The GNP is honored to present the beginning of a new Godzilla novelization, this one retelling one of the series’ finest moments in its 64 year history: 1964’s monster opus, Mothra vs. Godzilla, which saw its original theatrical release 54 years ago today.
Tackling this particular film for the Godzilla Novelization Project will be an emotional journey for me: as it turns out, Mothra vs. Godzilla was the very first Godzilla film I saw from beginning to end, way back in my elementary school days. After having my mind blown by my first G-film (Godzilla 2000, which I watched the first 3rd of at a friend’s house before cruel fate forced me to leave early), I was brought to my local library by my ever-supportive mother, who had told me that there were many, many more Godzilla films out there to watch. At the time, the library’s movie section was dominated by VHS tapes, and as it turned out, they had a healthy selection of Godzilla titles to choose from! They all looked amazing, but in the end, my selection (based largely off the appeal of the Simitar Entertainment box art) was Mothra vs. Godzilla, labeled Godzilla vs. Mothra on the box and, of course, known to American fans for decades as Godzilla vs. The Thing.
I took that tape home, cradling it in my arms as if it were a sacred treasure, and wasted no time in popping it into my VCR.
I, like so many fans had been before me and have been since, was captivated.
As any G-Fan worth his salt will tell you, Mothra vs. Godzilla is the Goldfinger of the Showa era; from Honda’s directing, Tsuburaya’s special effects, Ifukube’s thundering score, and Sekizawa’s wonderful story and screenplay to the brilliant acting and memorable characters, every aspect of the film’s production shines. If any Godzilla film deserves the moniker of “classic”, it is this one.
To have the opportunity to adapt this wonderful film into novel form is exhilarating, and a bit intimidating. Not only is it a beloved film in the franchise, but it also means to world to me on a very personal level. But just as with any other GNP project, my goal in crafting this adaptation will remain the desire to honor all the men and women who worked on the film, both behind and in front of the camera.
And speaking of “in front of the camera”, the GNP would like to issue a sincere HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only Akira Takarada, star of Mothra vs. Godzilla, the original Godzilla, four other G-titles, and numerous other wonderful productions over a staggering 64 year career. It’s hard to believe that Takarada-San is now 84 years young. He certainly doesn’t look it!
I’ve had the incredible pleasure of meeting Takarada-San four times now, most recently in Japan back in 2016 where he graciously joined my fellow travelers and I for dinner. It was a night that I’ll always treasure. Being that close to a childhood hero on such casual terms is an incredible feeling, and one that I hope all my readers get to experience someday with whomever they consider their hero.
Takarada-San is by far the most authentically generous celebrity I’ve ever met. After more than six decades, he’s still legend in Japan, a highly respected actor and still in demand for various projects. All too often, celebrities of that caliber have massive egos and little time for connecting with fans of their work. Not Takarada-San. Journeys across the Pacific to attend conventions, organizing special tours of Toho Studios for western fans, granting interviews for documentaries and DVD bonus features, taking time out of his schedule to eat and talk with enthusiasts of his work, and even doing cameos in fan-produced kaiju projects… these are things most Hollywood stars wouldn’t dream of doing, much less on a regular basis.
So for all those things, for your unending generosity and kindness, for decades of sharing your incredible talent with generations of movie lovers, and for inspiring so many dreams in so many kids – including me – over the years, and for being a hero both on and off screen… I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy Birthday, Takarada-San!
And so, without further ado, in honor of the 54th Anniversary of Mothra vs. Godzilla and the 84th birthday of its immortal leading man, here is prologue to the GNP’s novel adaptation of the film. I hope you all enjoy it.
(NOTE: After completing the prologue, the link at the bottom of the page will take you to the Chapter 1 page, which is not yet complete. You’ll find something special there that will act as an intro to the eventual chapter, and something that will preface further chapters in this adaptation! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the concept!)
More updates are coming soon, so stay tuned!