Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

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Pkmatrix
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Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Pkmatrix »

In a recent interview with Dr. Film, Mike Schlesinger revealed the rather startling fact that there had been some talk of producing an American Godzilla film at Columbia after Godzilla 2000's US release:
Dr. Film wrote:Q5. There’s a legend in the film world about your long-lost Godzilla script, which was almost shot by Joe Dante. Please, relate the whole story, down to why it didn’t get made. Is there any hope for it now?

Legend? Seriously? Wow. Anyway, it’s doubtful it’ll ever get made, what with the new Warners version coming out next year. It started, as so much of my life does, with a joke. I ran into my friend Jon Davison one day; he was at Sony producing The Sixth Day. I told him about what Toho was doing with my version of G2K (as related above), and he said, “Yeah, you’re really Mr. Godzilla now.” I laughed, “Yeah, and if these guys were smart, they’d get you, me and Joe to do the next American one.” He said, “Hey, we’re there.” Later in the day, I was pondering this and thought, “Well, why not? Who better to save the franchise?” So I called them both and asked if they were interested. They were, so I went in to the Columbia production head and pitched the idea of a “Wrath of Khan”-like sequel: a modestly-budgeted, man-in-suit picture, using Toho’s effects people, but set in America with English-speaking actors. I said we could do it for $20 million. He was intrigued, but said he really couldn’t authorize it. However, if I wanted to write it on spec, they would certainly consider it if it came out as good as I said it would. That was fine by me.

So I went home and got to work. I set it in Hawaii for various reasons, among them that I’d need no tortured explanation of how Godzilla got there, not to mention the unlikelihood of any actor turning down a feature being shot in Hawaii. (My suggested tagline: “Say aloha to your vacation plans.”) I decided to follow the Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein Rule–make the human scenes funny and play the monster stuff straight. I wrote it with genre favorites in mind for the cast: Bruce Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Scott Bakula, Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy and of course Joe’s stock company. After jokingly giving it the temporary title of Godzilla—East of Java, I settled on Godzilla Reborn, which referred to not only the franchise but also the storyline, in which he’s killed and eventually resuscitated. Sid Ganis eventually came on board as a producer as well. Everybody adored the script. It shoulda been a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, by the time I finished it, Columbia had a new production head, and he wanted no part of it. Wouldn’t even read it. It takes balls to say that to Sid Ganis, who’s a former Academy president, but he did. And there ya go. Now everyone’s too old for their parts and Warners has the franchise. A damn shame; it would’ve been a monster hit. Pun intended.
A Godzilla film directed by Joe Dante starring Bruce Campbell or Jaime Lee Curtis, featuring FX from a Toho crew? Count me in! Does anyone know more about this project? How do you think this would've turned out? Discuss!

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Godzilla2000Zero
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Godzilla2000Zero »

So this is the reboot Sony was considering before the right's expired. I like the US cut of Godzilla 2000 so I would have likely liked this one too.
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Rody
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

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My immediate thought is that a comedic Godzilla film would end up being awkward like G'85 - but then I think of King Kong vs. Godzilla and I second guess myself...

I suppose my final thoughts are: although a comedic film might not be good for a total reboot of Godzilla, as this film would have been, the concept is different enough that it would have been interesting to see.

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XxComablack1937xX
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by XxComablack1937xX »

Ehhh at this point i had lost interest in Godzilla so i probably would have ignored it like i did Godzilla 2000 (which i now regret)... Still i'm glad it didn't happen. I doubt it would have been that successful.

An what was with that cast? I like them but not for a Godzilla movie... sounds like a cheesy comedy which is something i don't want now an def wouldn't have wanted then.

Nice read though. Interesting to see what was planning on happening.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Starsteam »

Joe Dante

Bruce Campebll

Why can't I live in a universe where this happened??? I am forever sad.

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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by H-Man »

As I'm one of those fans who would probably accept almost anything Godzilla that filmmakers could throw at me (save a remake of Godzilla's Revenge), color me intrigued. 'Tis a shame. I'm sure it would've easily turned in a small profit for the studio, considering its small price tag.

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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by DaddlerTheDalek »

I would love to read the Script of this Unmade Movie...
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Pkmatrix
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

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DaddlerTheDalek wrote:I would love to read the Script of this Unmade Movie...
I would too! After reading the new interview on Sci-Fi Japan, I think this would've been a really fun off-beat movie. ^_^

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Godzillian
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Godzillian »

Sounds like it would've been great.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Godzilla Lover101 »

And thus it was lost to time.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by The One and Only »

Shame to see this ended up shot down. With the release of the 3D remake of Joe Dante's first full flick, PIRANHA a few years back. On a blind buy I picked up a rerelease of the flick, and quite enjoyed the film. Dante and his friend mentioned in the article, producer Jon Davidson worked together in their respective roles in the film, and did its commentary as well. In the first third of the flick we get a tour of the lab where the films title monsters were created. And as our heroes go through the lab, we see this little creature scurrying around.
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Dante and Davidson had said there were some ideas for the thing to pop up a few more times than it did in the film. One of which was in the film's end, where a kaiju sized version of the creature would show up ,and tear up Santa Monica Pier. But the film's tight budget prevented those plans from reaching fruition. I always thought it would've been cool to Joe Dante work on a kaiju , giant monster flick, he dabbled with it a little in Mantinee, but never a full blown one. This sounded from Schelesinger that would've been right up the director's alley.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Chrispy_G »

Just imagine how differently things would be if G2K had been a hit both in Japan and in North America. In Japan it likely would have started a new continuity and received direct sequels, and in the US...it might started an American series of films. How crazy would that be? For G2K to be a starting off point for two parallel Godzilla franchises?

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DaddlerTheDalek
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by DaddlerTheDalek »

Bruce Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Scott Bakula, Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy...
OMG.
I still would love to read the script of this movie...
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by SonOfGorgo »

I too wish we could have access to the actual full script, if it's still around. Even Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio's Godzilla and Emmerich's Godzilla 2 had their script fully summarised on Wikizilla.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Godzilla2004fan »

I heard that Godzilla: Reborn was a sequel to Godzilla (1998), according to Wikizilla.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

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Godzilla2004fan wrote:I heard that Godzilla: Reborn was a sequel to Godzilla (1998), according to Wikizilla.
No, it was meant to be a sequel to Godzilla 2000 (1999).
Yeah, there were plans for a sequel to the '98 film, but it wasn't this.

This is it:
wikizilla.org/wiki/Godzilla_2_(Unmade_1998_film_sequel)
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by MikeSTZillak »

Wonder why Mike Schlesinger hasn't released the script now.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Terasawa »

He’s probably not legally obligated to release it.
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by Godzillian »

MikeSTZillak wrote:Wonder why Mike Schlesinger hasn't released the script now.
Why would he?
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Re: Lost Project: Godzilla Reborn

Post by MikeSTZillak »

Godzillian wrote:
MikeSTZillak wrote:Wonder why Mike Schlesinger hasn't released the script now.
Why would he?
I was just wondering, since scripts for other unmade Godzilla projects (like Jan De Bont's film and Godzilla King Of The Monsters 3-D) have been released, why not this one?
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