Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cool! Now how about MechaKong vs. MechaGodzilla?

I was doing some online Googling for research into my Godzilla: Final Wars review, when I stumbled across this gem from Godzilla special effects director Koichi Kawakita regarding a proposed rematch between Godzilla and King Kong:
DM: Toho recently gave some consideration to producing a movie in which Godzilla was going to face MechaniKong, but the studio could not obtain permission to use the robot. What was the film going to be like? (MechaniKong appears in KING KONG ESCAPES (1967).)

KK: Toho wanted to pit Godzilla against King Kong because KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1962) was very successful. However, the studio thought that obtaining permission to use King Kong would be difficult. So, it instead decided to use MechaniKong. Soon afterward, it was discovered that obtaining permission even to use the likeness of King Kong would be difficult. So, the project was canceled. (KING KONG VS. GODZILLA was more successful in Japan than any of the other Godzilla movies.)

MechaniKong was going to have injectors. A number of people were going to be injected into Godzilla while the robot was wrestling with him. They then were going to do battle with Godzilla from within while MechaniKong continued to do battle with him from without.

There were going to be many different strange worlds inside Godzilla. The concept was very much like the one on which FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966) was based.

Ah, what could've been! I'm already miffed at the discovery that Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster was originally intended to be a King Kong film. The assertation elsewhere that Ted Turner owned the rights to Kong and demanded too much money for the rights is somewhat baffling, as the original novelization of the King Kong movie is in the public domain, and anyone can base any derivative work on that at no cost, as long as the movie is not specifically referenced. Certainly MechaKong (or MechaniKong as is sometimes referenced) has no connection with the original 1933 film, and should be fair game for Toho. Go figure.

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