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Godzilla first appeared in the movie Godzilla in 1954.  In this movie Godzilla was created by the
testing of nuclear weapons off of Japan.  Once Godzilla is brought to life by this testing he
begins to attack Japan.  Godzilla is later killed by a device that sucks all the oxygen out of the
water around him.  In 1955 Godzilla again returned to Japan, but this time in order to save it
from another giant monster, Angilas.  Godzilla’s return to the screen was called Godzilla Raids
Again.  This movie started the trend of having Godzilla being the good guy in the movies.  This
movies was followed in 1962 by King Kong vs. Godzilla.  This movie offered a brief return to
Godzilla’s villainous side as he begins to destroy Japan, and King Kong is brought in to stop
him.  Despite Godzilla’s demise in this one, he returned again in Godzilla vs. The Thing.  This
was Godzilla’s last villainous role until 1984.  This movie also brought another monster, Mothra,
into the Godzilla universe (Mothra had previously starred in her own movie).  Over the next 11
years (1964-1975), 11 more Godzilla movies would be released.  All these movies dealt with
Godzilla saving the world from other monsters, aliens, or a combination of aliens and other
monsters.  They also featured Godzilla teaming up with such monsters as Rodan, Mothra, and
Angilas in order to save the world.  It would be 9 years before the next movie was released.  This
movie was Godzilla 1984 (or Godzilla 1985 depending on your country).  Godzilla 1984 was an
updated retelling of the original movie, with Godzilla becoming a Tokyo stomping villain once
again.  Five years later Godzilla would return in Godzilla vs. Biollante.  This movie would be the
last one released in the U.S., and featured a genetically enginereed creature fighting Godzilla to
protect Japan.  Over the next 6 years five more movies would be released in Japan.  All these
movies involved the G-Force (first introduced in Biollante) trying to find a way to stop Godzilla,
and creating more monsters to fight him.  Godzilla finally died in Godzilla vs. Destroyer, which
was released in 1995.  This movie was a direct sequel to the original movie from 1954, and all
the movies since 1984.  It involved a creature being created from the oxygen sucking device
created to kill Godzilla.  Forty one years later the creature finds its way to Japan and begins to
grow, and Godzilla must fight.  At the end of the movie Godzilla goes into melt down because of
all the nuclear energy that was used to create him.  However the movie ends with a hint of things
to come as Godzilla’s baby rises up out of the ashes of its parent.  The best quote to sum up the
Godzilla movies came from Raymond Burr at the end of the US’s Godzilla 1985.  At the end,
when discussing Godzilla’s apparent demise, Burr says:

"Nature has a way sometimes of reminding an of just how small he is. She
occasionally throws up the terrible offspring of our pride and carelessness,
to remind us of how puny we really are in the face of a tornado, an
earthquake, or a Godzilla.  Godzilla, that strangely innocent and tragic
monster, has gone to earth. Whether he returns or not, or is never again
seen by human eyes, the things he  has taught us remain."

With all that behind him, Godzilla now has big plans for the future.  Several years ago Tri
Star Pictures bought the rights to make an entirely American version of Godzilla.  The original
director of the movie, Jan De Bont (Speed, Twister) was fired not very long ago because of the
amount of money he wanted for the movies budget.  With this turn of events the future looked
bleak.  Then this summer heralded the release of the blockbuster movie Independence Day.  Tri
Star saw this movie back in April, several months before its release, and signed its director
(Roland Emmerich), and screen writer (Dean Devlin) to make the new Godzilla movie.  At the
moment there is a script for the movie, but Emmerich and Devlin want to try to write their own
first.  The movie has a scheduled release for Summer 1998, and rumor has it that Tri Star has
already been showing previews for it in theaters to start to peak people’s interest.  Other big
news for Godzilla at the moment is that he now has his own comic book series from Dark Horse
Comics (along with fellow monster Gamera).  The biggest news, and probably worst at the
moment, for American fans of Godzilla is that Tri Star owns the rights to the previously
unreleased (though bootlegs do exist) Godzilla movies.  The good news is that Tri Star plans to
release these movies in the U.S., but the bad news is that they won’t be released until after
summer 1998 (They don’t want to take attention from their movie), and they will more than
likely be released only in poorly dubbed versions.  However, only time will tell what version of
these movies are released (the bootlegs are available both dubbed and subtitled).