Today marks Godzilla 1998's 20th anniversary!
20 years ago today director Roland Emmerich tried his hand at directing a true Hollywood adaptation of the King of Monsters, Godzilla. Titled just that, Godzilla released in theaters on May 20th, 1998 and managed to pull in just about $380 million at the box office. Compared to the film's $125 million budget, commercially the film was somewhat successful. However since its debut, the radically different take of the Kaiju God polarized Godzilla fans across the world - many of which refusing to acknowledge Emmerich's creature as a Godzilla specie at all. Even Toho themselves eradicated the then-dubbed "Zilla" from the franchise in Godzilla: Final Wars, where the true Godzilla makes short work of Zilla in a one-on-one battle.
Despite the overwhelming negativity Zilla received, many will agree that the creature's design and plot for the film overall wasn't that bad. The only real gripe fans have was that the film was titled Godzilla and was marketed and sold as a testament to the Godzilla films which came before it. Had the film been named something different, perhaps fans would have been more welcoming to Emmerich's Iguana-Kaiju.
Regardless, we're acknowledging its 20 year milestone!
What did you think of Godzilla '98? Let us know in the comments!
More about upcoming Godzilla movies
Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters is the sequel to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014) and is being directed by Michael Dougherty. The film will introduce Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah and more monsters to the Warner Brothers / Legendary Monsterverse cinematic universe. For information on Godzilla 2's cast, plot, release date and to download the film's official movie posters, please visit the Godzilla: King of the Monsters about page here!
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) is the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and will be the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. It will also bridge both the Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island by bringing Godzilla and Kong face-to-face for an epic match-up. To learn more about Godzilla vs. Kong, check out the Godzilla vs. Kong about page here!
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More Godzilla: King of the Monsters Articles
May-20-2018 10:08 AM
G.I.N.O. (Godzilla In Name Only). The Tristar/Roland Emmerich/Dean Devlin debacle is one of the worst giant "monster" movies to ever be put to film. There are no redeeming qualities to it. The script is terrible, the acting is terrible, it's just a colossal waste of time, money and film. If you call yourself a "Godzilla" fan and think GINO is a good/decent "Godzilla" movie, turn in your fan card brother.
The Legend of Brian
May-20-2018 10:44 AM
I'm nostalgic for the movie. It's not a good Godzilla movie, but being a moronic and brainless monster movie, I think it's fine. Also, let people enjoy things, people are going to like things you don't and dislike things you do.
May-20-2018 1:21 PM
I still enjoy this movie alot, it was a part of my childhood. It's not Godzilla but I like to watch it from time to time, no matter how goofy it gets. It also sparked a fun animated series.
May-20-2018 5:41 PM
At the time I was enraged but it's way more of a Godzilla than shin. I just feel bad for Godzilla 98 and how I should have had her back this whole time. The cartoons were sweet but the design was a shock and her defeat made me go berserk. All hail the Dragon Mother!
May-20-2018 7:49 PM
You're telling me. I was born in the same year. I age with this movie.
I have a soft spot for G1998; it was the first kaiju movie I ever saw and it got me hooked on the genre as a kid. Nowadays, however, the nostalgia goggles are my only source of enjoyment for it. Everything about it (except maybe the score by David Arnold) is just terrible. XD Again, I still enjoy it. But that doesn't stop it from being a garbage movie.
May-20-2018 8:06 PM
I wouldn't say it's terrible. It's just a product of its time, entirely. It reeks of 90s flare, which is either good or bad, depending on your viewpoint. I personally enjoy it and see it's just competent. Not unwatchable or anything. It's made well, at the very least and the monster's portrayed exceptionally for what it is. It's not everyday we get an intelligent Godzilla, after all.
May-20-2018 9:51 PM
"Had the film been named something different, perhaps fans would have been more welcoming to Emmerich's Iguana-Kaiju."
So, hypothetically of course, say someone were to put together an edit of the movie that removes all mention of the word "Godzilla" and replaces it with something else.
Would people enjoy it more?
May-21-2018 1:24 AM
Godzilla would not kill Zilla. Look how he treated Orgah. He didn't want to kill a clone that was trying to kill him until he had to and it was really Orgah's bad for trying to eat him. I think Godzilla would enjoy Zilla's company very much, every Godzilla is a God not ruthless stupid monsters. Divine retribution, Godzilla 98 should have smoked humans and been a Robin to Godzilla's Batman in Final wars.
May-21-2018 2:07 AM
Well, I liked Emmerich's Godzilla. This is fan movie. And I liked the animated series. I liked the design, speed and agility of this Godzilla.
May-21-2018 3:43 AM
I always enjoyed this movie. Godzilla, Zilla, whatever yo want to call it, is a fun monster movie with some great action and cool monster carnage. As a fan of giant monster movies, what's not to like?
May-21-2018 4:06 AM
I think the Godzilla: Monster Apocalypse prequel novel to the anime trilogy did right by the creature whilst also preserving its movie qualities and not just turning it into Godzilla-lite, making it its own thing.
In the prequel novel, Zilla showed up in France and proved to be the most difficult monster to free a region from due to their immense asexual fertility, pack tactics, and speed/agility. Whilst individually weak (THEY CAN BE TAKEN DOWN WITH A SINGLE MASER CANNON SHOT), they made up for this weakness with sheer numbers.
May-21-2018 7:05 AM
In the novel, the juveniles were used by the pack as a decoy for tanks, which the adults then destroyed from the tops of buildings above.
It does make me wonder how multiple iterations of the Zilla creature (yes, I know it's still legally considered "Godzilla", but it's Zilla in practice) from the original film would've coexisted with one another.
May-21-2018 10:45 AM
Oh come on, this isn't the worse godzilla movie ever made. I know plenty of Toho movies that were a lot worse. Like Godzilla vs Hedorah? Godzilla vs Mechaghidorah? Godzilla vs Jet Jaguar?
May-21-2018 11:31 AM
Godzilla vs Mechaghidorah and Godzilla vs Jet Jaguar aren't real Godzilla movies.
If you're referring to Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991) and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), then you are totally wrong there. GvsKG is regarded by many to be within the top 10 Godzilla movies ever made, and GvsM (while not the best *made* film) is regarded by many to be campy fun and a total popcorn flick.
As for, Godzilla vs Hedorah and Son of Godzilla, people love the former just for how bizarre a film it is and the latter for how heart warming it is.
Godzilla's Revenge, on the other hand, I'll give to you. I would agree that that's a worse Godzilla movie than G1998; kid's film or not.
G. H. (Gman)
May-21-2018 12:13 PM
"Like Godzilla vs Hedorah? Godzilla vs Mechaghidorah? Godzilla vs Jet Jaguar?"
Those aren't even movies... So maybe you should take another look.
"Oh i forgot to mention Son of Godzilla and that one godzilla movie where Minilla was talking to a kid."
Also the wrong movie, so really don't have any idea what you're talking about.
Whether one finds the G'98 film better than some of the other films is irrelevant. It still failed to be what the others WERE: A Godzilla movie. It doesn't speak highly that a multi-million dollar budget, Hollywood movie could get so wrong what supposedly "inferior" and less expensive movies did so right. Emmerich threw money at the movie with no thought, Fukuda and Honda had to be creative and resourceful to get around their budget restrictions--Like it or not, the latter shows greater filmmaking versatility.
The 1998 movie is celluloid cliche of 1990s action-tropes and a blueprint for why 90s blockbusters had to change to what we have today.
And for the record, Godzilla's Revenge is an excellent, unique piece of storytelling by Ishiro Honda despite its technical failings. It had more heart, dedication and reverence than the 1998 movie which is essentially about nothing...
May-21-2018 7:32 PM
@G. H. (Gman) But at least we got an animated series with his atomic-breathing, more durable, and (controversially) bigger son afterward, right?
By the way, I know his father "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla'", but does Zilla Jr. deserve the name, or is he still a G.I.N.O.? (I'm sorry I asked this. I was just curious about everyone's opinions.)
May-21-2018 9:52 PM
Okay sorry i forgot the names of some godzilla films. which I have all the godzilla movies from the original Gojira to G2014. However I was stating my opinion, I quite frankly loved Godzilla 1998. It wasn't my first godzilla movie, matter of fact it was my second, my first Godzilla movie was Godzilla vs the Astromonster (if i got that one's name wrong too, then i'm sorry). I do know what i'm talking about because I started a godzilla marathon back in 2014, so sorry that my opinions do not match yours or the overall godzilla fanbase consensus.
May-22-2018 5:58 AM
Since we are discussing sensitive opinions. The G.I.N.O. cartoon series doesn't make up the terrible abomination that birthed it. They made a terrible movie. Fans were robbed of a Godzilla movie that was promised to be so amazing but (once again IMO) failed on every level to bring us a tried and true Godzilla film. Instead we got... that.
At 12 years old I felt robbed of a chance to see an authentic Godzilla movie. I scraped and saved for a movie ticket and when I left I was distraught and angry. Then after punching me in the gut you think a cartoon version of the gut punch was supposed to make up for anything?
The only thing that made the sting go away was the arrival of Godzilla 2000. To see that on a big screen made me happy.
May-23-2018 5:15 AM
I liked the Japanese version when i was little, when the american version itotaly forgot for the Japanese. Godzilla 1998 become my favourite film and dragon. Now the japan Godzilla looks to me fat and ugly, i like more some of the enemy monsters in its movies. I think the american Godzilla looks very cool, great design, and evolutionary more correct- to be fast and agile. I never tired wathing it, even buyed the Trendmasters Ultimate Godzilla figure before a few months.
May-23-2018 11:47 AM
Or maybe you people should grow up already and stop vomit shit at one good movie. MinecraftDinoKaiju, the Legendary's version is better from the previous japan Godzillas, but as i wrote for me is still one fat lizard with small head. I was a kid when i liked the Japan Godzilla, now i think the American version is much more realistic beast, but pity it's not so invincible like the Japan's.
May-23-2018 12:06 PM
^That review is not my words. But even outside of the fan base the general consensus is that the 98 movie is terrible even if it wasn't titled "Godzilla". That was the reason for my post. Its just a bad movie.
You cant S#!* on a movie that already was crap to begin with.
May-29-2018 9:06 PM
It was a decent movie by itself but quite different from the original movies. As a popcorn flick, I have seen worse. I watched it about 6 months ago and it was just meh. Doubt I will watch again though.