Script / Godzilla (1994)
In one of the most saddening cases of What Could Have Been
in the Godzilla
series, the 1994 version of Tri-Star's attempt at creating an entirely-American Godzilla film
, was set to feature effects by Stan Winston, and had an entirely finished script written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. The film was also to introduce a new monster to the franchise, the Gryphon; an alien that took the DNA of a cougar, cow and bat and ended up fighting Godzilla.
The film script centres on Jill and Tina Llewellyn, as the two (and Keith, the husband of Jill and father of Tina) end up in a government hunt for a enormous dinosaur called Godzilla
; a bio-weapon engineered in prehistory from dinosaur DNA in order to fend off an alien menace. The creature is found deep in the Arctic, where it is awoken and kills everyone in the cavern he was kept in; including Keith. Godzilla emerges and appears near Japan, destroying a village and mentally scarring a man named Junji for life. Junji reveals the creature's prominent folklore history to Marty and Aaron, who also end up entangled in the events; Junji also reveals that another creature, a gryphon-like beast, and reveals it as the adversary spoken of in the legend of Gojira. Meanwhile, in Utah, an alien probe appears and attacks a cougar and a horse, killing them and using their DNA to begin building a body for itself. The emergence of the probe begins disrupting radio signals in the Arctic base, and the probe crashes into a lake, flinging its contents across the land.
As the humans continue to come to terms with the events, the probe cables take bats and incorporate their DNA into what will become the Gryphon; which starts off as roughly five feet tall. It also creates the Probe Bats; mutated from the bats the probe collected in order to assimilate more DNA for the Gryphon's use. Something enters Marty's body unknowingly, and burrows into his eye. Back in Utah, the probes attack a waiting cougar, as well as a vulture. The cat is killed, as is the bird, but the calf survives.
Godzilla attacks a trio of fishing vessels, "Larry", "Curly" and "Moe"
, and devours all of their fish. Marty is taken over by the entity that entered his body, and eventually he is killed by the alien. Godzilla is revealed to be making his way to San Francisco, and whilst the military tried to combat it, Godzilla decimates the troops and combats two submarines, the Madison and the Lafayette, under the bay's surface. A rain of missiles strikes his back, enraging Godzilla; he barely misses a ferocious charge at the Madison when they initiate evasive maneuvers. Unfortunately, the Madison surfaces right under one of the destroyer-class ships cruising the surface and the cruising ship is capsized. Godzilla's claws nonchalantly reach out, ripping into the hull of the Lafayette; the crew is forced to evacuate. Godzilla unleashes his atomic ray upon the capsized ship, destroying it in a spectacular explosion, and the rest of the fleet are left behind. Godzilla, at this point, is 50 miles from San Fransisco; the titan will make landfall in an hour's time. Eventually, Godzilla makes landfall; however, a tank containing amniotic fluid is still stuck to his neck, and the creature is rendered weak as a result. The military unloads on him, and Godzilla cries out in pain before sinking into the ocean...
Although the humans believed him slain, the Brooklyn Bridge eerily without movement, Godzilla erupts from the water and clings to the centre support of the Brooklyn Bridge. Godzilla spots Aaron, who was on the bridge, and he and the crew run for their lives as Godzilla's teeth slice through cables with ease and the bridge wrenches as Aaron tries to make it to safety amongst the unstable bridge, suddenly moving vehicles and giant beast. The bridge jars and a car is flung into the waters below as the central pylon struggles to hold Godzilla's immense weight, for the creature is climbing the central pylon. The military assaults him again, and Godzilla lets out another sickly cry. Aaron flees as the bridge sways dangerously from Godzilla's weight, cars falling into the bay below. Using a wire, Godzilla pulls himself to his full height, makes a loud roar and collapses, as wires snap all around him, on the bridge as the structure contorts and sways dangerously; Aaron grabs for a handhold as the wires snap, but he's thrown like a rag doll, barely hanging on...
Luckily, the bridge holds as the surreal sight of Godzilla collapsed on the Brooklyn Bridge, one arm dangling from the bridge. Aaron's radio crackles as he continues holding onto the bridge; Godzilla looks to be vanquished. Meanwhile, The Probe Bats attack a church, smashing through the stain-glass windows and waiting at the doors. Stu's border collie fights him when Stu tries to drag it into the church. The dog slips free and bolts for the forest. Stu pursues the dog, but is ambushed and killed by a Probe-bat after his wet coughing, typical of smokers, gives him away. The bodies are taken, once more, to the grey mass, and a massive claw opens and closes; an animal shape begins to form. Once more, the military and fire department attempt to ward off Godzilla with the amniotic fluid; eventually managing to attach a train car to the back of its neck as a sedative. In the hospital, Marty passes away as the military airlift Godzilla away; and the team realize Godzilla's route was a straight line; the legend was coming true, they realize; Godzilla is trying to locate and destroy the alien beast foretold in legend. The reports of strange creatures in Utah and Marty becoming infected by the parasite, allowing the alien to use his body to tell them that Godzilla is trying to find, engage and destroy
the creatures and their leader before it can reproduce. The creature has formed, however...
Can Godzilla locate and destroy the Gryphon and its Probe-bat minions before the genetic horror can conquer all life on Earth? Well, you'll need to read the official screenplay
to find out.
The script has also been adapted into a fan-made comic.
This unmade film screenplay provides the following tropes:
- Alien Invasion: The Gryphon, obviously; It's an alien organism that, if left unhindered, will kill all life on the planet.
- Breath Weapon: Unlike the remake we eventually got, this Godzilla had his iconic atomic breath attack which one character even clarifies is not actually fire.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Gryphon is eviscerated, snapped in two, decapitated, blown up and its head is piked on the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Destructive Saviour: Godzilla, despite most the entire story being centered on eliminating him, is allowed to live when he kills off the Gryphon, despite the protests of the military.
- Godzilla Threshold: The Gryphon gives the cast a reason not to kill Godzilla.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: The Gryphon is torn in two by Godzilla.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The ultimate fate of the Gryphon's head.
- The Juggernaut: Godzilla is depicted in this manner, as opposed to the film which would be released in 1998. When Jill asks the Marty/alien hybrid how to kill Godzilla, it responds that they can't. The Gryphon on the other hand...
- Kill It with Fire / Made of Explodium: How Godzilla destroys the Gryphon's body: He breathes his nuclear breath into it, causing the entire thing to erupt into flames and detonate.
- Irony: The origin of Godzilla in this film as a a fail-safe meant to counter another monster is extremely similar to the origin his old box office rival, Gamera, would get in his own reboot, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Pike is eaten by the Gryphon when its snake tongues grab him by his legs and waist.
- Living Dinosaurs: Godzilla is mentioned as a surviving dinosaur.
- Living Weapon: Godzilla was engineered specifically from dinosaur DNA by an alien race that formerly inhabited Earth in prehistoric times to defend Earth from the impending Gryphon.
- The Gryphon itself was designed by another race to wipe out a planet's population for later invasion and colonisation.
- Slasher Smile: The Gryphon has somewhat of a sadistic streak, and is described as doing what appears to be smiling several times. Such as after it absorbs Pike, gaining his memories, and thus knowledge of Godzilla's weakness.
- You Are Who You Eat: The alien entity that becomes the Gryphon starts out as a single alien probe and gains its form by absorbing the DNA of other lifeforms, starting with a swarm of bats, then an entire herd of cows, a vulture, a mountain lion, snakes and humans and animals from a Utah town before absorbing everything into one massive form. It devours Pike in the climax, gaining his distinctive personality traits and memories.