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GODZILLA (ＧＯＤＺＩＬＬＡ?) is a Gojira1998 American science fiction monster film produced by TriStar Pictures, and the first American Godzilla film. The film was released to American theaters on May 19, 1998, and to Japanese theaters on July 11, 1998.
Following a nuclear test in French Polynesia, a marine iguana nest is exposed to the fallout of radiation.
Thirty years later, a Japanese fishing vessel is suddenly attacked by an enormous sea creature in the South Pacific ocean, with only one seaman surviving. Traumatized, he is questioned by a mysterious Frenchman in a hospital regarding what he saw, to which he only replies "Gojira."
Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, an NRC scientist, is in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine researching the effects of radiation on wildlife, but he is interrupted by the arrival of an official from the U.S. State Department. He is sent to Panama and Jamaica, escorted by the military, to observe a trail of wreckage across land leading to the recovered Japanese fishing ship with massive claw marks on it. In Jamaica, the Frenchman is also present, observing the scene, and introduces himself as Philippe Roaché, a so-called "insurance agent."
Aboard a military aircraft, Dr. Tatopoulos identifies skin samples he discovered in the shipwreck as belonging to an unknown species. He dismisses the military's theory that the creature is a living dinosaur, instead deducing that he is a mutant created by nuclear testing.
The large reptilian creature travels to New York City leaving a path of destruction wherever it goes. The monster is lured to Flatiron Square with 20,000 pounds of fish, when the military begins attacking it. The city is evacuated as the military attempts to kill the monster, but fails in an initial attempt. Tatopoulos later collects a blood sample and learns that the creature is pregnant; it reproduces asexually and is collecting food not just for itself, but also for its offspring.
Eventually, Dr. Tatopoulos meets up with his ex-girlfriend, Audrey Timmonds, a young news reporter who wants to find a story. While she visits him, she uncovers a classified tape in his provisional military tent which concerns the origins of the monster, and turns it over to the media. She hopes to have her report put on TV in hopes to become famous, but her superior and boss, Charles Caiman, declares the tape as his own discovery. The tape is broadcast on television by the media, who dubs the creature "Godzilla." Dr. Tatopoulos is thrown off the team for his inadvertent carelessness and says goodbye to Audrey. Tatopoulos is then kidnapped by Philippe Roaché, who reveals himself to be an agent of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence agency. He and his colleagues have been keeping close watch on the events and are planning to cover up their country's role in the creation of Godzilla. Suspecting a nest somewhere in the city, they cooperate with Dr. Tatopoulos to trace and destroy him.
Following an encounter with the military near Central Park, Godzilla dives into the Hudson River to evade the military, where he is attacked by two Ohio Class Nuclear-Powered Subs and a Los Angeles-Class Nuclear Attack Submarine. After colliding with torpedoes the subs fired at him, Godzilla sinks. Believing he is finally dead, the authorities celebrate.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tatopoulos and Roaché's team, covertly followed by Timmonds and her cameraman Victor "Animal" Palotti, make their way through underground subway tunnels to Madison Square Garden. There, they find over a hundred eggs. As they attempt to destroy them, the eggs suddenly hatch. Perceiving the human intruders as food due to the fact that they smell like fish, the hatchlings begin attacking. Dr. Tatopoulos, Palotti, Timmonds and Roaché take refuge in the stadium's broadcast booth and send a live news report to alert the military. A prompt response involving an airstrike is initiated as the four escape moments before the arena is bombed.
The adult Godzilla, however, is revealed to have survived the torpedo attack earlier underwater (it is implied that he merely faked his death), and emerges from the Garden's ruins. Discovering all of his young dead, he chases the group through the streets of Manhattan angrily. In pursuit, Godzilla eventually makes his way to the Brooklyn Bridge. Godzilla becomes trapped in the steel suspension cables, making him an easy target. After being directly hit by missiles from three F-18 Hornets, Godzilla falls to the ground and slowly dies. Roaché and the rest of the team part ways, and the people of New York celebrate.
Meanwhile, back in the smoking ruins of the Garden, a lone egg hatches.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Roland Emmerich
- Written by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
- Produced by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ute Emmerich, William Fay, Cary Woods, Robert Fried, Kelly Van Horn, Peter Winther
- Music by David Arnold, Michael Lloyd
- Cinematography by Ueli Steiger
- Edited by Peter Amundson, David Siegel
- Production Design by Oliver Scholl
- Special Effects by Patrick Tatopoulos
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Matthew Broderick as Doctor Niko Tatopoulos
- Jean Reno as Philippe Roaché
- Maria Pitillo as Audrey Timmonds
- Hank Azaria as Victor "Animal" Palotti
- Kevin Dunn as Colonel Hicks
- Harry Shearer as W.I.D.F. Anchor Charles Caiman
- Vicki Lewis as Doctor Elsie Chapman
- Michael Lerner as Mayor Ebert
- Lorry Goldman as Mayor's Aide Gene
- Arabella Field as Lucy Palotti
- Doug Savant as Sergeant O'Neal
- Malcolm Danare as Doctor Mendel Craven
- Christian Aubert as Jean-Luc
- Frank Bruynbroek as Jean-Pierre
- Philippe Bergeron as Jean-Claude
- Francois Giroday as Jean-Philippe
- Nicholas J. Giangiulio as W.I.D.F. Engineer Ed
- Robert Lesser as Murray
- Ralph Manza as Elderly Fisherman Joe
- Greg Callahan as Governor
- Chris Ellis as General Anderson
- Nancy Cartwright as Caiman's Secretary
- Richard Gant as Admiral Phelps
- Stephen Xavier Lee as Lieutenant Anderson
- Jack Moore as Leonard
- Brian Farabaugh as Arthur
- Steve Giannelli as Jules
- Kurt Carley as Godzilla (Suit)
- Frank Welker and Gary A. Hecker as Godzilla (Voice)
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
GODZILLA's budget was $125 million in both production and advertising costs. Financially, the film did well in its initial release with a gross of $55 million, but poor word of mouth from both fans and critics caused the film's profits to drop 40% after the first week. Domestically, it made $136,314,294 and drew in another $242 million overseas, totaling $379,014,294 worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, GODZILLA wasn't a flop, but it was not the blockbuster the studio was looking for. Sony's contract with Toho stated that Sony had the option to produce a trilogy of American Godzilla films so long as the first sequel was released within five years after the first film. Sony green-lit a sequel shortly after the film's release, while an animated series made as a continuation of the film began to air later in 1998. During that time TriStar released Toho's Godzilla 2000: Millennium in U.S. theaters. Because of the poor reception of the film, a lack of retailer interest, and the underwhelming financial performance of the first film, Sony ultimately decided not to make another Godzilla film and their license to the Godzilla franchise expired May of 2003.
The history of the 1998 film and its monster has been a rather mixed and negative one. The initial reaction to the 1998 release was mostly a negative one spanning from both movie critics and the Godzilla fanbase alike. Critically it was blasted for uninspired acting, random plots that don't fit, unnecessary use of rain, inconsistent size of the monster, shoddy special effects (even for its time period), and the constant themes and actual scenes it was accused of ripping off from Jurassic Park. TriStar's GODZILLA was accused of heavily borrowing concepts such as the asexual development of eggs. Multiple scenes had the main characters running for their lives from the baby Godzillas which look much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, although the directors insisted this was not intended.
This is a list of references for Godzilla (1998 film). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: