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Story Notes for Godzilla

Weeknights during prime time on AMC, you can catch Story Notes — real time trivia and facts about your favorite movies! Below is the online version of the Story Notes for Godzilla.

Anthology Notes
Godzilla is the 23rd movie to star the creature since his debut in Gojira (1954).

In the past, Godzilla has been nearly impossible to defeat. He survived being completely submerged in magma in Godzilla vs. Mothra: Battle for Earth (1992).

The only time Godzilla attacks NYC before this movie was in Destroy All Monsters (1968).

This isn’t the first time Godzilla has had offspring. Son of Godzilla was released in 1967.

The next movie in the monster franchise was Godzilla 2000, produced in Japan.

Biographical Notes
Maria Pitillo played “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford in Chaplin (1992).

Maria Pitillo got her start on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope.

Director Emmerich said The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Earthquake (1974) were early influences on him.

Matthew Broderick is no stranger to Broadway. He has been nominated for three Tony Awards and has won two.

Director Roland Emmerich also produced Godzilla: The Animated Series (1998-2000).

Casting Notes
Director Roland Emmerich always wanted Matthew Broderick for this. He never considered anyone else.

Kevin Dunn (Col. Hicks) is Shia LeBouf’s dad in Transformers (2007) and its sequels.

Vicki Lewis (Elsie) was playing Beth on NewsRadio when this movie was made.

Maria Pitillo (Audrey) is in True Romance (1993) and Natural Born Killers (1994).

Harry Shearer (This Is Spinal Tap) is an award-winning actor, author, director, and musician.

Jean Reno plays Léon in The Professional (1994) and Krieger in Mission: Impossible (1996).

Hank Azaria is in The Birdcage (1996) and is one of the main voice actors on The Simpsons.

Ralph Manza is in over 160 movies and TV shows, including Get Shorty and Seinfeld.

The secretary is Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart on The Simpsons).

Mayor Ebert is played by Michael Lerner. He was nominated for an Oscar for Barton Fink (1991).

Crew Notes
Cinematographer Ueli Steiger worked on Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow and 10,000 BC.

Production designer Oliver Scholl also worked on Emmerich’s Independence Day (1996) and Moon 44 (1990).

Historical Notes
Chernobyl is the site of the worst nuclear accident in history, which happened in 1986.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was created in 1974 to replace the Atomic Energy Commission.

France’s intelligence agency was independent until the 1960s, when the defense ministry took it over.

France stopped nuclear testing in 1996, two years before this movie came out.

Location Notes
All the tropical scenes were shot on the Hawaiian Islands.

The filmmakers had only 13 days to shoot all of their New York City scenes.

Love Note
Matthew Broderick married Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) while filming this movie.

Music Notes
“Come With Me” by Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page was released as a single for this movie and plays during the end credits.

Composer David Arnold also scored five James Bond movies, including Casino Royale (2006).

Pop Culture Notes
Godzilla being pregnant made people assume the creature was female.

Godzilla made an appearance in the TV movie Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988).

Godzilla was one of the ten biggest movies of 1998, the year of Saving Private Ryan and Armageddon.

The tagline in ads for this movie was “Size Does Matter.”

Before this movie came out, the new look of Godzilla was a carefully guarded mystery.

Godzilla has a fan club: The Godzilla Society of North America, also known as G-Force.

More than 3,000 Godzilla products were made to promote this movie, including 25 action figures.

Godzilla’s roar is copyrighted.

The name Godzilla comes from the American mispronunciation of Gojira.

This movie was dedicated to Tomoyuki Tanaka, the creator of Godzilla, who died the year before.

Godzilla had its U.S. premiere at Madison Square Garden.

A 2002 poll ranked Godzilla the third most popular monster in America, behind Dracula and Freddy Krueger.

Godzilla was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004 (50 years after he first appeared).

Press Notes
The Los Angeles Times said Godzilla had “one jaw-dropping scene after another…”

The Los Angeles Times called Godzilla “an expertly designed theme park ride of a movie.”

Quotation Notes
Matthew Broderick: “With these kinds of movies, after a while people are going to want the actors to stop talking…”

Hank Azaria said he’d never shot in artificial rain before and didn’t know what to expect.

Jean Reno: “I have a strong accent; it limits the roles.”

Director Roland Emmerich: “If you use sound as a character, then you do it right.”

Director Emmerich: “Going on a science-fiction movie set is like visiting toyland… My brother trashed all my toys when I was a kid… For my movies you can blame my brother Andy.”

Producer Dean Devlin: “There’s nothing wrong with popcorn movies… but they need to be made by people who love them.”

Jean Reno: “I don’t see Godzilla as a monster. He’s like a fish out of the sea. He’s in the wrong world.”

Producer Dean Devlin: “The special effects people partied for three days when we finally said it was a wrap.”

Director Roland Emmerich: “My idea was based on totally changing Godzilla.”

Script Notes
The mayor was named after movie critic Roger Ebert.

The filmmakers decided early on that this is a world in which no one has ever heard of Godzilla.

Director Roland Emmerich wanted his Godzilla to be fast. He can run about 200 mph.

The idea of baby Godzillas came from an early draft of the script written before Emmerich signed on.

Set Notes
The filmmakers were given a 75-page rule book by Toho Studios, the company that owns Godzilla.

Director Roland Emmerich was asked four times to direct Godzilla before he finally said yes.

The voice of the Japanese man was visual effects supervisor Volker Engel.

For fun, the crew on this movie had T-shirts made that said, “It’s Gojira, you moron.”

The filmmakers watched nature videos of alligators before creating Godzilla’s movements.

Godzilla’s prominent chin was inspired by the tiger Shere Khan in The Jungle Book (1967).

In one take, a mechanical Godzilla burst through the elevator door by mistake.

Source Notes
Gojira is a combination of two Japanese words: kujira (whale) and gorira (gorilla).

The original Godzilla was created by radiation from a nuclear explosion.

In earlier movies, Godzilla lived on Monster Island, first introduced in Destroy All Monsters (1968).

Godzilla doesn’t use his radioactive breath in this movie. Instead, he blows fire. Creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos: “We were creating an animal. We weren’t creating a monster.”

The original Godzilla could breathe underwater and even hibernate there for long periods of time.

Tech Note
Godzilla’s roar was created in 1954 by moving a rubber glove over the strings of a stand-up bass.

Trivia Notes
Allosaurus is Greek for “different lizard.”

As of 2012, New York City has 13 subway tunnels leading out of Manhattan.

“French roast” means the beans were heated at a higher temperature than other types of roasts.

The animal that travels farthest to reproduce is the Arctic tern. It can travel over 50,000 miles a year.

Some reptiles can lay as many as 100 eggs at a time.

About 2,000 known animal species can reproduce asexually.

Leaking top-secret military information could get Nick up to 20 years in prison.

Madison Square Garden is the oldest major sports venue in NYC.

Most lizard eggs take weeks to months to hatch.

No known species of reptile is “born pregnant.”

The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883. It spans the East River, connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Some Story Notes movies give you a chance to win $500 via the Golden Note sweepstakes. Go to the Story Notes homepage for a full schedule of relevant films.

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