It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost in the rearview mirror. And for Godzilla lovers, it’s been a landmark year in many ways. Godzilla vs. Kong stomped into – and helped save – theaters across the world, a veritable avalanche of new merchandise was released, and multiple films in the series (and beyond) celebrated major anniversaries. Toho celebrated the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs. Hedorah with plenty of bravado, and the original 1961 Mothra crossed the 60-year threshold in July.
But before 2021 can officially end, there’s one more Godzilla film that must be celebrated. A film that had a huge impact on audiences when it arrived in Japanese theaters an amazing 30 years ago this December. And – if I may be personal for a moment – a film that was crucial in the early years of my G-fandom, and an entry in the series that I’ve carried with me and deeply cherished for two decades.
That film is, of course, 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. And I’m incredibly thrilled to announce that the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will be celebrating its 30th birthday in style.
And by style, I mean one of the most in-depth, complex, and downright unusual stories ever tackled by the project in its nearly four-year history. Allow me to explain…
While a full novelization for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah will definitely be coming to the GNP one day, I felt that beginning the book wasn’t quite the way I wanted to celebrate this particular anniversary. I wanted to do something a bit smaller and more contained, but still part of the world of the film. I also wanted to do something that has (at least to my knowledge) never been done before, and something that explores the rich (most might say convoluted) time travel aspect of the story.
And boy howdy, did I ever find an idea that excited me. It’s actually an idea I began working on a year and a half ago, but with this December marking a major anniversary for the film, I figured that this was the perfect time to get started.
But enough of the cryptic talk. Let’s dive into the details…
Cast your mind back to the early events of the film, specifically the sequence in which sci-fi novelist Kenichiro Terasawa is summoned by the Japanese government to take part in the Futurians’ mission to remove Godzilla from history. After arriving, he is presented with a most remarkable object: a book called The Birth of Godzilla. A book that Terasawa will one day write, but one that his present-day self has only just begun to research. Terasawa soon learns that in the distant future, the book will become the basis of the Futurians’ entire operation; in the year 2204, the power-hungry terrorists discover the book and come to believe Terasawa’s theory that a massive theropod dinosaur – witnessed on a South Pacific island during WWII – eventually mutates into Godzilla due to exposure to nuclear fallout in the 1950s. Their belief in this theory is what leads to the concoction of their evil plans, namely the supposed “erasure” of Godzilla from history, the rise of King Ghidorah, and the subjugation of the Japanese people.
In other words, The Birth of Godzilla is one deeply significant bargain-bin hardcover.
Aside from being significant to the plot of the film, the book itself seems like it would be a fascinating read for any Godzilla fan. In addition to Terasawa’s “Lagos dinosaur” theory, the book would’ve also likely been packed with paleontological information (courtesy of Katsuhiko Sasaki’s character, Professor Masaki), photographs of both Godzilla and the Godzillasaurus from the collection of Lagos Garrison survivor Yasuaki Shindo (Yoshio Tsuchiya), and possibly even interviews with Shindo and fellow Lagos veteran Masukichi Ikehata.
It’s absolutely a book that most G-Fans would want in their collection. And if you’re such a fan, I have good news for you…
On December 14th – the 30th anniversary of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah – the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will proudly present the first part of an extensive, fleshed-out recreation of Gojira Tanjo, a.k.a. The Birth of Godzilla. The novella will be the first attempt (again, that I’m aware of) to actually fully reproduce this artifact from the movie, complete with all the historical, theoretical, interview, and photographic content mentioned above. I’m even planning to recreate the cover art seen on the prop book in the movie.
Pretty cool, right? Well, I’m not done yet. Because – just like the movie itself – there’s a complex twist to this project…
Cast your mind back – once again – to the movie, and take a moment to step into the mind of Terasawa himself. Imagine that visitors from the future have handed you a book that you have yet to write, and you come to learn a couple of key things about that book:
- You eventually write it and nail almost every part of the theory, but not all of it
- After all your hard work, the book never becomes a bestseller, and ultimately fades into obscurity
- Its creation and future discovery by terrorists will lead to the creation of a destructive monster, the deaths of countless innocent Japanese citizens, and the loss of important people in your life like Mr. Shindo
Heavy stuff, no?
With all of that knowledge now in your possession, what do you do? Do you choose not to write the book at all? Do you choose to write it differently in an attempt to change the future and therefore the past?
Or do you make the unprecedented decision to write the book exactly as history dictates it must be written as a means of preserving a future that, while tragic, must come to pass in order for events to play out the way they were meant to?
While the film itself doesn’t take the time to explore these concepts, if you stop and think about it, Terasawa is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s cursed with knowledge of the future, and the book he has yet to write will play a crucial part in that future. With everything he knows by the end of the movie, he could just as easily decide to not write to book. Likewise, he could also choose to write it differently, perhaps correcting his errors (like the erroneous idea that the 1954 and Heisei Godzillas are somehow the same beast, which they’re not) or documenting the fact that the Heisei Godzilla was born due to a nuclear submarine crash in the 1970s. Heck, the guy could just print the words “THE FUTURIANS ARE EVIL, DON’T TRUST THEM!” across all the pages and be done with it.
But he doesn’t. The fact that the book exists in 2204 for the Futurians to find is proof that Terasawa did eventually write the book, regardless of any reservations or fears he may have had. If time travel in the Heisei Godzilla universe really does function as a closed loop in which history cannot be changed, that means Terasawa has to write the book. Perhaps he has no choice. Perhaps the concept of “choice” is only an illusion; maybe cosmic forces beyond his control are compelling him to write it in an attempt to course correct and prevent paradoxes. Maybe he’s only a pawn in a larger temporal chess game.
What would that kind of pressure do to a person? How does someone deal with the knowledge that they must create something which will lead to suffering, something that must exist in order for the future to play out as intended?
Quite a lot of heavy questions for a movie about a nuclear dinosaur fighting a three-headed dragon, isn’t it?
Well, that’s what I do best: think way too hard about monster movies. And with this project, I intend to put all of that hard thinking to good use.
So, here’s the deal: the GNP’s recreation of The Birth of Godzilla won’t just be a simple recreation. It will also include working notes, ideas, concepts, and writings from Terasawa himself as he goes through the process of writing the book. Think of it as a cross between a history tome and a journal; the reader will see Terasawa doubt himself, cross things out, leave notes on things that have to be corrected (or even written intentionally wrong in order for history to be fulfilled), and ultimately go on a journey to play his role in preserving the future.
The end result will be a “working version” of The Birth of Godzilla, the book equivalent of a film work print. All the words are there, all the pictures are there, but it has yet to be polished. Part scientific exploration of Godzilla’s origins, part psychological exploration of a man compelled to craft a book that is destined to exist, whether he wants it to or not.
So, there you have it! Obviously, this concept is a lot to take in. It’s bizarre, it’s twisted, and it’s a bit complicated. But hey, so is Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. And that’s why we love it.
I’m genuinely excited to get this crazy idea out of my head and onto paper (well, metaphorical paper), and I’m even more excited to be able to share it with all of you. It’s out-of-the-box ideas like this that really fire my creative engines, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride as I begin this new story!
Again, the first part of The Birth of Godzilla drops on the GNP website on December 14th.
(Also, remember: Patrons of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT get early access to information, excerpts, and entire chapters before anyone else. In fact, all of the information above was shared with Patrons over the weekend! If you’re interested in supporting the GNP, visit the project’s Patreon page and join the club for as low as $1 a month!)
Thank you all for reading this huge announcement. If you made it to the end, you’re a trooper. Stay tuned to the website and to the GNP’s social media pages for updates on this project as December 14th gets closer, and spread the word to your fellow G-Fans so they know this is happening! I’ll see you all for the next update. Stay happy, stay safe, and remember: have your Dorats spayed or neutered to prevent any and all unexpected nuclear-fueled biological fusions. You’ll thank me later.