Godzilla had a really weird time 22 years ago as he transitioned to the New Millennium. Toho didn’t really stay in one direction with the kaiju king for very long during the span at that point when a phase of releases were made post-98 Godzilla (in all its divisiveness).
They were also headed into the character’s 50th anniversary so they knew, conversely, something big had to be done to commemorate the occasion.
Enter Final Wars and its bombastic devil-may-care bonanza of callbacks, Easter eggs, monster fights, and more Kaiju from Toho’s past than you can shake a stick at.
Gigan returned for the first time in ages with two new boss forms to brag about; Zilla from 98 was crudely rendered in CG and quickly dispatched in some poetic justice for Toho and G-fans, and Monster X emerged in a final battle to suddenly spring Keizer Ghidorah on everyone.
The film is jam-packed wall to wall with surprises. Gamera’s roar even makes a cameo when a plush turtle is carelessly thrown into a lit fireplace.
But there was still one surprise left to make waves years later, proving Toho nearly took some drastic but striking creative liberties with their own property that would shock Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
A complete overhaul of Godzilla was dreamt up by Kamen Rider character designer Yasushi Nirasawa in the early stages of development for Final Wars. Recently rediscovered in maquette form on the site of Japanese model maker T’s Facto, fans are going crazy over it worldwide and you can see for yourself why in the images below.
Giving Godzilla a much fiercer and scarier look with spikes on his back, equally pointy scales, and some kind of natural breastplate formed by a disparate scale pattern, this is what he or a similar creature might look like in Dark Nights: Death Metal.
Have a glance from another angle.
As unique as it is, fans found a suitable comparison to the design in SpaceGodzilla between shared color schemes and pointed protrusions. Some even see the conceptualization as the perfect appearance for SpaceG if he ever enters the MonsterVerse, but that’s another story.
The Godzilla suit in Final Wars – or FinalGoji as it’s called – was ultimately a lot more streamlined than the one Nirasawa submitted for consideration in the original art of his (which you can check out below).
Wondering why Toho decided not to go with it, Klayton Fioriti of the YouTube channel Dragon Curve guesses the reason likely is the design was far too dark for 2004’s lightheartedly comedic throwback to the Showa era’s stupendous mash-up in Destroy All Monsters.
The bizarre and breathtaking Reiwa vision of Shin Godzilla was 12 years away so we had no idea how freaky Toho was willing to let their prized icon look in the new age. Lucky for them, it paid off and they won a bunch of awards.
Back to business: in case you were wondering, the T’s Facto model kit of Nirasawa’s Godzilla is now on sale. His stuff looks like it goes fast so get yours while you can.
What do you think of the unused Goji design? Pretty cool, right? Or do you agree it was too terrifying for the movie they were making? Comment with your reaction below.