Holy missed opportunity, Batman! In the 1960s, Toho considered making a crossover film with an epic showdown between Godzilla and Batman. The never-realized project was thought of as an urban legend for years.
However, it appears the 60s Batman TV show executive producer William Dozier entertained the idea. According to Comic Book Resources, a 22-page treatment titled Batman Meets Godzilla was found in William Dozier’s archives at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.
The project was reportedly spurred by the massive success of 1962’s crossover movie, King Kong vs. Godzilla. Shinichi Sekizawa, the writer of many famous Godzilla films like King Kong vs. Godzilla, submitted a concept for another Godzilla film in late 1965. His idea was for Godzilla to battle Batman, as Toho aimed to replicate the success of King Kong vs. Godzilla with another crossover film.
‘Batman Meets Godzilla’ Would Have Seen the Bat-Family in Japan
Little is known about Sekizawa’s take on the concept. However, an unknown American screenwriter took a swing at the story shortly after. Based on the American treatment archived at the American Heritage Center, the crossover film was set to feature the original cast from the iconic television series. This would include Batman (Adam West), Robin (Burt Ward), Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton), and Batgirl (Yvonne Craig).
The synergy here would have been perfect. The Adam West version of the Caped Crusader is peak camp. The sardonic humor and bright, colorful action of the Batman series would have been in sync with Toho’s take on Godzilla in the late 60s. You know, a Godzilla capable of this sort of thing:
The movie kicks off with Barbara and her father embarking on a cruise to the Far East. Barbara’s got plans to reunite with an old college buddy, while her Commissioner father is all about inspecting Asian police facilities. But hold onto your capes, because things take an unexpected twist when a maniacal baddie unleashes a wicked weather attack, aiming to ransom the world for a cool $20 million in gold. Cue the entrance of Batman and Robin, because as it turns out, this villain’s control over “the weather” is actually control over Godzilla.
Before Batman and Robin confront Godzilla, the dynamic duo takes a moment to explore the wonders of Japan. This reportedly included engaging in sword fights with a gang of kabuki warriors and running through a bathhouse.
How Could Batman Possibly Take on Godzilla?
Adam West’s version of Batman seems like an odd match for Godzilla. Reportedly, Batman would have deployed his arsenal of vehicles on the king of the monsters. However, one can only imagine some excuse for Batman (and perhaps Robin) to be made giant themselves. Of course, this would lead to a slapstick throwdown. Sure it would have been cheesy, but imagine the GIFs alone!
The movie, unfortunately, never materialized, and it didn’t even progress enough to have a complete script. Details about why and how it was abandoned remain scarce. Nevertheless, certain elements from the proposed Batman Meets Godzilla concept were later incorporated into another Godzilla film. The weather machine found its way into the 1967 movie Son of Godzilla.
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