was ultimately displeased with the idea. As a result, the producer pulled Banno and started to push the next Godzilla film in a totally different direction. This included a story contest to decide the concept and with Ishiro Honda at the helm.


Background and Trivia

  • Note: the name of the project is unknown. Godzilla vs. Hedorah II is used as a placeholder although it very well could have been something like Hedorah's Counterattack (ヘドラの逆襲 - Hedora no Gyakushu) if one was to use the same naming convention as Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).
  • This concept is often confused as one planned for 1972. This is the result of timetables rarely being given when the subject is brought up in interviews with Yoshimitsu Banno. However, from producer Tomoyuki Tanaka's involvement, it's clear the project was intended for a 1975 release. This is why the image above, created by Dao Zang Moua for Toho Kingdom, uses a later version of the suit.
  • The project wasn't very developed before it was canceled. In a much later interview, Yoshimitsu Banno was quoted as saying the "only idea I had in that regard was that Hedorah appears in Africa". This is noted in an interview found in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813), which is also where the "if those chaotic, dynamic countries developed a little further it wouldn't be implausible for Hedorah to show up there" quote comes from.
  • Age of the Gods (self-published) states that although producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was originally appalled with Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), director Yoshimitsu Banno had proven himself to the producer thanks to his work on Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974). So when it came time to announce the 15th Godzilla film, Toho originally did so citing that Banno would be returning to the director's chair for the movie.
  • Part of the inspiration to stage the movie in Africa came from director Yoshimitsu Banno's interest in the 1966 Italian movie Africa Addio, known in the US as Africa Blood and Guts. The film is mondo (an exploitation documentary) and features brutal footage captured in Africa, including of execution and mass graves. The director notes that when coming up with a sequel with Hedorah, that he was "really into [Gualtiero] Jacopetti and [Franco] Prosperi's movie, Africa Addio at the time." Mentioned in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • In Age of the Gods (self-published), it is referenced that producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was the one to ultimately cancel the project as he was unhappy with the concept.
  • Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474) notes that producer Tomoyuki Tanaka had been hospitalized for most of the production of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). It also cites an interview excerpt from special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano claiming he heard the producer tell director Yoshimitsu Banno that he "ruined Godzilla" after seeing the finished movie. It should be noted, though, that Banno himself has denied that Tanaka said this.

Concept Evolution

Godzilla vs. Hitodah Concept Evolution Godzilla vs. Hedorah II Concept Evolution Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft) Concept Evolution Terror of Mechagodzilla
Godzilla vs. Hitodah   Godzilla vs. Hedorah II   Terror of Mechagodzilla (Early Draft)   Terror of Mechagodzilla