Before the 1998 and 2014 remakes of Godzilla, there were two attempts to make a 3D Godzilla movie. The first attempt titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3-D was proposed in 1983 by Steve Miner. TOHO Co. approved of the project and agreed to let Miner develop conceptualization pieces of the film and Miner would seek funding for the project from Hollywood. Screenwriter, Fred Dekker, was hired to write the script and William Stout was hired to develop concept sketches.
Although Miner contacted Hollywood's biggest names to help produce Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3-D, none of the studios were willing to back the project due to the budget ranging around $30 million and Godzilla movies were perceived as children's films at the time.
It starts off with a meteorite crashing into a military satellite that was armed with nuclear warheads. Upon collision, one of the warheads was launched into the South Pacific causing Godzilla to wake up in a bad mood and attacked a Japanese fishing boat. The vessel was discovered by the coast guards badly burned. News reporter, Dana Martin (a nod to Raymond Burr's character, Steve Martin), snook past the guards to board the burned ship. She discovers a trilobite until a dying fisherman lurches out with his dying words, "Godzilla."
Dana brings the trilobite to paleontologist, Gerald Balinger, to have it analyzed. In the meantime, there have been reports of strange occurrences such as a village on Oto Island being destroyed and the sinkage of a Soviet nuclear sub. Navy Colonel Peter Daxton would lead the investigation and would meet with KGB agent, Boris Kruschov. Kruschov explains to Daxton that he is not interested in recovering the sub, but wanted the experimental missiles that sank with the sub. They were anti-fission devices called 'Dragon', which were designed to counter nuclear weapons. Unfortunately for Kruschov, the weapons were taken back to the US to be impounded. A video tape would be salvaged with recorded footage of the sub's external cameras discovering the sub was attacked by a reptilian monster.
After a successful mission, Daxton returns home to his son, Kevin, who has a fascination for magic tricks and lizards. However, Daxton doesn't stay home for long when the CIA arrive to take him, his son, and Gerald Balinger away to Baja where a carcass of a giant, lizard-like creature washed up on shore. Daxton confirms that this is the same creature that attacked the Soviet sub and must've been killed by the missiles. Balinger determines that it had to be some sort of dinosaur, but the military dismisses the theory thinking it is extra-terrestrial in origin and begin labeling everything as top secret. Saddened that his theory was turned down, Balinger talks to Kevin about a fire-breathing dragon called Godzilla from Japanese mythology.
Off the coast of California, a second reptilian monster that is far larger than the one discovered on the beach attacks an oil rig and tanker.
The carcass was taken to a waterfront warehouse in San Fransisco to be stored and studied. However, anyone that tries to go near the body would find themselves getting sick showing symptoms of radiation poisoning. After some research, Balinger theorizes that the dead creature is like a living nuclear reactor that predated the dinosaurs and head regenerative abilities. With the sea disasters still happening, he concludes there is a second and much larger one heading for San Fransisco.
Boris Kruschov, who is not too happy with Daxton taking his weapons away, kidnaps Kevin in order to sway Daxton to returning the devices back to the KGB. The Russian agent takes Kevin to a KGB hideout in the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Using his knowledge of magic tricks, Kevin was able to escape from Kruschov's grasp and tries to get away until Godzilla appears and batters the Golden Gate Bridge with his tail apparently killing both Kevin and Kruschov.
In Godzilla like fashion, the military role in with tanks to attack Godzilla only managing to anger him even more. Godzilla destroys the bridge and comes ashore continuing his path of destruction with Ghiradelli Square. Daxton and Balinger come up with a plan to lure Godzilla out of the city and use the 'Dragon' to destroy Godzilla.
Now at Union Square, Godzilla is being attacked by F-16 fighter jets. He picks up a cable and throws it into the air managing to crash one of the jets into the Chronicle building.
Meeting up with Dana Martin, she and Balinger head to Alcatraz Island where they intend to play an audio recording of the dead reptile from the Russian video tape to lure Godzilla to their position. With the missiles loaded on to a Cobra helicopter and ready to take off, Kruschov arrives with Kevin demanding to return the 'Dragon' missiles. Daxter and Kruschov are locked in battle as the helicopter lifts off to Alcatraz. Daxter is holding on to the landing struts of the helicopter trying to get to Kruschov. Just as Kruschov is about to cut off Daxter's fingers, Daxter kicks the KGB agent off the helicopter and lands into Godzilla's palm. Godzilla takes a moment to stare at the Russian and then incinerates Kruschov with his atomic breath.
Godzilla continues on his rampage in the city until he discovers the corpse of the smaller one and utters a roaring cry of anguish and rage. As Godzilla turns back towards the city, Dana and Balinger play the recording to lure Godzilla to the island. The plan worked in luring Godzilla and Daxton allows Kevin to fire the 'Dragon' missiles. Before firing, Kevin takes one last look at Godzilla sobbing as he has come to sympathize with the monster. Kevin launches the missiles into Godzilla's throat and Godzilla roars in agony. The helicopter flies away from the beast, but Kevin accidentally falls out of the helicopter. Godzilla quickly caught the boy with his palm and gently set the boy down on island's shore before taking his last breath.
Fast forward to 2000, the idea of a 3D Godzilla movie popped up again this time by Godzilla vs Hedorah director, Yoshimitsu Banno. At the time, Banno had just opened his own company called Advanced Audiovisual Productions, Inc. The company's focus is on large scale cinema, such as IMAX, in terms of providing equipment and producing films for the format. Feeling that Godzilla would fit the format, Banno approached TOHO about making a 3D IMAX Godzilla film. It would've been a 40 minute short film featuring Godzilla fighting a monster called Deathla. TOHO approved the idea giving Banno similar guidelines as TriStar.
Banno began working on concepts in 2003 and what was originally known as Godzilla vs Deathla To The Max would turn into Godzilla 3-D To The Max in the time span of two years with a budget ¥9,000,000,000 (or around $9,000,000), which is on par with the budget of the Millenium era Godzilla movies. Principal photography was suppose to take place in December 2005 to aim for a Summer 2006 release.
However, more changes to the story happened forcing to push back the release date to 2007 and the budget greatly increased by ¥3,000,000,000 (or around $25-27 million). The final act that was originally suppose to take place in New York City to reference 9/11 was changed to Las Vegas, as well.
Eventually, the project died as soon as Legendary Pictures took interest in making a Godzilla film, but in full length rather than 40 minutes. Banno went back to TOHO for negotiations and an agreement was reached for Legendary Pictures to produce their own Godzilla film. Banno would be one of the executive producers on what we recognize now as Godzilla (2014).
After a meteor crashes in the Sargasso Sea, a swarm of insect like creatures are released. They travel to Iguaza Falls in Argentina devouring the rainforest. As it turns out, these insects are chlorophyll based extraterrestrials from a planet called Deathla Star and they traveled to Earth to feed on the planet's rich vegetation. As they spread, they unexpectedly woken up Godzilla.
Godzilla takes the offense attacking the swarm, but the aliens merged into one giant and poisonous creature called Deathla. Godzilla used his atomic breath at Deathla and it explodes back into the swarm of locust-like creatures again. The swarm flies away to retreat, but Godzilla would take flight using his atomic breath. The fight would then take place by air until they reached Las Vegas where Deathla would toss Godzilla into the Las Vegas strip. Looking to end the conflict quickly, Deathla covered Godzilla in toxic sludge, incapacitating the King of the Monsters.
With the battle televised, children all over the world would begin singing. As more children joined in the chorus, Godzilla wakes up and continues his attack. Godzilla takes a swipe at Deathla with his tail and smashes the alien into pieces and ending the threat to Earth.
Being victorious, Godzilla uses his atomic breath to fly back to Iguaza Falls where we see many of the plant life that were eaten by Deathla begin to bloom showing signs of recovery.
In technicality, a 3-D Godzilla did get made in 2019 in the form of a 4-D virtual reality ride called Godzilla vs Evangelion. This was a cinematic ride at Universal Studios Japan that was celebrating the anniversaries of Godzilla and Evangelion series. Around this time, TOHO Co. was looking for a way (and still are) to make profit off the 2016 film, Shin-Godzilla, as much as possible. The audience are set in a futuristic Tokyo setting where you're put in escape pods. During the evacuation, Godzilla attacks the helicopter carrying the escape pod. As Godzilla is about to stomp the audience, giant robots called EVAs would come rescue the audience from Godzilla. During the fight, however, Godzilla's archnemesis, King Ghidorah, would appear and cause havoc on Tokyo. With Godzilla and the EVAs semi-working together they were able to stop Ghidorah in its tracks, Godzilla returned to the sea, and the evacuees (the audience) were safe.
If a 3D Godzilla movie was actually made in 1983 it would've have been a really cool idea at the time. Now, 3D is everywhere and has become another gimmick that studios slap onto their movies even though they're not made for 3D. I would love it if someone actually did make a 3D IMAX Godzilla movie down the line. Just don't use Banno's script.
What are your thoughts on these ideas? Would you have liked to have seen a 3-D Godzilla movie? Let me know in the comments section of your thoughts on Godzilla 3-D or Godzilla: 3-D to the Max. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, and Gab to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.