Sony originally wanted to produce a trilogy of films when they acquired the rights to the Godzilla franchise in 1992. After a failed attempt at making a Godzilla film in 1994, TriStar Pictures brought in the Independence Day team of Roland Emmerich as a director and Dean Devlin as a producer, who wrote the script of what ended up being the 1998 film Godzilla, and were still intending on making it into a trilogy.
After being released to theaters in 1998, TriStar's film grossed $379,014,294, a little over three times its budget of $125 million. While the film was profitable, it fell well short of the studio's expectations, as well as being heavily criticized by fans and critics alike. TriStar still intended to go through with its plans of making a trilogy, and began pre-production on Godzilla 2 shortly afterwards. The unmade sequel even received a full script and was treated by Tab Murphy, who wrote Disney's Tarzan and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. In March 1999, Emmerich and Devlin dropped out of the project when the studio would not approve the film's proposed budget. The sequel was abandoned altogether shortly afterwards, when Sony and TriStar determined it would not be profitable due to a lack of enthusiasm from critics and audiences and interest from retailers. The script's fate was sealed forever when Sony's rights to the Godzilla franchise expired in 2003.
"G O D Z I L L A 2
NICK TATOPOULOS is invited to a warehouse where scientists from all over the world are examining Godzilla's dissected body parts. The scientists' excitement is lost on Nick who feels increasingly distraught over the part he played in helping to destroy such a unique and intelligent life form. He’s haunted by memories of the final look in Godzilla's eyes just before it expired. And when he witnesses half a dozen scientists crawling over one of those extracted dead eyeballs it's more than he can handle. He makes a quick and brusque exit after turning down an opportunity to head up the research project.
Tortured by guilt, Nick sneaks past police barricades into the Manhattan underground to begin a search of his own, hoping against hope to discover some remnant of the now extinct species. His hopes are rewarded when he discovers one last juvenile Godzilla, trapped under some rubble and near death. Nick is able to free the juvenile Godzilla, while avoiding its jaws and claws. Although physically unhurt, the juvenile Godzilla is weak from starvation and will die if something isn't done.
Later, the butcher at a local fish market watches in astonishment as Nick buys every last piece from his display case.
Back in he devastated subway tunnel, Nick feeds the juvenile Godzilla and begins a relationship of trust and mutual respect that will resonate throughout the rest of the film. VOICES suddenly echo from down the tunnel. A dozen flashlight beams sign an approaching squad of soldiers. Nick realizes the juvenile Godzilla will be shot on sight if found by the soldiers. Using the remaining fish as bait, Nick lures the juvenile Godzilla away. The pair manage to reach the surface without being detected. In the meantime, the juvenile Godzilla has come to believe Nick is its mother (imprinting), following him everywhere like a lovesick puppy. When another squad of soldiers approaches, Nick shrouds the juvenile Godzilla in a long overcoat and shepherds it down to the waterfront. At one point a bum accosts the pair, unwittingly begging for spare change from the juvenile Godzilla. The bum's bloodshot eyes bulge when his extended hand is snapped at by the juvenile Godzilla. The bum's terrified screams bring the soldiers running. Realizing they're about to be discovered, Nick tries to get the juvenile Godzilla to enter the water and strike off on its own. At first, it refuses to leave its 'mother'. Nick is forced to use 'tough love'. He pushes the juvenile away, screams in anger, even throws rocks at it. Heartbroken, the juvenile Godzilla finally slips into the cold water and swims off into the murky depths with mixed emotions...
ROLL MAIN TITLEG O D Z I L L A 2
A series of strange and inexplicable events have begun occurring around the world. A cruise ship is found adrift off Australia with nary a soul on board. The entire population of a village on Fiji has literally vanished without a trace, the village itself destroyed. An Indonesian jumbo jet is sliced in half at thirty eight thousand feet. At the crash site, no bodies are found. A Global Task Force is formed to investigate, headed by none other than GENERAL HICKS.
A strange giant egg is discovered in a downtown park of a medium-sized town in New England. When word reaches Hicks of the discovery, he sends in a task force to investigate. The investigators reach the town only to discover it destroyed and its inhabitants vanished without a trace. In the center of town, remnants of the hatched eggs are found. The investigators conclude that somehow, some way, a Godzilla is responsible. The nightmare has begun again. General Hicks immediately puts out an APB on Godzilla expert Nick Tatopoulos.
Wedding bells chime outside a small church in Vermont. Nick and Audrey have finally tied the knot. We see that Nick is more or less resigned to his fate. The pair make their way to a waiting limo, showered by handfuls of rice. Nick climbs inside the limo. When Audrey turns to wave at the crowd one last time, the door to the limo suddenly closes and all the doors lock, trapping Nick inside. The limo speeds away from the stunned crowd and Nick's equally stunned bride. (Note: this is the first and last we see of Audrey). When Nick shouts for an explanation, the driver turns out to be the Frenchman PHILLIPE ROACHE. He apologizes for the abrupt departure, hands Nick a classified folder detailing the strange events occurring around the world. He reveals that he's working for General Hicks and the Global Task Force who are convinced that Godzilla is responsible. Nick insists that even if Godzilla had survived, it couldn't possibly be responsible for the weird events occurring around the world. There are too many inconsistencies. But Phillipe is determined to find out one way or another. And should a Godzilla prove to be alive – "It must be destroyed once and for all." Phillipe stops the car and turns to Nick. "I need your help." Nick finally agrees to help Phillipe in his search – but for very different reasons.
Restricting their search to the Southern Hemisphere because of climate, ocean currents and the relative proximity of the unexplained events. Nick and Phillipe determine that the only land mass big enough to support a creature of Godzilla’s size without fear of detection is Australia. That is where they target their search. Deep in the Australian Outback, Nick and Phillipe cross paths with a beautiful and rugged no-nonsense female biologist (ANNA CHARLTON) who claims to be doing research on Dingoes. She asks what they’re doing in the middle of nowhere. Phillipe nods toward Nick: “He’s on his honeymoon.” Anna takes an immediate dislike to the pair, especially Nick. Her answers to their questions are curt and brusque. No, she’s not seen nor heard anything strange or unusual. She asks them to leave and not disturb her research area. Before they depart, Phillipe slips a tracking device into the back of her jeep. Both Nick and Phillipe are convinced she’s hiding something.Later, they trail her jeep further into the rugged Outback where they lose her, when their own vehicle breaks down. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, arguing, they both suddenly hear a familiar bone chilling ROAR. Grabbing their gear, they race up a nearby bluff and come face to face with – Godzilla, now full grown! Hiding in the bushes to avoid detection, Nick and Phillipe are even more stunned to discover Godzilla is not alone – the creature has given birth to a brood of young (Teen Godzillas), each nearly three stories high! As Godzilla and its brood stomp into full view, a pack of Dingoes suddenly attack a straggler we will come to know as the RUNT of the litter. Smaller and weaker than the others, the Runt cries out for help as the Dingoes swarm! Godzilla ROARS! The rest of its young spook! While Godzilla defends the Runt from the hungry pack, Nick and Phillipe find themselves directly in the path of a Godzilla Stampede! Just when we think they’re dead meat, a jeep pulls up and Anna scream for them to “GET IN!!” What follows is a hair-raising roller coaster ride with Anna swerving in between the giant tree trunk legs of the stampeding Teen Godzillas, miraculously avoiding getting squashed, while Nick and Phillipe cling to their seats for dear life. Eventually, Anna is able to swerve out of harm's way just as Godzilla comes on the scene carrying the Runt on its tail! As calm returns and Godzilla and its brood continues to forage, Anna turns to the astonished Nick and Phillipe: "Okay, so maybe I have seen something a little unusual."
Sydney, Australia. Another giant egg larva is discovered on the outskirts of the city. General Hicks mobilizes his troops and heads Down Under. Another disturbing message arrives. There’s been no word from Phillipe or Nick for some time. They seem to have vanished without a trace.
In the Outback, Nick has a new problem: Godzilla follows him everywhere. And wherever Godzilla goes, its babies are sure to follow. This makes for some amusing situations, especially when Godzilla insists on sleeping beside Nick. Having won Anna’s trust, Nick invites her to study the 'Godzillas up close and personal. She shares some of her findings with Nick, including the fact that a full-grown Godzilla is capable of reproducing only once, and that the size of the brood is determined by carrying capacity of the land. Nick wrestles with his blossoming attraction for Anna. After all, technically he's a married man (Nick's attempts at contacting his new wife and explaining his whereabouts are continually met with her screaming at him and hanging up). During this period, Nick tries to convince Phillipe that Godzilla is a docile and non-aggressive creature that attacks only when its young are threatened. All three are amazed at the tenderness Godzilla shows its young, especially to the Runt. Nick and Anna are certain they're witnessing the birth of a new natural order, that Godzilla is the next step in an evolutionary process accelerated by the nuclear testing fallout. Phillipe is beginning to come around, to believe that perhaps there is a place in the world for Godzilla after all.
But when Godzilla suddenly steals away one night leaving its sleeping brood, Phillipe once again becomes suspicious. The three follow Godzilla in Anna's jeep some twenty miles to the deserted North Coast where they watch the giant creature disappear into the ocean. Nick is heartsick. Is it possible Godzilla has been making the various raids in order to feed its brood? Are the Godzillas being fed a steady diet of human captives? If so, then there would be no choice left but to destroy them. Suddenly, the ocean is lit up from beneath by bizarre flashes of lights (this is actually the first clue we have that Godzilla can breathe fire). Schools of tuna swarm to the surface. Godzilla explodes out of the water, forcing hundreds upon hundreds of the fish onto the beach. Nick, Anna, and Phillipe watch the amazing spectacle as Godzilla continues to herd schools of tuna onto the beach! As dawn approaches, another incredible sight greets them – Godzilla’s brood appears on the horizon! Descending on the beach, the hungry Godzillas begin gorging on the stranded fish! Nick now has the proof he's come after. Even Phillipe has to admit he was wrong, that Godzilla is not responsible for the other attacks. But if not Godzilla, then who? Or better yet, what? In order to answer than question, the trio decide to take a little trip.
Monster Island. Godzilla's birthplace. Following Godzilla's death, a clean sweep of the island produced no other biological anomalies. For two years the island has been off limits to visitors, its water heavily patrolled by U.N. warships. Approaching the island Nick, Anna, and Phillipe don wet suits and scuba gear in an effort to slip past the blockade. Swimming toward the island, the three are suddenly engulfed by a giant shadow and are stunned to witness a blue whale three times its normal size glide silently past.
On the island itself, more strange discoveries await – a plethora of new species, some mutated beyond recognition. Even so, there's nothing on the island that seems capable of kind of destruction being reported around the world. Suddenly, the skies above them darken. A strange buzzing sound fills the air. What seems to be an approaching dark cloud turns out to be a huge swarm of mutated winged insects equipped with vicious mandibles and deadly wasp like stingers. The Buick-sized insects appear to be carrying something wrapped in their six spiny legs. Nick, Anna, and Phillipe watch in horror as the insectoids land and release their human captives.
When one man tried to escape he is immediately set upon and stung to death! Meanwhile, wingless termite-like insects swarm out of an underground nest and herd the human captives underground. Nick, Phillipe, and Anna prepare to follow. Suddenly, HORRIBLE SCREAMS emanate from the entrance to the underground nest! One by one they die out until an eerie silence is all that remains. And just when things can't get any worse, the QUEEN BITCH emerges from the opening; a HUGE and ferocious-looking winged insectoid that the other insects flock around, tending to her every need. She is one nasty bug (and not above dining on her own kind) As Nick, Anna, and Philippe look on, the Queen takes flight and disappears out over the ocean, heading for God-knows-where. A horrible realization sinks in. People are being abducted from around the world and brought to Monster Island to be used as food by these horrible insectoids. Nick and Anna conclude that Godzilla and its brood are the natural predators of these bugs. But because of man's interference, the natural food chain on Monster Island has been disrupted. With no controls through natural predation, these insectoids will continue to multiply and spread, threatening the entire world. Somehow, Godzilla and its brood must be led back to Monster Island in order to bring the insectoids under control and reestablish order and harmony in the food chain.
Phillipe suddenly becomes extremely agitated, insisting they return to the Outback at once. Nick and Anna are perplexed by their friend’s strange behavior. Phillipe tells them that Godzilla and its brood are in grave danger. The truth finally comes out. Philippe has tipped off General Hicks and the Global Task Force as to Godzilla's whereabouts. Nick and Anna are stunned. Why would he do such a thing? Phillipe reveals he was frightened by the number of Godzillas they encountered. Ironically, he had nightmarish visions of Godzillas taking over the world which is what prompted his actions. Nick feels betrayed. He and Phillipe fight, before Anna breaks it up. She tells them to settle it later. Time may be running out for Godzilla, and the world.But they're too late. Nick, Anna, and Philippe return to a scene of agonizing devastation. Godzillas lie dead everywhere. The countryside is rutted and pockmarked from explosions. The surprise attack by the Global Task Force has come from ground and air. General Hicks and his troops are advancing on Godzilla and one last juvenile (the Runt) when Nick, Anna, and Philippe arrive on the scene. Nick races past the troops and missile launchers out toward Godzilla and the Runt, causing Hicks to call a cease-fire. Nick looks around at the carnage, at the valiant fight Godzilla put up to save its babies. With tears in his eyes, Nick turns helplessly to Godzilla: "I’m sorry..." The look in Godzilla's eyes is one of heartbreak and betrayal. It ROARS in anguish before suddenly burrowing underground and escaping with the Runt. Nick stands alone a midst the devastation, feeling sick… Meanwhile, Phillipe is congratulated by General Hicks. But Phillipe tells the General they've made a terrible mistake. By killing the Godzillas, they may have just doomed the rest of the world. Before General Hicks can respond, he receives a message from Sydney: something bizarre is occurring to the giant egg larva.
Nick and Phillipe put aside their differences in order to go after Anna. General Hicks organizes a military rescue, led by a squadron of jet fighters. He jumps into an Apache chopper together with Nick and Phillipe. As the chopper lifts off, Hicks remembers to give Nick a note he’s been carrying. Nick reads it and his face drops even further. "Bad news?" Asks Phillipe. "I'm not sure", Nick responds, handing Phillipe the note. His marriage has been annulled...
On approach to Monster Island, they are attacked by a swarm of the mutated insectoids. A spectacular battle in the sky follows as the jet fighters take on the insects! But the insect numbers prove to be overpowering. The battle ends with every jet down and the Apache chopper crash landing on the island just as Godzilla wades ashore to take up the attack. Nick, Phillipe and Hicks scramble from the wreckage of the downed chopper as all hell breaks loose. Godzilla is under assault from the flying insectoids above and the wingless termite-like bugs on the ground. Bursts of atomic fire breath incinerate everything within range. While Hicks awaits reinforcements, Nick and Phillipe make their way into the maze of deserted underground passageways in search of Anna. The pair stumble upon an enormous underground chamber where hundreds of half-starved human prisoners are being guarded by a handful of wingless insectoids. Using incinerator grenades, Nick and Phillipe manage to kill the insect guards. Nick and Anna embrace in an emotional reunion.
Phillipe, Nick, and Anna begin to lead the others topside when the Queen Bitch suddenly appears, blocking their way and trapping them inside the underground chamber. The Queen Bitch advances and is about to devour Nick for lunch when Godzilla suddenly burrows through the cavern wall. Godzilla and the Queen Bitch square off for one final Giant Monster Battle. Nick, Anna, and Phillipe lead the captive people topside as the fight progresses above ground. This time, Godzilla is the victor, vanquishing the Queen Bitch and bring natural order back to the Monster Island ecosystem. General Hicks' reinforcement suddenly arrive. They line up their big guns to take out Godzilla once and for all. Godzilla is all but defenseless, spent and exhausted from his battle with the Queen Bitch. Nick, Anna are so enraged that Hicks orders them to be put under protective custody. All appears lost. Believing he's doing the right thing for humanity, General Hicks is about to give the order to fire when an extraordinary thing occurs. The hundreds of people that have been set free form a protective circle around Godzilla. And there leading the blockade is none other Phillipe. And in that moment, General Hicks realizes pulling the trigger on Godzilla would be the wrong thing to do. He orders his troops to withdraw. LOUD CHEERS go up from the people that Godzilla helped set free! Suddenly, a new sound reaches everyone’s ears. Just then, another Godzilla wades onto the shores of Monster Island, calling for its mother. The Runt wasn't killed after all. The sight of its juvenile revives Godzilla and the pair have a touching reunion.Later, against a brilliant sunset, Nick, Anna, and Phillipe say goodbye to Godzilla and the Runt as the pair return to the ocean."
- This film was to take place in Sydney, Australia, which is where Godzilla appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars.
- Interestingly, Godzilla's role in this film as an apex predator on monstrous insects also fits the title "Alpha Predator" used for Godzilla in the 2014 film.
- This film shares some plot elements with Godzilla: The Series, an animated series produced as a sequel to the 1998 film. These similarities include Godzilla's lone offspring imprinting on Nick and defending humanity from other monsters, as well as the presence of Monster Island, a location carried over from the late Showa series Godzilla films.
- After the sequel was abandoned, TriStar decided to theatrically release Toho's Godzilla 2000: Millennium in the United States to "make up" for the 1998 film. Before Sony and TriStar's rights to the Godzilla series expired, Sony reportedly considered producing another reboot to the series with no connection to the 1998 film, but decided not to go through with it and allowed their rights to revert to Toho.
- Although plans for Godzilla 2 had been abandoned back in 1999 while Sony's rights to the franchise expired in 2003, it had become rumored as late as 2007 that Sony was resuming work on a sequel to 1998's Godzilla. This speculation stemmed in part from stock footage of Godzilla from the 1998 film appearing in a then-recent Doritos commercial as well as multiple fan-made trailers for a Godzilla 2 appearing online. In 2007, the German film website Cinetech even reported that Sony was planning to release a sequel to the 1998 film in summer 2009. Sony eventually confirmed that it no longer held the rights to produce a Godzilla film, and that it had no plans to reacquire the rights to the franchise from Toho in the conceivable future.