King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla

Unmade Film
Intended Release:

Conceived by:

Akira Murao,
Ryuzo Nakanishi,
Tomoyuki Tanaka

King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla

Japanese Title

[Kingu obu Monsutazu Gojira no Fukkatsu]

While sailing near the Marshall Islands, the Joufuku-maru vessel gets sucked below the surface by a mysterious whirlpool. The crew washes up in an underwater cave, with the captain Ryuzo and his sons being the last to awaken. To their horror, they find their shipmates already dead, killed by tick-like creatures called Shockula. With the Shockula draining the blood from their prey, the captain and his sons became their next target. Ryuzo and one of his sons are unable to escape, falling victim. The last son, Isamu, manages to flee, thanks to the Shockula starting to attack each other in a bloodlust. While escaping, Isamu notices a giant, strangely-shaped rock mass that appears to be breathing. Focused on surviving, he rushes past it and through a tunnel to the surface. He's eventually rescued by a passing boat.

Later, another ship faces a disaster in the area. The Taisho-maru catches fire and explodes after a bright light appears in the water. Masao Tachibana, Chief of Security Intelligence, Science and Technology, is given the news and learns that the Taisho-maru was illegally dumping nuclear waste from the Nankai Nuclear Power Plant.

Wanting to learn more, Tachibana joins an expedition with Isamu to the Joufuku-maru shipwreck in the cave. There Isamu finds the remains of his father and brother. He doesn't see the giant, strangely shaped rock mass anymore, though. Tachibana suspects this all hints toward Godzilla, a creature his father had heavily researched. His hunch is correct as a report of Godzilla comes in not long after the expedition's return. There is also news of another Shockula attack, with one washing ashore before going on a killing spree.

Much later, the Nankai Nuclear Power Plant is infiltrated by terrorists. Taking hostages, they force two of them offsite to start making atomic bombs using plutonium. The terrorists make their intentions clear: to show Japan the horror of nuclear weapons, accusing them of forgetting Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Suddenly, Godzilla appears out at sea. Making landfall, the King of the Monsters destroys where the bombs were being created. He is then drawn to the lights in nearby Hamamatsu City, where he begins a path of destruction. Eventually the self-defense force intercepts and Godzilla returns to the sea. Hundreds perished in the short attack, though, many dying from radiation exposure. Unfortunately, Tachibana finds his wife and newborn child among the casualties.

It's theorized that Godzilla was attracted by the present radioactive material. Consequently, the Nankai Nuclear Power Plant might be his next target. Going on the offensive, the self-defense force locates Godzilla on the seafloor and attacks him with submarines. The assault is ineffective and the nuclear tyrant resurfaces. His target, as predicted, is the Nankai Nuclear Power Plant. Tachibana, realizing that Godzilla was attracted by the lights of Hamamatsu City, orders flares to be fired. Ignited in the Tenryu River, the flares momentarily distract Godzilla. However, the creature ventures onward anyway, destroying the power plant. He then continues toward the city of Shizuoka.

Hoping to lure Godzilla away, a forced blackout occurs at Shizuoka while illuminated helicopters guide the creature to sea. Tachibana then devises a plan: a trap at Mount Mihara using recovered barrels of plutonium as bait. Isamu volunteers to help, captaining the boat loaded with the plutonium. As the ship leaves port, Godzilla appears from Suruga Bay and gives chase. The vessel manages to dock at the recently evacuated Izu Oshima. A truck arrives and recovers the plutonium, driving up to the crater of Mount Mihara while Godzilla advances. As the creature reaches the plutonium, the trap is sprung with nearby explosives detonated. This bathes Godzilla in molten lava, scorching the beast's hide. Injured, Godzilla manages to escape the erupting volcano, tumbling down the mountainside into the ocean.

The nuclear menace is later spotted slowly recovering at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. A global, all-out attack is then launched against Godzilla. Battleships are the first to attack, but are destroyed. A Soviet nuclear submarine and a bomber also engage the creature, only to be decimated. The United States next deploys an experimental ALCM carrying a nuclear warhead. Finding its target, the resulting explosion blows away Godzilla and obliterates the Bikini Atoll. Tachibana witnesses the strike, commenting: "Godzilla is a monster and not a living thing. As long as nuclear weapons exist in the world, it won't die."

Several months later, Godzilla appears on the West Coast of the United States. His target: a nearby nuclear power plant...

Background - Images - Concept Evolution


Despite the middling box office performance of Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), which had the lowest attendance of the first fifteen Godzilla films, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was eager to get another Godzilla movie released. Many concepts were pitched, generally with ressurection (復活) as part of the title.

One of these concepts was "King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla". First proposed in 1977, likely Tanaka under a pseudonym was the one who came up with the overall story. This story was then fleshed out by Ryuzo Nakanishi and Akira Murao, with their draft submitted on June 22, 1977. Jun Fukuda was tapped to direct the production, while a special effects director had not been assigned yet. However, plans for the movie met an unlikely hurdle: Star Wars. Tanaka, having seen the film, wanted to release his own space opera in Japan before the American production would hit Japanese theaters. As a result, both Nakanishi and Fukuda were diverted from this project to develop The War in Space (1977). This led to a break neck schedule for the space opera, one that had Nakanishi submit his first draft on September 13th of 1977 and the final draft just around a month later on October 12th, 1977. That gave the entire crew just two months before its release on December 17th, 1977, which required all hands on deck to achieve.

Although the 1977 space opera diverted resources from the project, it wasn't dead yet. Akira Murao became focused on "King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla". He submitted another draft in 1978 and was still working on the concept in 1980. However, that year also saw Tanaka propose Resurrection of Godzilla, a similar sounding title although one that featured Godzilla against a monster called Bakan.

Ultimaltely, this concept didn't make it through the rigirous process to select the story for the next Godzilla film. However, several elements, such Godzilla attacking a nuclear power plant and the trap at Mount Mihara, did make it into the film which would finally get made: The Return of Godzilla (1984).



Background and Trivia

  • The in-person event called the Toho Studios Innovative Filmmakers in Setagaya (東宝スタジオ展映画=創造の現場), that ran in 2015, lists the project in their program. The listing credits the story to Hachiro Jinguji (a common pen name of Tomoyuki Tanaka) and the screenplay to Akira Murao and Ryuzo Nakanishi. It also notes that Jun Fukuda was going to direct and Tanaka was to produce. It should be noted that this is likely specific to the first attempt to get the project made back in 1977.
  • In a column dedicated to unmade movie proposals, Godzilla Character Encyclopedia: Toho Special Effects Movie Complete History (ISBN: 9784062190046) references the first draft from 1977 with writing credit to Ryuzo Nakanishi, a second draft in 1978 by Akira Murao, and a screenplay submission by Murao in 1980.
  • Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works (ISBN: 4864910138) mentions that around the time The War in Space (1977) was announced at an August press conference, Ryuzo Nakanishi, who was in charge of the script for King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla, and Jun Fukuda, who was scheduled to direct, were moved to work on the 1977 space opera. As for the sense of urgency to beat Star Wars to the Japanese market with this release, this is noted in an interview with Teruyoshi Nakano for a special feature on Toho's DVD release of The War in Space.
  • Godzilla & Toho Tokusatsu Official Mook Vol. 7: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (ISBN: 4065314895) references three drafts being submitted before the story transitioned into "Resurrection of Godzilla" featuring Godzilla, Bakan, and an assortment of superweapons. In these early drafts, the setting of a large cave is retained, but there is no female Godzilla. Likewise, the blood-sucking tick that parasitizes Godzilla is called "Shockula" (ショッキュラ - Shokkyura), spelled differently from the "Shockirus" (ショッキラス - Shokkirasu) that appeared in The Return of Godzilla (1984). It's possible the naming of the creature for this draft is an attempt to be reminiscent of "Dracula" (ドラキュラ - Dorakyura).
  • According to the recollections of assistant producer Fumio Tanaka in Godzilla 1984 Completion (ISBN: 4798618535), Ryuzo Nakanishi was tasked with screenwriting King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla in June 1978, and Akira Murao was later appointed Nakanishi's successor and an order was placed for him to revise the script in 1979. This conflicts with the date printed on the first draft, however, which the author of the book also points out.
  • The entirety of the 128-page Script Draft 1 submitted June 22, 1977 is available in "Godzilla" Toho Special Effects Unpublished Material Archive: Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and His Era (ISBN: 9784048544658). Credits include Tomoyuki Tanaka as the producer; "original idea" by Hachiro Jinguji; screenplay by Akira Murao and Ryuzo Nakanishi; Jun Fukuda as director; and a listing for an unspecified special effects director. While this draft follows "Resurrection of Godzilla 3rd Draft" by Nakanishi, one of the few elements to carry over were the blood-sucking fleas, which were repurposed into giant ticks. The introduction of an adult Minilla (Godzilla) and especially the female Godzilla concept, which was prevalent in Nakanishi's earlier "Resurrection of Godzilla" drafts, did not find their way into future proposals.
    It should be noted that it's this 128-page draft which is described above in the plot area. Given that other drafts exist, it's likely certain elements changed before the overall project was scrapped.


Concept Evolution

Resurrection of Godzilla (1st Draft) Concept Evolution Godzilla, Great Resurrection! Concept Evolution From the Bride of Godzilla: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (2nd Draft) Concept Evolution
Resurrection of Godzilla (1st Draft)   Godzilla, Great Resurrection!   From the Bride of Godzilla: Resurrection of Godzilla   Resurrection of Godzilla (2nd Draft)  
Tanaka's Order for Nakanishi: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (3rd Draft) Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft) Concept Evolution Revived Devil: Resurrection of Godzilla Concept Evolution
Tanaka's Order for Nakanishi: Resurrection of Godzilla   Resurrection of Godzilla (3rd Draft)   King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla   Revived Devil: Resurrection of Godzilla  
Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal) Concept Evolution Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft) Concept Evolution The Return of Godzilla
Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal)   Resurrection of Godzilla (Nagahara Draft)   The Return of Godzilla