Ever since playing Godzilla in Godzilla 2000 (1999), the suits that stuntman Tsutomu Kitagawa wore weighed 100 kilograms, and he compared it to "dragging a tire and giving a piggy-back ride to a fat man while walking." For this film, however, director Ryûhei Kitamura required greater flexibility out of Godzilla. Thus, the new, slimmed-down Godzilla suit weighs 30 kilograms. Kitagawa compared wearing the new suit to "dragging something light with a child on my back."
Veteran actor Akira Takarada makes his sixth appearance in a Godzilla film, playing UN Secretary General Naotaro Daigo. His first was in the original Gojira (1954), in which he played Hideto Ogata when he was 19. This is a fitting tribute to the first film from 50 years earlier.
This 28th Godzilla film marked the final use of Toho's Big Pool water tank, which was used for the water scenes for all Tôhô special effects-related films since Hawai Middowei daikaikûsen: Taiheiyô no arashi (1960), for which it was constructed. The Big Pool was 88 meters wide and 72 meters long. It was given one final performance when it was last used for this film on September 7th and was demolished on October 13th. Toho's decision to destroy the pool was due to "progress of special-effects technology such as CG, and a large-scale reconstruction plan of the studio." This was considered by many to be the end of an era.
As a treat to die-hard Godzilla fans, Zilla, the monster from the much-maligned 1998 American "GODZILLA" film, appears in this film and battles the Japanese Godzilla, getting beaten easily in one of the series' shortest battles. The former American Godzilla is called "Zilla" in this film because, according to former series producer and head of Toho Shogo Tomiyama, the 1998 movie "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla'" through its portrayal of the monster. Since the release of the film, Zilla has appeared in other media licensed by Toho, including comic series and a mobile game, and is now considered to be an honorary member of Toho's roster of kaiju.
Director Ryûhei Kitamura and the Tôhô Company hired veteran British music artist Keith Emerson (of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer) to provide the film's score, and tracks from popular North American punk-rock groups. Sum 41 and Zebrahead contribute to the film's soundtrack since those groups were really popular in Japan. (Sum 41's song "We Are To Blame" will be used, and Zebrahead provides an instrumental rock-metal piece, "Godzilla Vs. Tokyo") This marks the first time in a Japanese-produced Godzilla film (in its original Japanese version) of popular music artists outside Japan contributing to a Gojira film's soundtrack.
For the first time ever in a Tôhô-produced Godzilla film, there is an actual location shoot in the USA, mostly in New York City, thanks to Zazou Productions, a Japanese media company based there. However, principal scenes with the policeman and the pimp were shot in Sydney, Australia. Actual NYC sequences were shot at an undisclosed location. Scenes that are supposed to take place in Arizona, however, were shot in Broken Hill, another part of Australia.
This is the last film in the third Godzilla movie series (the "Millennium Series"), which started in 1999 (with Godzilla 2000 (1999)). Toho also widely reported that this would be the last Godzilla film for at least a decade (because of the weak box office performances of the previous two films). This proved to be true, as the next Godzilla film was the American-made "Godzilla" (2014), which was released ten years after this film.
The film makes a reference to Gamera, the giant turtle monster from a competing film series, when the child playing with the monster toys yells "You loser!" at a turtle doll and throws it into the fireplace.
One of the attendees at the film's Los Angeles premiere was Patrick Tatopoulos, the creature designer and supervisor for Godzilla (1998). Tatopoulos said that he felt honored that the creature he designed was featured, albeit in a rather inglorious role, in an official Toho Godzilla film.
On 29 November 2004, on the same day that Godzilla got his highly publicized star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (#2270), this film made its world premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater, making this the first time that a Japanese-made Godzilla film made its premiere outside Japan (where the film was released on 4 December 2004).
Executive Producer Shogo Tomiyama decided to extend the film's production schedule beyond the regular time allowed by Toho for Godzilla films, so that the film will be finished before the general release date of 11 December. As a result, this will be the only Godzilla film (as of 2004) that will not have a sneak preview at the Tokyo International Film Festival, which has shown all Godzilla movies every year since Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), a month before their general releases.
Tôhô continued its practice of casting actors from the original Godzilla series into roles in films for this latest series. For this film, they brought back Akira Takarada, Kenji Sahara, and Kumi Mizuno. In addition, at least four actors from the Heisei Godzilla series appear in this film, and at least one different actor that starred in each of the preceding Millennium Godzilla films makes an appearance in this movie.
Actress Tomoe Shinohara, who played the girl in the hostel and hospital scenes in "Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidorâ: Daikaijû sôkôgeki" appears in this film portraying herself in the TV talk show scene. She's identified by a name tag on the table.
Destoroyah (from "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah") was considered to appear. The significance of his role is unknown, whether or not he'd have been a quick kill like the majority of the other monsters Godzilla fought, or be an equal challenge like Monster X/Kaizer Ghidorah, if his role wasn't originally going to be of that.
In Destroy All Monsters (1968), Mothra appears only in her larvae stage, never shown as a fully-grown moth. In this film the opposite is true, with Mothra only appearing as a fully-grown moth, never seen in her larvae stage.
The concept of this movie is a mix of elements from the movie _Destroy All Monsters (1968)_, and the games "Godzilla: Monster Of Monsters" and "Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee". It uses the idea of alien invaders coming to earth with an army of monsters at their disposal, having Godzilla being able to avoid control and fight the army of monsters in various cities and areas across the world comes from "Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee", and Mothra being his only real ally was used in "Godzilla: Monster Of Monsters".
Yoshimitsu Banno, director of Gojira tai Hedora (1971), was pleased upon learning that Hedorah was one of Ryûhei Kitamura's favorite monsters, but he was not as happy with the finished film, not only because most of Hedorah's scenes ended up getting cut, but also because he felt that the script wasn't well written.
According to producer Shogo Tomiyama in a "G-Fan" magazine interview, he intended to revive Godzilla Junior for the 50th anniversary film. In the first draft screenplay he and Wataru Mimura wrote, this Godzilla was Godzilla Junior from the Heisei series (which is why everything is on the 100 meter scale again) and Godzilla was imprisoned in the ice at the South Pole in the late 90s. The main action of the film was to have taken place in 2032. When Ryuhei Kitamura and his writer rewrote the script to their liking, this plot device was pretty much removed, making the specifics of the action of the film unknown.