"Okay, you guys were right, there wasn't enough room for me to stand up. My bad."


"Okay, you guys were right, there wasn't enough room for me to stand up. My bad."

GODZILLA (1954)

The Abridged Script

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN

A bunch of SAILORS are sailing through the good old safe, peaceful ocean east of Japan.

SAILOR #1

Say, does anybody want to see a picture of my girl waiting back home?

SAILOR #2

I don’t have time for that now, I only have three days left until retirement!

SAILOR #3

Well I don’t know about you guys, but nothing can defeat me now; I am invincible.

SEAN BEAN

That reminds me, I-

An ambiguous THING kills them all!

INT. COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS

Salvage expert AKIRA TAKARADA and his fellow COAST GUARD OFFICERS investigate the ship’s SOS TRANSMISSION.

COAST GUARD OFFICER

A boat was just destroyed! Let’s send another boat to find out what happened!

AKIRA TAKARADA

Okay.

(pause)

Oops, now THAT boat has been destroyed.

COAST GUARD OFFICER

Fine then, send more boats to the place where boats are being destroyed!

AKIRA TAKARADA

Er...

COAST GUARD OFFICER

Dangit, they were destroyed. Oh hold on a second, it seems some fishing boat picked up survivors from the second shipwreck.

AKIRA TAKARADA

Oh good! Maybe now we can find out-

COAST GUARD OFFICER

No, wait, the fishing boat just got destroyed.

AKIRA TAKARADA

Wow. We’re TERRIBLE at guarding coasts.

EXT. ODO ISLAND

A single SURVIVOR washes ashore near a small fishing village, regaining consciousness just long enough to say something COMPLETELY UNINFORMATIVE.

VILLAGER

All these unexplained ocean deaths! And the ocean seems to have run out of fish! What an intriguingly mysterious threat. I look forward to slowly revealing-

ELDER

What mystery? It’s obviously just Godzilla.

ELDER’S GRANDDAUGHTER

Oh you and your Godzilla! Nobody believes that silly old story about the giant monster who is called Godzilla!

ELDER

NUTS TO YOU! Anybody can see that these incidents are in fact animal attacks by a very large creature by the name of Godzilla!

VILLAGER

...Well that clears that up. Fuck building up to things in the name of atmosphere, amirite?

ELDER

Harrumph, back in MY day Godzilla never attacked, because we appeased him with virgin sacrifices! What happened to the good old days, when people respected tradition, and innocent teens were murdered for the sake of superstitious bullshit, and everybody was terrible?

That night the village is VAGUELY DESTROYED by an UNSEEN ENTITY!

ELDER

WHAT DID I TELL YOU? Kids these days, with their not getting floated out to sea to die!

VILLAGER

Er, is this movie indirectly putting non-teenager-murder on the same level of human hubris as nuclear warfare?

A team of SCIENTISTS including PALEONTOLOGIST TAKASHI SHIMURA and his daughter MOMOKO KOCHI come to survey the wrecked village.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

I think the villagers are telling the truth about the giant monster! Look at this, it’s-

MOMOKO KOCHI

Wait, let me guess: a giant footprint?

TAKASHI SHIMURA

Of course it’s a giant footprint, it wouldn’t be much of a monster movie without a giant footprint now would it.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Why is it always ONE giant footprint, though? Shouldn’t there be a bunch in a row, like animals leave when they’re walking? Or did Godzilla just take an enormous single hop right into the middle of town?

TAKASHI SHIMURA

Hold on, the Geiger counter’s going wild. This footprint is radioactive! Everybody, let’s look real close at this radioactive footprint! Momoko, help me pick up some of the radioactive rubble with my bare hands.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Aren’t... you meant to be a scientist?

Suddenly, over the rise of a nearby hill, a giant LUMPY BLOB appears!

TAKASHI SHIMURA

HOLY FUCK! If that’s the size of one of the creature’s turds, imagine how big the monster itself must be!

MOMOKO KOCHI

Um, Dad, I think if you look closely you’ll see a pair of Cookie Monster-style googly eyes on that turd.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

(squints)

Oh. That IS the creature. Wow, that special effect doesn’t hold up AT ALL. Let’s just hope the movie never revolves around showing it off for any extended period of time.

MOMOKO KOCHI

(looks at entire second act of script)

Eh heh... about that.

INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING

TAKASHI presents his findings to the GOVERNMENT.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

It’s my belief that Godzilla is a prehistoric beast which evolved to survive in extremely deep underwater caves beneath the ocean floor.

GOVERNMENT PERSON

Then how the hell is it able to walk around and breathe on land? Shouldn’t it pretty much explode in our low-pressure environment?

TAKASHI SHIMURA

MOVING ON, because of all the radiation I also believe that Godzilla came out of hiding after being disturbed by nuclear testing. Which is alarming, because if it can survive an atomic blast, surely it must be indestructible!

GOVERNMENT PERSON

What are you talking about? It’s 1954. Testing our dinky little A-bombs in the Pacific Ocean would barely cause the ocean floor to warm up a little, let alone for giant animals underneath it to get fried. Of course Godzilla survived that, I’m surprised it even noticed.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

Huh, that’s a fair point. But for the story to work, we’re gonna act like Godzilla pretty much swallowed an atomic bomb whole and belched out the fireball like a Looney Tunes character, okay?

EXT. COAST

Then GODZILLA emerges from the OCEAN and attacks JAPAN!

SOLDIER

All right men, we’ve been preparing for this, so let's use the strategy we’ve come up with for stopping that ten-storey nuclear lizard: shooting it with our tiny, tiny guns!

SOLDIERS unloose a bunch of MACHINE GUN FIRE to absolutely NO EFFECT.

SOLDIER

Uh oh. Um, say, Mr. Godzilla, I don’t suppose you’re some kind of benevolent entity who strives to protect the world from other monsters and preserve the balance of nature, by any chance...?

GODZILLA

NOT YET MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

(starts killing everybody)

As GODZILLA enters the CITY and starts WRECKING SHIT, TAKASHI and AKIRA try to head in to, I don’t know, help somehow. But they are stopped by the POLICE.

POLICEMAN

Hold on now, I don’t know if you noticed but there’s a giant lizard attack going on, so we’re keeping all cars and pedestrians out of the area!

TAKASHI SHIMURA

And the trains too?

POLICEMAN

The what now?

A TRAIN full of COMMUTERS drives right into GODZILLA’S LEG, and then GODZILLA proceeds to crumple it like tinfoil and kill them all.

POLICEMAN

Oh. Heh. Oops.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

All this destruction! How are we going to lure Godzilla away from

INT. GOVERNMENT BUILDING

Later, the GOVERNMENT are coming up with a NEW STRATEGY.

GOVERNMENT PERSON

Oookay, we just cut away from that scene without really finishing it, so I guess Godzilla just wandered off for whatever reason? But presumably it will also just wander back eventually for whatever reason! So we’re constructing a giant electric fence to stop it.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

Remind me exactly what kind of damage was done to Godzilla just last scene, when it got tangled in the live electrical wires powering that train?

GOVERNMENT PERSON

I believe it was somewhere in the vicinity of “fuck all”. But this is the only plan we have, and by gosh let’s hope it works because constructing hundreds of electrical towers right across the coast, and probably a few new power plants to power the damn thing, will basically eat up our country’s entire budget for the next few years.

(pause)

It’ll also probably take like four months to build, so the next attack better not happen RIGHT away.

TAKASHI SHIMURA

Well I think you’re all fools anyway, trying to kill Godzilla. We should be studying it instead, to understand how it withstood the atomic bomb! Think of all the lives we could save! But please DON’T think of all the lives we’d lose in the meantime.

GOVERNMENT PERSON

Studying it? Anybody who gets within fifty yards of Godzilla dies horribly, how the fuck do we study it?

TAKASHI SHIMURA

From North Korea, through the most powerful binoculars we can find.

EXT. COAST

Some time later the ELECTRIC FENCE is completed and GODZILLA is ATTACKING AGAIN! It shrugs off the ELECTRICITY, then starts MELTING the ELECTRICAL TOWERS with its thick, misty BREATH.

SOLDIERS

What the fuck? Do you have super-halitosis or something?

GODZILLA

Nah man, this is supposed to be radioactive breath! Because when I got exposed to the nuclear explosion, I guess I got superpowers like Spider-Man or whatever.

GODZILLA strides into TOKYO!

GODZILLA

MWA HA HA, TREMBLE TINY HUMANS, AS I TOWER OVER THESE... uh, two-storey buildings? Guys, where my skyscrapers at?

CIVILIANS

This is Tokyo in 1954, dude. Things were different then.

GODZILLA

But that means... I must be puny! Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla could wear me like a little hat! Ah, fuck this! I hate you, shitty old-timey city, you die now!

(sees thing)

FUCK YOU, THING!

(destroys thing)

(sees thing)

FUCK YOU, THING!

(destroys thing)

(sees thing)

FUCK YOU, THING!

(destroys thing)

(sees thing)

FUCK YOU, THING!

(destroys thing)

This goes on for A WHILE.

MILITARY LEADER

Damnit, it’s just flattening all our tanks and cannons! We’re fucked, there’s nothing we can - wait. Do we have an air force maybe?

SOLDIER

Yes sir, but aren’t you worried that if we send planes after Godzilla it’d just grab them out of the sky using the extremely visible wires they’re hanging from?

MILITARY LEADER

We’ll have to risk it!

Planes go in and hurl missiles at GODZILLA for like thirty seconds.

GODZILLA

Ow, fuck, quit it! Nuts to this, I’m going home.

(leaves)

MILITARY LEADER

Wait, that worked?! Oh dang, maybe we should have just done that in the first place.

INT. HOSPITAL

MOMOKO surveys the crowds filling a HOSPITAL.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Would you look at this devastation! People in agony, breathing their last... people sitting in shock and grief, their loved ones dead, their city destroyed... children being measured with Geiger counters, oh the humanity-

RAYMOND BURR

YES OKAY WE GET IT, HIROSHIMA WAS BLEAK, QUIT GUILT-TRIPPING US GEEZ.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Uhhh, who the hell are you?

RAYMOND BURR

Oh come on, you know me! I’m the American journalist who went to university with your science genius fiance, which is completely plausible! Didn’t you notice me hovering pointlessly in the background of every major scene? Come over here and talk with me in badly-dubbed English!

MOMOKO KOCHI

Oh HELL no, I want nothing to do with this American-audience spliced-in-footage Power Rangers bullshit! I’m out of here.

RAYMOND BURR (V.O.)

And so Momoko and Akira went to speak with Momoko’s fiance Akihiko Hirata, a chemist who-

MOMOKO KOCHI

Don’t you fucking narrate me, Ironside! You’re not a part of this!

INT. LAB

MOMOKO and AKIRA go to meet SCIENTIST AKIHIKO HIRATA.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Akihiko, I know I promised you I wouldn’t tell anybody about your Godzilla-killing superweapon, and after the first batch of dead people I kept my promise, as well as after the second batch of dead people, but now I think that juuust enough people are dead for me to cave. So I told Akira... who is now accompanying me to talk to you, which I could easily have done by myself without bringing him into it in the first place.

(frowns)

Why is Akira a character in this movie, again?

AKIRA TAKARADA

Oh shut up, at least I’m not here to coincidentally be the girlfriend of the coast guard guy AND the daughter of the Godzilla expert AND the fiancee of the scientist who works out how to kill Godzilla. It’s like you’re the “friend who gets exposited to” character, except for EVERYBODY.

AKIHIKO HIRATA

It’s true, I have discovered a weapon that could kill Godzilla. I demonstrated it to Momoko earlier, using it to dissolve a tankful of fish.

(pause)

I guess I could have just explained it to her and not had to murder all those fish.

MOMOKO KOCHI

Or even killing one fish would have gotten the idea across, instead of a dozen or so.

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Maybe. I just fucking hate fish. Anyway, I killed them with my Oxygen Destroyer. It’s a weapon that destroys all the oxygen atoms in its vicinity.

AKIRA TAKARADA

So, the tank went instantly dry as all the oxygen atoms in the water were destroyed and the water became pure hydrogen gas?

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Well no, the oxygen atoms break down into “fluid”, is what I’m claiming.

AKIRA TAKARADA

So... all the water in the tank was replaced with some kind of non-water clear liquid made from smashed oxygen atoms?

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Ummm, I guess that’s what supposedly happened? It really isn’t explained very well. Look, the point is, it could be used as a superweapon, so I can’t let anybody know about it. Imagine the terrible result if there were a weapon out there which could wipe out an entire city!

MOMOKO KOCHI

But... we already have that? I don’t really see how your thing could make a difference.

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Momoko, look at me. I’m a movie scientist who works in a weird underground lab where I conduct creepy fish-dissolving experiments. I have a fucking EYEPATCH. There is zero chance that anything I invent won’t be pure evil.

MOMOKO KOCHI

So your argument is that we have to stand idly by and let Godzilla kill millions, or millions may die?

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Exactly! Nothing will change my mind about this!

The TELEVISION suddenly turns itself on.

ANNOUNCER

And now, a whole bunch of footage of destroyed buildings and dying people, accompanied by the sound of the Passive Aggressive Tragic Young Girl Choir!

GUILT TRIP CHOIR

(singing)

Oh we are so sad

Look at our sad little faces

All our families were murdered

And our friends were also murdered

We don’t want to be murdered

But we’ll probably all be murdered

And roasted by atomic breath

Our charred corpses crushed under giant lizard feet

Seriously anybody who could stop this but doesn’t is a diiiiick

AKIHIKO HIRATA

OH FIIINE THEN, we’ll use the stupid Oxygen Destroyer this ONE time. Now since I want as few people to know about this thing as possible, we should organise a very discreet mission to deploy it, even just the three of us in a small boat may be able to

EXT. OCEAN

MOMOKO and AKIHIKO and AKIRA and TAKASHI are on a BIG SHIP with LIKE A HUNDRED PEOPLE and JOURNALISTS and NEWS CAMERAS and a BRASS BAND.

AKIHIKO HIRATA

For fuck’s sake.

REPORTER

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, here we are, having taken a big noisy boat out right into the part of the ocean where Godzilla has been smashing every single boat! Now Akihiko is going to take the Oxygen Destroyer into the water, and let’s all sit here directly over where the world’s most dangerous experimental superweapon is about to be let off!

AKIHIKO takes the OXYGEN DESTROYER down to the ocean floor, where the lighting is really quite good I must say. Fifty feet away, GODZILLA awakens!

GODZILLA

Ugghhh, man I really tied one on last night. A lizard my age shouldn’t go out getting shot by so many tanks and airplanes.

(yawns, stretches)

Where’s the Tylenol?

It spots AKIHIKO.

GODZILLA

Damnit, it’s too early to massacre humans. Oh well, no rest for the wicked.

(shuffles slowly towards Akihiko)

Gimme a minute, I’m coming, I’m coming.

AKIHIKO HIRATA

Look, I can see you’re trying to put some kind of tension into the climax, but I haven’t got time for this.

He lets off the OXYGEN DESTROYER.

GODZILLA

Woah hey now, are we seriously not letting me do anything in the whole climax except a brief hungover stumble towards-

(dissolves)

Aboard the SHIP, everybody celebrates!

MOMOKO KOCHI

Well would you look at that, he became a skeleton and then his skeleton dissolved, can’t get any deader than that! Guess we won’t be seeing any more of Godzilla, then. End of franchise, goodnight everybody!

TAKASHI SHIMURA

(grimly)

Don’t be so sure. That Godzilla may have died, but I doubt it was the last of its kind. One day... another Godzilla may emerge!

(pause)

And there’ll probably be a giant moth as well. Plus a sort of pterodactyl thing. Also King Kong might show up at some point. And a preying mantis, and a lobster, and a robot version of Godzilla, and an alien cyborg, and like this big beetle with sword arms and a mace or something sticking out of its forehead, and

END.

This script was made possible thanks to the support of Patrons like Mike.

If you'd like to support the site, please check out our Patreon page where pledging can earn you access to an ad-free version of the site, early access to scripts, exclusive scripts, and other cool shit.


Discussion