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Godzilla (1998) Poster

(I) (1998)

Trivia

Dean Devlin maintains that the tag-line for this movie, "Size Does Matter," was meant simply to differentiate the movie from Jurassic Park (1993) - hence the original "museum" trailer - but that the advertisers for the studio took it too far with their over-zealous campaign (e.g. "His foot is as long as this bus"). The ads became the biggest focus of the backlash against the movie. Most notable was a temporary page set up by the programmers for the website of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) that mocked the "Godzilla" green glow and read "Plot Does Matter." However, when The Phantom Menace was released, Star Wars fans mocked George Lucas for making a Star Wars film where plot did not seem to matter as much as special effects. Another backlash came from Spielberg's DreamWorks trailer for Small Soldiers (1998), featuring a giant lizard being hog-tied by a group of action figures. This trailer has the tag-line, "Size doesn't matter."
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Jump to: Director Trademark (1)  | Spoilers (8)
This movie features more Simpson voice actors than any other project besides The Simpsons (1989) itself: Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer and Nancy Cartwright. When the Simpsons later did a Godzilla parody called Homerzilla, they referenced that "Homerzilla" received a Hollywood remake that failed, a jab at this movie. The episode ends stating that Homerzilla will one day return just as soon as that "Zilla" film is forgotten.
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Fruit of the Loom lost their license to sell any Godzilla-related apparel when they leaked images of Godzilla on the Internet in November of 1997. Producer Dean Devlin claimed that the images were unique fakes to keep Godzilla's appearance a secret. However, the actual design was eventually revealed and proved to be essential the same design as the so called "fake leak".
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Steven Spielberg tried to talk Emmerich out of making the film considering it a silly idea for Hollywood to try and remake Godzilla. Spielberg later told Entertainment Weekly that he didn't bother to see the film stating, "The only Godzilla I saw was the one with Raymond Burr. I purposely stayed away from seeing [TriStar's] Godzilla because I didn't want to get anything between me and my memory of my favorite Godzilla movie of all time."
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Despite the less-than-expected box office performance, this film still made more money worldwide than any other American movie based on a foreign film. It held this record until Godzilla (2014) claimed it 16 years later.
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Roland Emmerich admitted that he did not like the original Godzilla and only agreed to the project after being promised to be able to do what ever he wanted with the series. This was in contrast to the film's original director, Jan de Bont, who grew up a fan of the character. Looking back on the film, TriStar producer Robert N. Fried described how "team that took over Godzilla was one of the worst cases of executive incompetence I have observed in my 20 year career. One of the golden assets of our time was managed as poorly and ineptly as anybody can manage an asset." Emmerich himself has since expressed regret in taking the job.
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The movie's intended look was not revealed to the public until the Blu-ray release in 2009. All previous versions contained a serious technical issue which lead to the computer generated graphics appearing sub-par. Dean Devlin explained that this was the result of the type of film they had wanted to print the movie onto being inaccessible at the time of release. Thus, the movie was printed onto a different film and shipped to cinemas with unfinished-looking effects. This was one of the reasons behind the movie's failure, as the effects did not live up to the hype. They were digitally corrected for the Blu-ray release.
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Before Hank Azaria's character runs atop cars to get footage of Godzilla, he looks up and says "Aw, Jeez", using the voice of his character Moe Szyslak on The Simpsons (1989). When asked about this during a podcast, Azaria said it was unintentional and that a little bit of his Moe voice must have "slipped through".
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Reaction from Toho Studios was mixed, with some executives attempting to salvage the film following the negative backlash. Many filmmakers noted while they didn't have anything against the movie, there was a sense of disappointment. Shûsuke Kaneko, director of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), mentioned "It is interesting the United States version runs about trying to escape missiles." Likewise Takao Okawara, director of Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999), stated that "The U.S. version was a bit hard to digest as the real Godzilla."Masaaki Tezuka, director of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), enjoyed it for what it was but felt it shouldn't have been called Godzilla since it had so little to do with the character.
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In a television interview, Matthew Broderick said that the entire cast were given wet suits to wear underneath their costumes while filming in Hawaii. He was upset because his wet suit zipped up in the back, which made it difficult to put on every day. One day during a break in filming, he was talking with co-star Hank Azaria, who had his shirt off, revealing a wet suit that zipped up in front. Broderick remarked, "Oh, your wet suit zips up in front." Puzzled, Azaria replied, "They *all* zip up in front." Broderick had been putting his wet suit on backwards every day.
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Toho Studios gave the American creators a 75-page dossier of what they can and cannot do with Godzilla's character. This included the following rules:
  • Godzilla cannot eat people, only fish
  • he has to have three rows of dorsal plates
  • no more or less than three toes on his feet and four fingers on his hands
  • he cannot be made to look silly
  • he cannot die in the movie
Almost all of these points were disregarded, and according to Patrick Tatopoulos, the only specific instructions Roland Emmerich gave him was that Godzilla should be able to run incredibly fast and that it shouldn't resemble a dinosaur too closely.
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The film's first teaser trailer began appearing in theaters a full year before the film was released. The trailer contained a shot of Godzilla's foot coming through the roof of a museum and crushing a T-Rex skeleton. This scene was cut from the final version of the movie. It cost $600,000.
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Halfway through a screening, Kenpachirô Satsuma, who played Godzilla from 1985-1995, walked out, saying "It's not Godzilla. It doesn't have the spirit." Satsuma would later joke that working on Pulgasari (1985) was more enjoyable.
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All the footage of nuclear tests at the start of the film is American, not French. Most of the detonations shown are at Bikini and Eniwetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Pacific.
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The lead role was written specifically for Matthew Broderick, who committed to the film without reading a finished screenplay.
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Godzilla's creator, Tomoyuki Tanaka, passed away only a month before production began on this film. Tanaka was not just the producer of every prior Godzilla film, but also the producer of various masterpieces by renowned filmmakers Akira Kurosawa, Mikio Naruse, and Kon Ichikawa. This film is dedicated to him.
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Dean Devlin aggressively defended the movie on internet message boards, at times telling the Godzilla fans "to hell with you" if they had a negative opinion over it. The official Godzilla message board was shut down soon after due to all the heated arguing. Years later, Devlin has admitted to recognizing the movie's faults and apologized to the fans in various interviews.
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Mayor Ebert and his assistant Gene are a parody of the TV film critic duo Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. This was in response to their negative reviews of Emmerich and Devlin's earlier films Stargate (1994) and Independence Day (1996). The film also co-opted their trademark Thumbs up/Thumbs down method of rating films by depicting Mayor Ebert's campaign as "Thumbs Up for New York!" and Gene giving Ebert a thumbs down at the end of the film when he finally decides he has had enough of his abuse and quits. When the real Siskel and Ebert reviewed the film on their show, they gave it two thumbs down and Siskel said the filmmakers spoofing them was "petty" and said "If you're going to go through the trouble of putting us in a monster movie, why don't you at least take advantage of having the monster either eat or squash us". The duo would later name the film as one of their worst films of 1998. And in Ebert's print review in The Chicago Sun Times, he wrote "They let us off lightly; I fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla." Although he called Michael Lerner's performance as Mayor Ebert "gamely played".
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The elevator music in a scene with Matthew Broderick is "Danke Schoen", which Broderick lip-syncs in a memorable scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
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Sony demanded a staggering 80% of the profits from larger movie theaters and 90% from smaller ones, rather than the usual 60%. Due to the movie performing badly compared to the expectations, some cinema chains were quick to place the blame on the film for their losses.
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In response to the backlash against the movie and Japanese audiences being offended over the American re-imagining of "their" monster, Toho spokesman Masahiko Suzuki deemed their reaction hypocritical, reasoning that prior to the movie's release, Japanese people had lambasted the original Godzilla movies as well. However, this was a last minute attempt by Toho to salvage the film's box office. It would ultimately prove ineffective as the film would under-perform.
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Although the movie tanked in America and under-performed in other places, it was moderately successful and profitable in international markets, becoming the third highest-grossing movie of 1998. It was known some countries where the Japanese Godzilla franchise is unknown, due to those movies not having been released there. However, the newer Legendary films have begun to supersede this film.
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The policeman seen during Godzilla's arrival is the same policeman (both played by same actor) seen suddenly leaving his patrol car in the middle of an intersection in Independence Day (1996).
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Due to tight deadlines and likely because the monster's look was to be kept secret, the movie wasn't given test screenings. The studio later deemed this to be a mistake, since none of the movie's faults were fixed for the theatrical release. This was one of the reasons for the movie's grandiose promotional campaign, as the execs expected the movie to fail without a significant marketing push.
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The original plans called for two sequels to be produced. These plans were scrapped due to the poor reception of this film. An animated series was created instead and lasted only one season.
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Dean Devlin accepted blame for the film's perceived shortcomings in a 2011 interview, saying that when the budget was suddenly increased and the production aspects were expanded, he became so overwhelmed with his duties as a producer that he neglected to refine parts of script he had always intended to update.
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The film received considerable backlash from the fan base of the original series. The fans conceived a nickname to distinguish this film from the original: G.I.N.O., which is an acronym for "Godzilla in Name Only," indicating their dislike for it.
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J.D. Lees, founder and editor of the Godzilla fan magazine G Fan, built up an opposition to the movie and harshly criticized it in various writings during its production. The first New Yorker who gets killed by the monster in the movie is a lookalike of Lees, which was allegedly fully intentional on the creators' part, as they wanted to get back at him.
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Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin abandoned Godzilla's iconic atomic breath in favor of a "power breath", where their Godzilla would simply blow objects away by exhaling a strong wind-like breath. However, news of the power breath leaked before the film's release, which outraged fans and forced Emmerich and Devlin to make last minute changes on scenes involving the power breath, effects supervisor Volker Engel stated, "Dean and Roland wanted this monster to retain a certain menace and credibility, but Godzilla's breath is something everyone expects to see at some point, so they came up with instances in which you would see something like the old breath, but with a kind of logic applied to it. We make the assumption that something in his breath, when it comes in contact with flame, causes combustive ignition. So you get this flame-thrower effect, which causes everything to ignite." Creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos added, "We were creating an animal. We weren't creating a monster."
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2,000 foam fish were made to create the fish pile.
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Although plans for a sequel, in which the surviving Godzilla hatchling was to be relocated to Australia, fell through, the Japanese Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) does make a reference to this movie in its opening scene. In this scene, military men discuss a monster that attacked New York some years before. One of them asks if it was Godzilla, only for his partner to respond that the Americans think so, but the Japanese officials believe that it was a different monster. The "American Godzilla", now simply called "Zilla" also appears terrorizing Sidney in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), which can be seen as a reference to the never-made sequel.
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Over 1,000 soft architectural pieces were created for falling debris.
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Jean Reno played the French "insurance salesman" (secret service agent). In the movie all of his 4 compatriots are named Jean: Jean-Luc, Jean Claude, Jean-Pierre, and Jean-Philippe.
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Godzilla's color scheme was based on the urban environment of New York so that the monster would be able to blend in with its environment.
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There was enough paint used on the film to paint the entire Golden Gate Bridge.
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Roland Emmerich has since regretted his decision to direct the film. However, he still takes pride in how much fun the audience still has in watching it.
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The original script and Godzilla design were going to be very different to what had made it into the film. The script had Godzilla as a reptilian monster that had hibernated for thousands of years, which upon its awakening encountered and fought a shape-shifting alien monster, which was called "The Gryphon" during production. Both creatures were designed by Stan Winston and the film was to be directed by Jan de Bont. At the withdrawal of De Bont (that in the end went to direct Twister (1996)) because of budget constraints, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were hired, changing the script to adapt it more to the budget the studio had offered for the film.
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Matthew Broderick's character's name is Dr. Niko Tatopoulos. Godzilla's designer and supervisor is Patrick Tatopoulos.
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A different version of this Godzilla became part of the official Japanese Godzilla mythos, under the name "Zilla". It appeared in the movie Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), as one of Godzilla's enemies. This decision has caused confusion among fans and especially laypeople, asking; is Zilla the new name of this movie's monster, or is Zilla merely a parody of it? Is it a separate character from the original Godzilla? Toho Studios have stated that they consider this movie's rendition of the monster as a genuine version of Godzilla, not a separate monster. Even the official monster icon on the Japanese home media release clearly labels it as Godzilla, not Zilla. A 2019 Japanese high quality collector item made in the American monster's likeness also called it Godzilla. This is due to the licensing contract between Toho and Sony-TriStar, which states that all media and merchandise related to this film must carry the Godzilla name. However, Toho have also stipulated that any post-2004 depiction of the monster in newly created media, such as films or comics that are not directly tied to this movie, must be called Zilla instead of Godzilla. Matters got further complicated when Zilla's American copyright expired in 2019 while its Japanese copyright has been renewed. This effectively means that "Zilla" doesn't exist anymore according to the United States' legal system, so its name has reverted back to Godzilla. However in Japan, Zilla is still considered a different monster from Godzilla. In any case, the monster of this movie is called Godzilla in both the US and Japan because it was released before the introduction of the Zilla name in 2004.
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A small action figure of an alien from Independence Day (1996) (also directed by Roland Emmerich) is visible in the broadcast booth at Madison Square Garden.
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Co-writer and producer Dean Devlin admitted to "screwing up" Godzilla in a 2012 interview, where he claimed he had been a fan of the character since childhood. In a 2014 interview, he said that the script's two biggest faults were that Godzilla wasn't handled as a character but a mere animal, and that the backstories of the human characters were explained too late in the movie, by which time the viewers had already made up their minds about them.
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This film was one of two released in Summer 1998 where the top of the Chrysler Building is destroyed and plummets to the street below. The other was Armageddon (1998).
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The movie is famous for its rainy scenes. Co-producer and co-writer Dean Devlin claimed in interviews that this was a direct homage to the original Godzilla (1954), since, according to him, "Almost all of it was in the rain." This is actually false, as only a brief scene of that movie featured rain. Many people have instead proposed that the rain was meant to hide the unconvincing aspects of the movie's special effects. Director Roland Emmerich spoke out against this, explaining that the rain actually made it much more difficult to get the effects done, and it would have been way easier to leave it out.
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For fun, the crew on this movie had T-shirts made that said, "It's Gojira, you moron."
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When this modern remake was first conceived in 1990, James Cameron was originally offered the chance to direct. When he passed, Tim Burton was connected for a few years, with Joe Johnston's name bandied about for some time also. Paul Verhoeven was going to direct but he passed on the project. Then Jan de Bont was attached and set to direct, but his budget for the film, estimated at $150 million, was higher than the studio was willing to pay. After he was let go, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin came in. Jan de Bont was disappointed because, unlike Emmerich, he was a fan of the character. de Bont would later criticize Sony since Emmerich's film would go over budget and be more expensive than the film he proposed.
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Tôhô Co. Ltd., the Japanese film studio that owns the rights to Godzilla agreed to allow an American version to be made, but only if the US studio followed a set of guidelines in order for the film to properly "capture the spirit of Godzilla"; both Script and Creature Design were approved and, according to Patrick Tatopoulos the members of Tôhô were impressed. In reality the Tôhô execs were left speechless and told the filmmakers to step out while they thought about it. They eventually relented because the film had been in development hell for years and they wanted to get the project off the ground.
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While Jan de Bont was signed to direct in 1994, his dream cast for the film was Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. He later cast them for Twister (1996).
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Many people believe that the failure of this movie single-handedly ruined the giant monster genre for several years, but another reimagining of a classic creature-feature that came out the same year, Mighty Joe Young (1998), bombed much worse and made American audiences turn away from the genre. Many foreign markets, where the movie actually was a success, continued fruitlessly waiting for the never-produced sequel, confused as to why none ever came.
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The movie made a little over 33 million dollars in Japan, less than half of what Toho, the movie's Japanese distributors, as well as the owners of the Godzilla franchise, had hoped for. In spite of this, it set the record of most admissions for a movie's opening in Japan at the time (about 500,000 tickets). However the negative word of mouth would quickly spread, causing the film to suffer a sharp drop in the box office, well below expectations.
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At the 1998 Golden Raspberry Awards, the film was nominated for five Razzies, including Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Screenplay. It took home two overall for Maria Pitillo as Worst Supporting Actress and for the film as Worst Remake or Sequel.
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A tornado disrupted filming in Jersey City on May 6, 1997. The film crew managed to get some footage of the disaster.
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Sarah Jessica Parker was turned down for the role of Audrey Timmonds. She would later marry Matthew Broderick.
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Sony's studio executives only saw the movie three weeks before its release. They recognized it was not what they had hoped for and expected it to bomb. This lead to them expanding their marketing, to ensure a strong theatrical opening. In the end, the movie on its own was a financial success, but the large budget and the extra money put into the promotions meant that it made significantly less than initially anticipated, and the tie-in merchandising campaign was a disaster, with the products barely selling. Although the movie made back more than twice its reported budget, the enterprise as a whole was a wasted effort, which is why no sequel was produced.
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An action-figure line was produced to coincide with the movie's release by a company called Trendmasters, who have previously released toys based on the classic Godzilla movies. The merchandise originally sold well, though consumer interest quickly dropped once the movie hit theaters, and shops were left with an overstock of unwanted toys. Due to this, stores cancelled their orders of Trendmasters upcoming Godzilla toy-line, based on the Godzilla: The Series (1998) cartoon, which eventually drove the company to bankruptcy.
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Was meant to be the cinematic debut of actress Maria Pitillo. The movie immediately "won" her a Golden Raspberry Award as the Worst Supporting Actress and she stopped receiving movie roles some years later.
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Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria and Jean Reno all disliked the film.
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Since this film under-performed and was criticized for being unfaithful to its source material, Sony (which owned Columbia & Tristar) made sure that when making Spider-Man (2002) they hired a director who was a fan of what they were adapting.
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When the soldiers search the log for cab MN 44's frequency we see that the driver of cab MN 43 is named Len Wiseman. Len Wiseman is the property assistant on several Roland Emmerich films and has since gone on to direct feature films of his own. Another driver's name is Scott Collins. Scott Edward Collins was another property assistant on the movie.
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In the scene where the headphones-wearing, newspaper-reading guy is surprised by Godzilla picking up his truck, the actor wasn't told they were shooting, and was just reading a newspaper while he waited for his scene. The crew fired paintball guns at him to elicit an authentic surprised reaction.
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Roland Emmerich was hired in early 1996 because he promised to direct the film on a budget of less than $100 million, which was much less than the budget previous prospective directors had demanded. However, after the prominence Emmerich achieved after the box office success of Independence Day (1996), the budget was eventually increased to $130 million. Emmerich however would go over this budget, with a final estimated cost of nearly 200 million.
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The movie was envisioned as the first installment of a trilogy, with the Japanese Godzilla movies by Toho Studios put on hold until 2005, by which time the American trilogy produced by Sony was expected to have been completed. The failure of this movie caused both companies to radically rethink their plans. Sony for a while toyed with the idea of a total reboot with a redesigned Godzilla. Toho meanwhile revived the series with Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999). The movie was subsequently released in the United States due to it being a success in Japan. Sony continued to try to find new ways to make a film, even considering making a sequel to Godzilla 2000. Sony's rights would eventually expire and Toho would end their series for the character's 50th anniversary. A 3-D IMAX Godzilla short film was proposed in 2009, which would result in Legendary acquiring the rights in 2010.
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Godzilla is on screen for less that 11 minutes, or under 8% of the film's run-time. This is on the lower average for most Godzilla movies, in which the character stars for 5-20 minutes, with 10-15 minutes being common. However, this is film has a longer runtime, over two hours, than most Godzilla movies which are typically around 90 minutes.
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Patrick Tatopoulos, who designed the new Godzilla, states that the creature design mixes elements of various reptiles; also, he wanted the creature to be imposing and to inspire respect. To achieve that, he was inspired from the character Shere-Kan featured in The Jungle Book (1967); the tiger had a noticeable chin and Tatopoulos applied this characteristic on his design, taking the appearance of it from what he refers to be a "Selfin Dragon." He also gave the creature humanoid shoulders and hands, very similar to the features included in the original design.
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When a cross-promotional deal with Anheuser-Busch was cancelled, visual effects artists had to digitally "erase" all Budweiser labels seen on beer bottles in the film.
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Enough lumber was used for the sets to build 50 homes.
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The movie was so successful and well-received in certain foreign markets that it might have directly contributed to the second American re-imagining of the franchise, Godzilla (2014), performing poorly in these countries, both box-office wise and critically. As well, the movie received a burst of popularity among its fans or those who have been disappointed with the 2014 reboot. Nevertheless, the latter was still overall the more successful of the two, especially with movie critics.
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Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin originally turned down the offer to make the movie. It was only after a drastically different version of the film (which would have been directed by Jan de Bont) and later by David Fincher had been scrapped that the studio approached them again, partly because they felt that their reluctance to create a Godzilla movie would make them ideal candidates for reimagining the property with a new approach. This time, they accepted the job.
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Shortly after director Jan de Bont left production in 1994, writer Don MacPherson was signed to cut the budget to $80 million dollars, inspired by Cat People (1942) with shadows and lighting to tell the story instead of CGI. (which would of been too costly to use for the previous draft). In May of 1995, MacPherson sent it to Sony who were inspired by it. David Fincher made a pitch to direct and wanted to set the film in Chicago. The story was the same, using The Gryphon but had some changes with the ending, such as; Godzilla placing the Gryphon's head on The Brooklyn Bridge changed to Godzilla spiking the Gryphon's head on the Statue of Liberty's torch. However, Fincher was considered a big risk after the disappointments of Alien 3 (1992) considering this was months before Se7en (1995) was released.
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The number of the cab used in the chase at the end of the movie is MN 44. Moon 44 (1990) is the title of an earlier film that was directed by Roland Emmerich and in which Dean Devlin appeared.
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The tanks used in the fish feeding scenes were actually big plastic/fiberglass mock-ups that were wheeled around on big dollies.
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The monster originally would have had the ability to change its color like a chameleon. Though the idea was scrapped, hints of the concept survive in the finished film in which the monster's exact hue does vary depending on the scene's lighting.
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2.4 million gallons (~321,000 cubic feet), of water were used to create rain for the film.
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This film is similar to Dragonball Evolution (2009). Both were American adaptations of Japanese media that faced backlash for being unfaithful to the source material.
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20 car thumpers were built to lift cars on the street as Godzilla walked.
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Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were given partial writing credits for the film, despite the fact that their script was totally abandoned when Roland Emmerich was assigned to direct.
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There were a total of 16 different cabs used to create the entire cab sequence.
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On the original home video release in Japan, circa 1994, there is a trailer for the upcoming "all new American Godzilla." It offers some insight into what this version of the Godzilla movie might have been, before the massive changes TriStar made. Using full English text and voiceovers, "the all new American Godzilla" was listed as from "the makers of Disney's Aladdin" and featuring "ground-breaking special effects."
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When promoting the film in 1996, Dean Devlin explained that compared to the Japanese Godzilla flicks, it would be "what Tim Burton's Batman (1989) was to Adam West". When the movie hit theaters, it garnered the opposite reception: Burton's superhero movie famously revitalized Batman and made him a popular movie character, whereas this film almost demolished the Godzilla franchise's marquee value.
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The film remains very unpopular among American Godzilla fans, but it is generally very popular in other countries. In Sweden, this was the most well-known Godzilla movie, whereas the original Japanese films had been mostly unknown before their inclusion in the Criterion Collection's 2019 Blu-ray set. It also became a major box-office sensation and a beloved cult classic in Hungary, where the Japanese movies are still unavailable. It made more money in that country than all four of Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse movies combined, and its 20th anniversary was celebrated at Sony's Hungarian summer screening event in 2018. It is also the most popular Godzilla film in Ukraine, while the Japanese movies are considered cheesy and embarrassing.
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Godzilla's design is based off a marine iguana as they originated in the Galapagos which is in the South Pacific.
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The movie was widely derided by fans of the Godzilla franchise, most preferring to view it as a standalone giant monster flick instead of a Godzilla adaptation. In fact, several fans and critics have pointed out similarities between this movie and the The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (which partially inspired the original), and therefor some people like to regard it as an unofficial remake of that film.
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35 tons of steel were used to build the sets.
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Robert N. Fried, former executive producer for the movie during its early years of development, was appalled and angered by how his successors, as well as Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin had handled the Godzilla property, describing it as "one of the worst cases of executive incompetence I have observed in my twenty year career". Fried was one of the people who had helped the studio acquire the rights for the franchise, and claimed that the team that took over after he had left the project took a completely wrong approach to the brand.
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Jennifer Aniston, Winona Ryder and Parker Posey was considered for the role of Audrey Timmonds.
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The filmmakers decided early on that this is a world in which no one has ever heard of Godzilla, making it the first total reboot in the franchise's long-spanning history.
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Godzilla's prominent chin was inspired by the tiger Shere Khan in The Jungle Book (1967).
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Although the budget is estimated to have been $130 million, if we include the famously expansive US marketing, some speculate that the final number might reach up to $170 million. Merchandising released by the 250 business partners added approximately $150 million to the movie's overall cost. Although the picture was a mild success, raking in close to $380 million worldwide, this was much less than what the studio anticipated, and the tie-in merchandising produced disastrous sales, with one exception being the movie's highly successful soundtrack.
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Running gag: everyone mispronouncing Nick's last name Tatopoulos.
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The television station call letters, WIDF, are a reference to the film Independence Day (alias ID4), also made by the team of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
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Roland Emmerich wanted his Godzilla to be fast. He can run about 200 mph.
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KB Toys dubbed itself "Godzilla Headquarters" around the time of the film's release.
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In a 2014 interview for the British film magazine Empire, Roland Emmerich admitted that he wanted to make a disaster movie about meteors rather than a Godzilla flick. However, Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998) had already been made by the time he was done directing this movie, which frustrated him as he wanted to make one first.
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Following a backlash from fans, co-producer and writer Dean Devlin assured them that in the sequel(s), the monster would gradually become more like the classic Godzilla character they loved. It is unknown if this was true or if he simply wanted to calm down the fans, since no sequel was made.
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One idea floated around during pre-production was to give Godzilla a small monster sidekick. That way, Tristar could make movies featuring this new monster and not pay the licensing fees for Godzilla.
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This movie set a world record for most Godzillas in one movie at 100 Godzillas.
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Dr. Tatopolous, played by Matthew Broderick says to Audrey "It reproduces asexually" to which she replies "Where is the fun in that?" In WarGames (1983) a teacher asks "Who first came up with the idea of asexual reproduction?" to which Matthew Broderick's character replies "Your wife?"
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Enough non-toxic smoke was created on the film to completely fill the Los Angeles Coliseum 24 hours a day for one week.
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Patrick Tatopoulos, the Godzilla designer and supervisor, created a mechanically operated suit for the monster as well as scale models, but in a 1998 interview, Volker Engel, the visual effects supervisor, estimated that less than ten percent of the effects shots featuring Godzilla used prosthetic and mechanical effects.
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More than 3,000 Godzilla products were made to promote this movie, including 25 action figures.
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One of the strangest and most obscure rules Toho Studios imposed on the filmmakers is that Godzilla had to have four fingers on his hands, like in the Japanese movies, not five. Originally, the creature was designed with a vestigial fifth finger, which was carried over into various toys and other merchandise. In the end, the crew relented to the "finger limit rule" and redesigned the monster's hand with only four fingers, although the man-sized Godzilla suit used in a few brief shots and some of the monster's offspring still had a fifth digit. Godzilla would not officially have five fingers until Shin Godzilla (2016).
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Early concept art featured Godzilla breathing his traditional atomic breath but was later scrapped.
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Harry Shearer's character, Charles Caiman, is a reference to a crocodile type lizard, the Caiman, native to South America.
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The filmmakers watched nature videos of alligators before creating Godzilla's movements.
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In one take, a mechanical Godzilla burst through the elevator door by mistake.
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Bill Paxton was considered for Matthew Broderick's role of Dr. Niko Tatopoulos
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Hank Azaria said had never shot in artificial rain before and didn't know what to expect.
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At one point, it was planned to use motion capture to create the movements of the computer-generated Godzilla.
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This is the only version of Godzilla to officially be a lizard, being an iguana. Every other Godzilla is depicted as a dinosaur, semi-aquatic reptile, a mutated fish or some other sort of monster. Despite popular misconception dinosaurs are not classified as lizards by actual scientists.
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In the newsroom early in the movie, a TV is showing Barney, a kid's dinosaur film.
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Before and after Twister (1996) was released, Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt were considered to star.
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The idea of baby Godzillas came from an early draft of the script written before Roland Emmerich signed on.
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In this film, Godzilla has a visible cloaca, an opening found in reptiles and other animals which is used for both urination, defecation, reproduction and laying eggs. Located at the base of his tail, it is most visible in the scene where Victor attempts to take photographs of Godzilla while it treads around him.
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Renée Zellweger was considered for the role of Audrey Timmonds.
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Nick's van at the beginning is a 1963 Chevrolet Corvair 95 Greenbrier Sportswagon [R1206].
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Doug Savant also has a small role in Godzilla: The Series (1998) where he is the voice of Trespasser #2.
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Godzilla comes ashore from the East River by the Fulton Fish Market. This is where the Beast from 20,000 came ashore.
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special effects artist Patrick Tatopoulos was instructed to redesign Godzilla as an incredibly fast runner. At one point, it was planned to use motion capture from a human to create the movements of the computer-generated Godzilla, but it was said to have ended up looking too much like a man in a suit. Tatopoulos subsequently reimagined the creature as a lean, digitigrade bipedal, iguana-like creature that stood with its back and tail parallel to the ground, rendered via CGI. Several scenes had the monster portrayed by stuntmen in suits. The suits were similar to those used in the Toho films, with the actors' heads being located in the monster's neck region and the facial movements controlled via animatronics. However, because of the creature's horizontal posture, the stuntmen had to wear metal leg extenders, which allowed them to stand two meters (six feet) off the ground with their feet bent forward. The film's special effects crew also built a 1/6 scale animatronic Godzilla for close-up scenes, whose size outmatched that of Stan Winston's T. rex in Jurassic Park (1993). Kurt Carley performed the suitmation sequences for the adult Godzilla
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Matthew Broderick said on a interview, while doing the hunt of Godzilla nest and searching for the newborn eggs at Madison Square Garden, Broderick stated that tons of basketballs was everywhere he seen and the huge court inside the stadium and Broderick said that he was considered to play Stan Podalak in Space Jam at one point.
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Ralph Manza and David Pressman both had recurring roles on Newhart.
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Michael France wrote a Draft in 1996 which feature Godzilla as mutated Japanese Sea iguana the battle the Alien dragon Ghidorah but was scrapped over budget. There also hints that of teasing Mothra Angurius Rodan & Varan
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When examining an attacked boat Tatopoulos comes across some canned fish labeled Bumblebee. Kevin Dunn plays Ron Witwicky in Transformers 2007. One of the autobots is named Bumblebee.
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At the beginning of the film, Matthew Broderick's character is performing research at Chernobyl. The van he is driving while performing his research is a Chevrolet Corvair Greenbriar, a part of the Corvair family of air-cooled, rear-engined vehicles. The Greenbriar was manufactured from 1961 to 1965.
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Many resources have been predicting a sequel to this Godzilla movie yet there is not enough evidence of one in progress at the moment.
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Animal's van is a 1980 Chevrolet Chevy.
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The taxi during the final chase scene is a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice, with a 4R29 license plate.
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Director Trademark 

Roland Emmerich: [44] Cab in final chase sequence is cab MN 44.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

An animated series called Godzilla: The Series (1998) was made which continued the storyline of the film. In the series, Tatopoulos accidentally discovers the egg that survived the destruction of the nest. The creature hatches and imprints on Nick as its parent.
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The meter of the cab after the final chase sequence reads $95.20. Based on the rates on the side of the cab, this equates to Godzilla chasing the cab for about 60 miles in total.
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Japanese movie historian and Godzilla expert Ed Godziszewski was an extra during the ending scene when the monster gets killed. According to him, the entire crowd of extras was completely surprised and disappointed when they learned that Godzilla was going to be defeat by ordinary weapons.
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This is the second film in a row made by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin to feature an imitation of Elvis Presley and his trademark "Thank you very much!" line. In Independence Day (1996), Jeff Goldblum says it at the end, and in Godzilla, Jean Reno uses it in a perfect Elvis imitation when he tries to pose as a US soldier.
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Godzilla only blown flames Twice in 2 different scenes
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The word dinosaur was only mentioned twice
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Right before the end of the movie, the last remaining egg of the baby Godzilla was hatching, was the same egg similar like the one in the opening credits after the nuclear test both produce from the same creature (if you pay attention to the first one) during the opening credits.
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During the marketing of the Movie, the 1997 film Anaconda was part of the film market at the time, Godzilla actor Jean Reno turned down the role of film to star in Godzilla instead, even though both films had a very similar background at the time while movie market was promoting.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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