As illustrated by the rabid speculation that recently ran on many kaiju noticeboards (that Edgar Sean of the Dead Wright was about to embark on a remake of Gorgo), it’s clear that unofficial pronouncements need to be taken with a grain of salt. In that case, the speculation was based on the second-hand report of an interview Wright gave on regional radio in the UK and was clearly driven by a mis-interpretation of a casual remark he made about the 1961 UK giant-monster epic. For a while there, it was an exciting speculation, though — and who knows? Maybe in the long run the enthusiasm that resulted might make him think seriously about the possibility of taking up the Gorgo cause.
Giant monster fans like to speculate and they greet each possibility with delight. Usually, of course, the speculation is based on a bit more than in the “Gorgo” Chinese-Whisper case. Sometimes the rumour is true up to a point, but the possibility subsequently dies out due to some technical problem: lack of funding, copyright issues, artistic differences. An instance of this is “War Eagles” — an exciting, much-anticipated project based on a legendary concept by King Kong (1933) creator, Merian C. Cooper (see Backbrain article). It has been suggested that this one may have collapsed, though the film still appears as being in pre-production on IMDB, as of the last update (19 January 2008). What this means, in all probability, is that the would-be producers are still negotiating the details.
Anyway, here are two more delicious giant-monster speculations.
A new movie from Toho Studios featuring the giant god-insect Mothra, along with a kaiju character named Krystalak. This one seems possible as Mothra is a favourite giant critter in Japan, boasting a wide demographic that takes in adults, kids and young women, and that would appeal to Toho Studios now that Godzilla has fallen asleep for the duration (oh, except for the increasingly hopeful Godzilla 3-D: to the Max project of Hedorah the Smog Monster guru Yoshimitsu Banno — now being listed as under the directorial care of Keith Melton).
The Mothra possibility was brought up on the Twisted Kaiju Theater forums, by a correspondent who noticed that a film called “The Mothra” was mentioned in Wikipedia entries for Mothra, Krystalak and Toho Studios. However, no source is provided in any of these entries, and so far a search of the internet has yielded no extra information.
For your edification, Krystalak is an original kaiju created for the Godzilla Unleashed video games. Apparently Toho approved of his addition to the VG mythos and insisted on retaining copyright over it. This generally supports the possibility that they might be considering using the critter in a movie.
Kong: King of Skull Island
This one has apparently been on the cards for a while. There is more support for it being a reality than is the case with The Mothra, though as time passes the likelihood of the production actually coming to fruition recedes. If it happens, it could be a fantastic project, going on the great source material — and given the right funding levels (and artistic decisions), of course.
Kong: King of Skull Island has an IMDB entry and is listed as being a 2009 release — though you have to be a member of IMDbPro to see the details. But there is support for the film’s “reality” elsewhere as well. It appears as being in “pre-production” on the Fantastic Films International website, for example, and even boasts a poster, albeit with no added details:
It is also mentioned on the website of Joe DeVito, author/artist of the book on which the film will be based. As this is the most recent entry in his news section, perhaps it indicates that Something is happening at last.
Kong: King of Skull Island, the book, is the work of artist Joe DeVito — who conceived of the project and is responsible for the copious artwork — and written by Brad Strickland with John Michlig. It is published by Dark Horse and looks absolutely stunning. Amazon describes the plot thus:
In 1933, American showman Carl Denham returned from a mysterious, hidden island with a priceless treasure. A treasure not gold or jewels, but the island’s barbaric god, a monstrous anthropoid called “Kong.” The savage giant escaped and wreaked havoc among the man-made canyons of Manhattan, but within hours of the giant ape’s death his body – and Carl Denham – disappeared. Twenty-five years later, the son of Carl Denham makes a shocking discovery that leads him back to the site of his father’s greatest adventure and to the answers that will unlock the century’s greatest mystery and history’s greatest miracle.
It was authorised by the Cooper Estate.
DeVito’s illustrations give some indication as to the possible content of the film:
Looks pretty good to me! I have my kaiju-nerd fingers crossed that all goes well with the production.
Note: the above pictures are copyright©Joe DeVito, 2004
Thanks to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery for drawing these to my attention.