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Trivia / Godzilla

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The Franchise as a whole.

  • Accidentally Correct Zoology: The depiction of Godzilla and the Godzillasaurus with their hands facing inwards. It is now known that this was the correct position for theropods and other bipedal dinosaurs.
  • Backed by the Pentagon: JDF helped with various productions in the series, but this stopped after Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth because the JDF hated how they were portrayed attacking Mothra. This forced Toho to make G-force as a substitute
  • Bad Export for You: The first wave of Classic Media discs were all in pan and scan, despite the fact that they had already been released in letterbox by Simitar sometime earlier.
  • Cancellation: Both of the animated series suffered this fate; though the 1998 movie series at least lasted fairly long; up until April 22nd, 2000 (as it started on September 12th, 1998, that's a year and a quarter). The Hanna-Barbera version, however, only lasted about a year and two months, starting on September 9th, 1978 and ending its run on December 8th, 1979.
  • Completely Different Title: The Showa Era films are notorious for having some truly ridiculous retitles, particularly for many of its European exports.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • The reason Bagan was considered for so many Heisei era projects? Tomoyuki Tanaka absolutely loved him. To the point the monster is nicknamed his "Demon Child". This is a bit of an unusual example considering Bagan never did end up in a film and has only officially appeared in two video games.
    • Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano considers Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and The Return of Godzilla to be his favorite Godzilla movies he worked on.
  • Dueling Dubs: Four Showa films are definitely known to have alternate English versions. An English trailer for King Kong vs. Godzilla exists (and was known to play in the Philippines and Malaysia occasionally), and a Turkish trailer for Invasion of Astro-Monster has international English visuals (though it is of course unknown if an export English dub exists, as several European versions seem to have been translated from Japanese directly). Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is the only film to be dubbed twice in Hong Kong, and even then the original has never been released in a complete form. Godzilla 2000 is also known to have an export dub that has never been released either.
    • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Tokyo, Frontier) / Godzilla versus The Sea Monster (New York, Titan Productions)
    • Son of Godzilla (Tokyo, Frontier) / (New York, Titan Productions)
    • Destroy All Monsters (Tokyo, Frontier) / (New York, Titan Productions)
    • Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Hong Kong) / Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster (New York, Titan Productions)
    • The Return of Godzilla (Hong Kong) / Godzilla 1985 (Los Angeles, Ryder Sound)
    • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (Hong Kong, unreleased "rejected" dub) / Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Hong Kong)
    • Godzilla 2000: Millennium (Hong Kong, unreleased) / Godzilla 2000 (Mike Schlesinger, TriStar Pictures)
  • Dueling Movies: The Gamera series.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Ishiro Honda, the director of the first film and many other Toho kaiju movies, preferred science fiction/alien invasion movies (like The Mysterians or Gorath) to kaiju efforts, but the monster movies were so successful that he didn't really have a choice. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as he still made excellent movies, but Honda's non-kaiju movies are often overlooked. This would explain why some of his entries had space monsters or alien invaders or both for Godzilla to fight. One of his movies even takes place on Planet X. Speaking of Gorath, the Monster Boom caused executives to insert giant menaces in any movie possible, hence the presence of Maguma — and then he was edited right the hell back out by American execs for the US release.
    • Akira Kurosawa, one of the most respected filmmakers of the 20th century, wanted to direct a Godzilla movie, but Toho didn't want to spend the money (as Akira was known to go overbudget and himself cost a lot to direct a film in addition to the Special Effects cost).
    • According to some sources, Toho is attempting to distance Godzilla from radiation and nuclear weaponry, mandating that MonsterVerse merchandise and guest-fighter appearances such as Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and Gigabash rename his Atomic Breath the "Heat Ray".
  • Flip-Flop of God: Whether or not the monster from Godzilla (1998) was renamed Zilla. In interviews with Pennyblood and Keith Aiken of Henshin Online in 2004 and 2005, Shogo Tomiyama and Ryuhei Kitamura confirmed that they'd renamed the American Godzilla "Zilla" because the 1998 film had reduced him to a mere animal and not a deity-like entity. In 2013, Matt Frank of IDW stated that Toho does not distinguish between Godzilla (1998) and Zilla as characters, and Chris Mowry - also of IDW - treated the two versions of the character as one-and-the-same in an interview regarding Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. However, Keith Aiken later stated via Facebook that his interview with Tomiyama and Kitamura had been misquoted,note  and Toho does NOT consider the monster in Godzilla (1998) to be Zilla, but that Zilla is a "variation of the 1998 Godzilla".
    • Put more simply, it's all a legal thing: the 1998 creature and his animated son will always be 'Godzilla', because you can't retroactively alter a trademarked piece of work. Going forward, anything that uses the '98 design will only be known as 'Zilla'.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Gamera is one of the most well-known attempts at following Godzilla's success, mostly because the Heisei revival trilogy managed to prove that Gamera was capable of rivaling Godzilla, an astonishing and unheard of achievement for Kaiju movies.
    • One of the more controversial Kaiju movies to take cues from Godzilla is Pulgasari, the only Kaiju movie so far to come from North Korea. The director, Shin Sang-ok, and his wife, Choi Eun-hee, were kidnapped by North Korean intelligence who were following orders from Kim Jong-Il, and forced to make seven films, with Pulgasari being one of them. Notably, the staff from Toho actually provided the special effects for the film, and the then-current suit actor for Godzilla, Kenpachiro Satsuma, was the suit actor for the title monster. Thankfully, both the director and his wife successfully fled the country unharmed.
  • Incidental Multilingual Wordplay: When the later movies started playing up Godzilla as a god of destruction, no translation was needed for the English versions, since "God" is already in his name.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Several films, notably those from the Showa era, have fallen into this. Granted, Sony and Tristar have re-released said films on DVD, but these releases have since gone out of print. Fortunately, with companies like Classic Media and Kraken Releasing, this issue seems to be turning on its head. Recently in 2017, The Criterion Collection revealed that it had acquired the rights to all the Showa Godzilla films with the exception of the ones still licensed to Kraken Releasing and Universal, and announced a complete box set of the Showa-era films in 2019.
    • Aside from Godzilla (1954) and King Kong vs. Godzilla, none of the American cuts have been released outside the Classic Media DVDís of a select few films, which command for outrageous prices on eBay.
    • Besides the films, the Bandai vinyl figures have received spotty distribution over the years and many of them have very limited second-hand options. The 6.5 inch Spacegodzilla, for example, was only really distributed twice — once during the period around the release of the movie, and again in 2001. The 12 inch line in its entirety only saw the light of day in 2004 and 2009, with a brief window in 2014 to tie into the upcoming film.
  • Kids' Meal Toy: White Castle sold a set called "Godzilla Devours White Castle" in 1990.
  • Missing Episode: Whatever Dogolas was considered for, there's no record of it now.
  • No Export for You: Averted, as every Godzilla movie has received a release in the US. Even The Return of Godzilla, which took until 2016 to finally get a US home video release, technically averted this trope before by getting a theatrical and VHS release back in '85.
    • Back when DVD didn't exist yet, this trope was sadly played straight with the Heisei Godzilla movies for a while. The last movie to be officially released in the US was Godzilla vs. Biollante, which, while not released theatrically like its predecessor, was given a VHS release along with airings on cable television. After that, however, following Godzilla movies weren't given any official release in the states whatsoever, and the only way to watch them was by importing. It wasn't until both DVD and the 1998 remake came around that every Godzilla movie from vs. King Ghidorah to vs. Destoroyah was finally given an official release.
      • Outside the U.S., the last three Heisei films were virtually unheard of in Europe until DVD, and even today, dubs in almost all of the major languages after Godzilla vs. Mothra are nonexistent.
  • The Other Darrin: Godzilla was primarily portrayed by Haruo Nakajima until after Godzilla vs. Gigan. In the Heisei Series, he's portrayed by Kenpachiro Satsuma, and Tsutomu Kitagawa in the Millennium series.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • Rumours abound that the name "Godzilla" was a way for American distributors to hide the fact that the film was Japanese. However, it was Toho who came up with the name Godzilla for international releases. The reason why? They felt audiences would have an easier time pronouncing "Godzilla" rather than "Gojira".
      • Speaking of names, no, there was never a burly Toho stagehand who was nicknamed "Gojira" by his coworkers before the film allegedly borrowed the name. The idea that such an individual would remain unknown for over 60 years is unlikely at best.
    • For the record, no, Godzilla has never fought Gamera in a film. People often mistake the Magnetic Monster from the 1970s The Godzilla Power Hour or Kamoebas from Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. for Gamera due to them being giant turtles. Funnily enough, Godzilla did face-off against Gamera in a stage show back in 1970. Alas, no video footage of this event has surfaced so far.
    • It was rumored for a while that Little Godzilla was going to star in his own children's TV series. No such program was ever even considered by Toho.
    • An old and widely believed legend is that a movie titled Godzilla vs. the Devil was in development during the late 1970s. The story is oddly specific, detailing that the film was to be a American/Japanese co-production between Toho Company and UPA Productions in which Godzilla battles a giant spider, a giant fish, and a giant bird before dueling with Satan himself. Not only did the film never come out, it doesn't even exist. The whole thing is just a very strange, very detailed rumor that originated in America.
  • Post-Script Season:
  • Prop Recycling:
    • Older Godzilla suits were often used in the latest movie for certain scenes to keep the current suit as undamaged as possible. This was often done for scenes featuring Godzilla in/under the water.
    • Many props and suits were reused in Ultra Q and its more famous successor Ultraman.
      • The flying Rodan prop from Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster was recreated as the giant bird Litra to battle Gomess, a monster made from the Mothra vs. Godzilla suit. The Godzilla suit from Invasion of the Astro-Monster would be given a frill to represent Jiras, while Litra was modified by Toho to become the Giant Condor from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
      • Manda made a brief appearance as the Kai Dragon while King Kong was given a tail to create the giant monkey Goro.
      • Baragon was reused as the monsters Pagos, Neronga, Magular, and Gabora, despite the frequent use the production team took measures to preserve the suit so it only received minor damage, despite this Baragon was still Demoted to Extra in Destroy All Monsters.
  • Recycled: The Series: Twice. The '70s' The Godzilla Power Hour and The '90s' Godzilla: The Series.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Because of his resemblance/relation to King Kong (whose rights are already a huge mess), Mechani-Kong's never been able to appear since his initial film.
  • What Could Have Been: Unsurprisingly considering that this is a franchise that has been running for more than sixty years involving more than thirty films, there was a lot of material that never ended up being made, more than enough to constitute its own page.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Haruo Nakajima, the original actor who played Godzilla, believes that the Showa (1955-1975) incarnation of Godzilla is female. However, according to Toho Studios, all incarnations of Godzilla to date have been male (yes, even the remake version).

1996 novel series

  • Cancellation: Of the five Random House Godzilla novels written by Marc Cerasini, only four came out. The fifth and final book was to end in a final showdown with Godzilla and a totally new monster. Though there are some petitions to get it out.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Not by much, but in Godzilla Returns, Stephen "Steve" Martin is mentioned to have died in 1994, the year after his real-life actor Raymond Burr (who is likewise noted in the book as having played Martin in the in-universe docudrama Godzilla, King of the Monsters) died.
  • Exiled from Continuity: King Kong, Frankenstein and all of the human characters from Toho's films were off-limits. The only exception was Stephen "Steve" Martin of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, mentioned in Godzilla Returns as having been present for Godzilla's 1954 attack and later having died in 1994. Brian Shimura also owns a copy of his book This Is Tokyo, based on Martin's experiences.
  • What Could Have Been: A 2016 interview with Toho Kingdom revealed the following information:
    • Kumonga was supposed to appear in Seattle during the events of Godzilla 2000, but was cut due to it being seen as too repetitive after the Kamacuras arc.
    • The fifth novel, Godzilla and the Lost Continent, was announced but cancelled when the 1998 film bombed; it would feature the Earth itself (personified as a returned Biollante and an original stone/fire monster, or an existing kaiju had Toho not agreed) striking back against mankind while undoing much of the environmental damage that mankind had done over the years. The titular "lost continent" would also be occupied by returning monsters Varan, Manda and Battra, the survivors of a long-lost civilization, and a "monstrous forest growth", creatures resembling the Triffids, which would appear around the world.
    • The sixth novel, had it gone beyond drafting stages, would have included The Mysterians (1957) in its continuity, with the title characters having invaded Earth but been repelled (as they were in the film), but returning in the present day with their Moguera to beg for help from Earth.
    • Cerasini also had plans for Titanosaurus and the Gargantuas (who would have had a non-Frankenstein based origin).

2014 Video Game

  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Want to buy this game? We hope you're okay with shelling out $100 for a second-hand copy. And thats the low end, with some copies going for over triple that amount. To make matters worse, it was also removed from all digital storefronts.
  • Throw It In: Jet Jaguar is mainly in the game because a member of the dev team decided to model him for fun.
  • What Could Have Been: Monster X was almost put in, and they would have used Grand King Ghidorah instead of Heisei Ghidorah, but Hedorah took up too much time and manpower.
    • There are also audio files suggesting the Disaster Level could be raised even higher than 5.