Batman Meets Godzilla (lost Japanese film treatment of unproduced crossover film; 1960s)

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Bmgzilla.jpg

Adam West's version of Batman and Godzilla.

Status: Lost

Batman Meets Godzilla is an unproduced comedy film that was a crossover of the 1966 Adam West version of Batman and Godzilla. It was written around the time Batman premiered on ABC, even possibly before that.[1] Two treatments were written for the film before the project was abandoned, but only one is known to have been archived, and the status of the other is unknown.[2]

Plot

Commissioner Gordon and his daughter, Barbara are on vacation aboard a cruise ship in the Far East. Commissioner is on the trip so he can scout "police facilities in the Orient", and Barbara is coming so she can reunite with her old college friend, Reiko Hammamoto. Everything is going well until an enormous tidal wave falls over the ship and capsizes it. The giant wave turns out to be the work of Klaus Finster, a German meteorologist who moved to Japan. In his secret lair (hidden under Mount Fuji), Klaus claims that he has control of the entire weather, and will destroy Japan unless he is given 20 million dollars in gold. Gordon decides that there is only one way to stop Klaus from destroying Japan: calling Batman and Robin.

It turns out that Finster doesn't control the weather; however, he instead controls Godzilla. When he learns that Batman and Robin are coming to stop his evil plans, he flicks a switch that allows Godzilla to escape and start rampaging Japan. Finster also creates an android clone of Count Draidl (a friend of Batman) to fight the duo. After the android Draidl is defeated, Batman and Robin run into Commissioner Gordon and the Japanese cops. Batman thinks Godzilla is involved in the destruction of the city, so they watch a few clips of Godzilla vs. King Kong, confirming that Godzilla's behind the destruction.

Batman and Robin decide to wait before going to defeat Finster, and Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson get into trouble. A "Kabuki" show turns into sword-fighting chaos after the actors on-set ambush the duo. Reiko Hammamoto ends up getting decapitated in the chaos (but ends up being a robot built by Finster). After escaping, the hero duo decide to meet and fight with Klaus, but end up in a car chase that includes a taxi torture chamber slowly filling up with toxic gas. The heroes almost suffocate before Barbara as Batgirl arrives to melt the taxi door.

Batman finds Godzilla in Takada, and his report on this helps him earn the Japanese government's trust. They then follow Godzilla to Osaka, and build a machine that recreates a mating call for Godzilla. The trio drives to the overpass to block Godzilla's way. Once they're there, they battle Finster, who slips off the building and falls to his demise. During the fight, Godzilla grabs Batgirl, so Batman activates the Godzilla mating call, and it causes him to throw Batgirl far away. Batman climbs up Godzilla and straps an explosive to his back, causing him to fly all the way up into orbit.[2]

Production

In 1962, Toho released Godzilla vs King Kong, which was a huge financial success. They wanted to have another success by making a crossover film with another popular American property. However, the film did not get off the ground, as William Dozier declined to make it as a sequel to the 1966 film, and, to decrease the film’s chances of being made at the time, the TV series’ ratings would rapidly decline as it went on, causing it to be cancelled.[2]

Availability

The American treatment of the film is held in the University of Wyoming,[3] but the Japanese treatment, written by the then-current writer of the Godzilla films, Shinichi Sekizawa, is nowhere to be found. It will likely never surface due to the newer incarnations of the Godzilla series, the end of the 1966 Batman series, and the death of Adam West.

References