The Godzilla Movie You Never Saw

Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3D could have been the first good American version of the kaiju legend.

The thought of a 3D Godzilla movie with the King of the Monsters realized via stop motion animation and an enormous robotic head designed by Rick Baker is appealing, isn’t it? Godzilla had yet to terrorize American shores in an American production, but he nearly did in the mid 1980s with Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3D.

We’ve already said two magic words with “Rick Baker,” so now let’s add a script by The Monster Squad’s Fred Dekker for more nostalgia cred. Throw in a director, Steve Miner, already making a name for himself on the ’80s genre circuit with the first two Friday The 13th sequels, who wanted to deliver an epic, Spielbergian Godzilla movie, and this one is starting to sound like a winner.

Now, stick with us on this, because we know it’s going to be a little difficult to swallow. There was a time when Hollywood, believe it or not, didn’t think that every single previously established piece of intellectual property was a sure thing. That, and a hefty (for the time) $30 million budget, kept Godzilla in his slumber at the bottom of the sea.

According to production artist William Stout (who built models and drew storyboards for the film, and whose work can be seen in films like the original Conan The Barbarian and Pan’s Labyrinth), Miner was viewed with some suspicion by the studios given the cost of the film. “In the view of the majors he was just some hack horror guy, and it would be insane to give him a big budget movie. If we could have come in with a Friday The 13th budget, it would have gotten a green light, but our budget was vastly higher.” 

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Anyway, Steve Miner went on to direct many more things, chief among these in our hearts is 1989’s Warlock starring Julian Sands.

We ended up getting an American version of Godzilla with Roland Emmerich’s extraordinarily bad 1998 film. Fortunately, Gareth Edwards came along and gave us a more appropriate version of our favorite radiation breathing giant lizard in 2014.

Check out our video here…

Forgotten Films – Godzilla: King of the Monsters by denofgeek