Godzilla has faced numerous monstrous beasts throughout the years, but perhaps his greatest enemy has been filming production. Several movies starring the King of Monsters have been released since his debut. However, almost as many have been planned and fallen through for one reason or another.
One of these films would have involved Godzilla fighting a spectral version of himself. Although Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla was unmade, it went on to inspire future installments. Here's the story behind Godzilla's planned showdown with the original King of the Monsters' returned from the grave.
Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla: The Unmade Film
Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla was meant to be the follow-up to the 1994 flick Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, in which the titular monster fought a mutated cosmic doppelgänger. The premise of the Shōgo Tomiyama pitch involved the spirit of the original Godzilla that had died via Oxygen Destroyer in the original Godzilla movie. Apparently, its destruction generated a time anomaly that caused 10,000 years to pass by in an instant. As a result, Godzilla's energy dissipated, but over the years, it's begun to reassert itself, causing mysterious actions and infrastructure damage in an angry stupor.
Finding Little Godzilla, the Heisei Era equivalent of Minilla, it possesses the child's body, mutating into an even larger, far darker version of its original form. The makeover included crackled skin, longer claws and eyes without pupils. Along with the species' traditional powers, this new form had spectral abilities, including teleportation, intangibility, bodily possession and ectoplasm emission. Ultimately, he came into conflict with the modern Godzilla as Little Godzilla's personality fought for dominance.
Later drafts of Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla featured Ghost Godzilla possessing other kaiju, such as Anguirus. This was later changed to a new breed of Anguirus and then a fusion between Anguirus and Baragon. Eventually, however, the idea that Godzilla would fight another doppelgänger after Mechagodzilla and SpaceGodzilla was seen as overkill, and the Heisei Era closed with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, which called back to the original movie's climax.
How Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla's Influence Lives On
Even though Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla wasn't made and Ghost Godzilla was unseen, the basic idea behind him has greatly influenced modern franchise films. For one thing, the premise of a vengeful Godzilla spirit with a more demonic design was used in the 2001 mouthful of a movie Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. This film notably had a pure evil Godzilla and a heroic King Ghidorah, with the former being the personified spirits of those killed in World War II. Having no pupils and a more roguish design, this King of the Monsters was anything but a good guy.
Likewise, the next Toho film, Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, retold the origin of Mechagodzilla with an interesting twist. This version, dubbed Kiryu, was built around the bones of the original Godzilla. This plot point was also recently reused to set up the second season of the anime Godzilla: Singular Point. This shows how the spirit of one of Toho's unmade projects has, in a sense, possessed other stories. Perhaps in time, the idea will be resurrected wholesale, and Ghost Godzilla will finally rise from the grave.