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Trivia / Godzilla

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The Franchise as a whole.

  • Bad Export for You:
    • Godzilla Raids Again was heavily edited into Gigantis: The Fire Monster by Paul Schreibman and Edmund Goldman of Warner Brothers, though Schreibman later admitted this was a mistake. Their original plan was to make an even more heavily-edited version called The Volcano Monsters.
    • The infamous menu-less, chapter-less ADV release of Destroy All Monsters. Toho deliberately forced the company to use the same dubbed, letterboxed video master used for the VHS release to discourage reverse importing, as they would not release their own DVD until 2003.
      • When the time came to re-release DAM in 2004, ADV just reissued the 1999 DVD with a new cover and a CD with the film's soundtrack.
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    • The first wave of Classic Media disks were all in pan and scan, despite the fact that they had already been released in letterbox by Simitar sometime earlier.
    • Classic Media's dirty, faded print of the U.S. cut of Rodan is in a very dire shape, and is the exact same video master Vestron originally issued on tape and LaserDisc in 1983. The King Brothers version remains in desperate need of a re-master.
    • All official Region 1 releases of King Kong vs. Godzilla contain only the butchered American version, which adds in several awful scenes with American reporters and almost completely replaces one of Akira Ifukube's greatest scores with generic stock music.
  • Big Name Fan: Akira Kurosawa was such a big fan of his friend Ishiro Honda's work on the Godzilla series he wanted to direct his own.
  • Cancellation: Of the 5 Random House Godzilla novels written by Marc Cerasini only 4 came out. The 5th 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.
    • 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.
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  • 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".
  • Contest Winner Cameo: To capitalize on Ultraman and other such shows, Toho held a contest, where a entry called Red Arone. Renamed Jet Jaguar, details on the film were tied in Development Hell until Godzilla and Gigan were included.
  • 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)
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    • 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 unfairly 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.
    • Also, Shusuke Kaneko originally wanted to use Anguirus and Varan in a Godzilla movie he was directing. However, the executives at Toho Studios told him he had to use two more popular monsters. The end result? Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
    • 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).
  • Fan Nickname:
  • 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 Twitter 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, its 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:
    • The original movie more or less birthed the Kaiju genre (although certainly it owes a debt to previous American giant-monster movies), as other film studios other than Toho tried their hand at making monster movies, often with varying results. Some of the more notable ones are The X from Outer Space, Gappa: The Triphibian Monster, Gorgo, Reptilicus, and Yonggary: Monster from the Deep.
    • 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.
    • The Zone Fighter series was "inspired" by Ultraman after all.
  • Franchise Killer: Tri-Star's 1998 "adaptation" was almost this and from what reports said about Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's attitude towards it, this may have been their intent.
  • 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, though have yet to announce any physical releases yet.
    • Godzilla Raids Again was the rarest film on video in the U.S. for a long time. Its only official tape release was by Video Treasures in 1989, and it was not reissued by Anchor Bay in 1997. Even before that, it hardly aired on television and was regarded as the "lost" Godzilla film by many.
      • Classic Media has since released the film on DVD, but the U.S. version lacks the original Gigantis, the Fire Monster title, per Toho's insistence, making the tape release still sought after.
    • Destroy All Monsters was aired regularly on some local U.S. television stations up until the late '80s, but was never released on video until 1999. ADV's release contained only the export dub, however, making the AIP release highly sought after. As mentioned below, Media Blasters almost fixed this by including it on their initial DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
    • The original Japanese cut of King Kong vs. Godzilla has, so far, never been released in the US, and the current DVD release the movie did receive from Universal only contains the American cut. King Kong Escapes also shares this fate.
    • For a long time, The Return of Godzilla was the most infamous example among fans, with no stateside disc release despite the movie getting a theatrical release in America. The English version of the movie received a release on VHS that has since gone out of print... and that's about it. After that, the US distribution rights were tied up until the terms of Toho's original contract with New World Pictures expired, apparently sometime in late 2014/early 2015. Kraken Releasing are finally bringing out a DVD/Blu-ray release, but thanks to licensing issues related to added music in New World's version, the US theatrical version won't be included, which means that this trope still stands if you want to see Raymond Burr's contribution to the film.
    • Godzilla vs. Megalon has managed to avert this, but in the worst way possible. Media Blasters, who previously released Destroy All Monsters, was set to release Godzilla vs. Megalon on DVD and Blu-Ray under their Tokyo Shock label. However, there was a problem: their DVD and Blu-Ray release of Destroy All Monsters contained special features that weren't approved by Toho. This resulted in the release going out of print, as well as the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Godzilla vs. Megalon being put on hold until Media Blasters and Toho sorted the issue out. Media Blasters eventually did release the movie on DVD... a barebones DVD with no special features whatsoever. The Blu-Ray shared the same treatment.
      • In October 2012, some pressings of the originally planned extras DVD edition managed to get leaked out, either due to a legitimate manufacturing error, or an intentionally spiteful "oops!" on Media Blasters' part. Either way, relations between the company and Toho seem irreparable at this point, as no further kaiju titles from have been secured from Toho as of 2015. The extras edition has since been proliferated online by fans.
    • Cozzilla , the weird Italian edit of Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, was only ever shown on Italian cinema and tv, and has never been released otherwise. The only existing copies are horribly worn out vhf recordings of the trimmed down TV version.
    • 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.
  • Missing Episode: Whatever Dogolas was considered for, there's no record of it now.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Raymond Burr's character in the American recut of the original is named Steve Martin. For his scenes in New World Pictures' cut of The Return of Godzilla, they deliberately avoided using the character's full name.
    • Also, Baragon shares most of his name and some of his look with Barugon (from the second Gamera movie, Gamera vs. Barugon). Baragon came first, though.
    • Miss Namikawa in Invasion of Astro-Monster and Defense Commander Namikawa in Godzilla: Final Wars (both played by Kumi Mizuno), though the latter was an intentional nod/tribute to the former.
    • General Segawa in Terror Of Mechagodzilla, and Defense Director Segawa in the Heisei Godzilla films (both played by Kenji Sahara).
    • Goro Maki the reporter character from Son of Godzilla and Goro Maki the reporter character from The Return of Godzilla.
  • No Export for You: Averted, as almost every Godzilla movie has received a release in the US. Even The Return of Godzilla, which has not received a DVD release as of this edit, technically averts this trope by getting a theatrical release and a 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 Japanese version of King Kong vs. Godzilla has not been released on DVD outside of Japan.
    • Rebirth of Mothra 3 is an odd case, but much like The Return of Godzilla, it technically averted this trope for some time. Despite owning the rights to the entire Rebirth of Mothra trilogy and releasing the first two movies on DVD, Sony never released the third movie. However, it did air on the Sci-Fi Channel for a few years, and was also available on Crackle for some time. It wasn't until 2014, when, in light of Godzilla (2014), Sony started releasing the Godzilla movies they owned on Blu-Ray, and they announced that the entire Rebirth of Mothra trilogy would be getting a triple-feature Blu-Ray release, thus averting this trope entirely.
  • The Other Darrin: Is portrayed by different suit actors in the Showa series, while Haruo Nakajima is mostly him until after Godzilla vs. Gigan. In the Heisei Series, he's portrayed by Kenpachiro Satsuma, and Tsutomu Kitagawa in the Millennium series.
  • Playing Against Type: King Ghidorah, usually a villain, is The Hero in GMK.note  That's not the only occasion where a monster has switched moralities, but given that he otherwise varies between being a force of nature and outright evil, it's very notable.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • Starting with Godzilla (1954), a persistent rumor is that the name "Gojira" was originally the nickname of a former employee of Toho. To date, no one living or deceased as ever come forward stating they (or someone they knew) was that person. In reality, Gojira is a combination of the words "Gorilla" and "Kujira" (Japanese for whale). This is because Toho originally planned for Godzilla to be a giant sea-dwelling ape (and later a giant octopus) before settling on a dinosaur. The name was kept for a very simple reason. Toho liked the way it sounded and felt it was a perfect name for a giant monster.
    • 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".
    • 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 SOS 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.
    • There are a lot of people who claim that King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) has two different endings for the American and Japanese releases, one where King Kong wins and one where Godzilla wins respectively. While there are differences between the two versions, the endings are the same and Word of God says that King Kong was always the intended victor. The rumor may have started because the Japanese version has King Kong's and Godzilla's roars played at the end, while the American version only had Kong's.
    • Destroy All Monsters (1968): For a long time, it was thought that Baragon was originally going to be the one to destroy the Arc De Triumph in this film, but was replaced by Gorosaurus due to the suit being in bad condition. However, storyboard images show that Gorosaurus was going to be the one to attack Paris the whole time. While Baragon was briefly considered, he was scrapped. Not because the suit was in bad condition (the suit had been repaired sometime prior to filming) but because the suits ears made it difficult to film Baragon emerging from underground.
    • There is also a common rumor about the German release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), namely that the dub claims that Jet Jaguar is King Kong wearing a robot suit — likely started by James Rolfe's Godzillathon movie reviews. While it is true that some European releases of these movies have very wacky names, and in Germany, Jet Jaguar is really called King Kong, it's just a case of Dub Name Change, and the character is never stated to be anything other than a human-built robot. For the record, Mechagodzilla is also renamed to King Kong in Germany, and this is, again, a simple name-change.
    • Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla (1974): A rumour stated that Anguirus replaced Baragon in this film due to Anguirus displaying traits commonly associated with Baragon (IE: burrowing, great leaping ability). This rumour was attributed to the poor quality of the suit, because Baragon was never considered for the film and early drafts of the script clearly have Anguirus as the intended monster.
    • 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.
    • Godzilla (1994): One legend associated with this planned 1994 US remake was that it would star an adult Junior. According to the myth, the original ending of Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla II (1993) was initially going to end with Godzilla performing a Heroic Sacrifice by exploding and pulling a Taking You with Me on Mechagodzilla. Junior was then said to grow into an adult Godzilla and head to America where the US films would start. In reality, no such idea was ever conceived by Toho, TriStar, or any film company at the time.
    • Godzilla (1998):
      • This film has inspired rumours that this version was retroactively renamed "Zilla". While subsequent versions of the monster are now officially named "Zilla", the 1998 incarnation of the monster and Godzilla: The Series incarnations are still both officially named "Godzilla". The rumor likely spread after Godzilla: Final Wars featured the version of the monster named "Zilla" after director Ryuhei Kitamura stated that the monster "took the "God" out of Godzilla". For the record, while the monsters are of the same species, Godzilla '98 and Zilla are two seperate individuals and that the 1998 film (and cartoon spin-off) exist in their own continuity.
      • This film also inspired rumours that Toho absolutely hates the 1998 Godzilla. This, however, is untrue. While many people working for the company have expressed their own individual dislikes of the film (including suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma walking out of a screening of the film stating "It's not Godzilla"), the company as a whole's view towards Zilla has been neutral to fairly positive. Plus, given that the film was a box-office hit in its initial release and Toho continues to get royalties for every cable TV showing, DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital download purchase, it wouldn't make sense for them to hate something that makes them a profit.
      • Another rumor inspired by this film is that TriStar Pictures originally wanted to use King Ghidorah and Mothra, but were unable to due to Toho refusing to give them the rights to the monsters. In reality, Toho was perfectly willing to let TriStar use either monster, but required separate licensing fees for each. Due to budget reasons, TriStar ultimately decided to have Godzilla (and his offspring) be the only monsters in the film.
    • Godzilla: Final Wars (2004):
      • The rumour that this Godzilla is actually Junior. This rumor likely began due to the film's opening credits using the final scene in Godzilla VS Destoroyah in which an adult Junior can be seen in silhouette. However, this was likely only used for dramatic effect. Likewise, another rumor states that the Final Wars Godzilla was originally going to be an adult Junior but the idea was scrapped during development. So far, there are no statements from Ryuhei Kitamura or any of the film's production team that neither confirm not deny this claim. In fact, the Final Wars Godzilla is its own incarnation of the monster.
      • Bagan was rumored to have been cut from the film Godzilla: Final Wars and even had a video from 2012 claiming to be evidence. However, this was quickly debunked as the footage in question was actually from a show called Super Fleet Sazar X and had absolutely nothing to do with the Godzilla franchise or any supposed cut footage of Bagan.
    • When Godzilla (2014) first came out, there were rumors of a post-credits scene exclusive to the Japanese release featuring Mothra. There never was any scene like that in any version of the movie.
  • 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, which ended up damaging the suit to the point where Baragon had to be Demoted to Extra in Destroy All Monsters.
    • Godzilla vs. Hedorah used the Monster Zero suit for the scene where Hedorah drenches Godzilla in muck. The flying Godzilla prop was the same prop used when Godzilla was held in the Xilians' energy bubble, also from Monster Zero.
    • The Son of Godzilla suit was used in Godzilla vs. Gigan for the scenes where Godzilla and Anguirus race through the ocean. Unfortunately, the Son suit looks absolutely nothing like the main suit used for Gigan.
      • And the suit used in Gigan had also been used in the three previous films and was in pretty dire shape. You can see it falling to pieces during the second half of the film.
    • The laser cannon used on Planet X to bring Godzilla and Rodan out of stasis in Invasion of Astro-Monster was one of the atomic heat ray cannons from the 1961 Mothra.
  • 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.
  • Trope Namers: Godzilla was the source of the following trope names:
  • 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.
  • The Wiki Rule: Gojipedia and Wikizilla.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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