Toho Studios, following the financial success of 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla, was eager to pit their giant radioactive dinosaur against another American icon, and set their sights on the Caped Crusader. So in 1965, Godzilla series screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa wrote a proposal for Batman vs. Godzilla.
Similarly, William Dozier, the executive producer and narrator of the Batman TV series ("Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!"), considered following up the successful 1966 Batman movie with a sequel called Batman Meets Godzilla (in which I can only assume the Dark Knight fares better than Bambi did).
Why did neither of these projects advance beyond the planning stages, when apparently both sides were interested in making this blockbuster team-up happen? I have no idea, but ever since I read about them, I've felt as though a key part of me is missing. Holy missed opportunities, Batman!
There aren't a lot of details on Batman Meets Godzilla, the American movie that would've served as a sequel to Batman (1966). In the plot summary, Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl) accompanies her stepfather, Gotham City's Commissioner Gordon, on his vacation in Tokyo. When Godzilla attacks the city, it's up to Batman to save the day.
Would Batman have had enough gadgets in his utility belt to handle Godzilla? Or would he have loaded up all the contents of the Batcave and had them shipped to Japan for his battle with the Big G, like the time Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson spent 3 episodes relocated to Londinium, where Alfred set them up in a rented manor house with a secret dungeon conveniently located beneath it?
Of course a makeshift Batcave beneath Tokyo would bring its own risks and/or rewards. You never know what you'll find in a cavern under Japan in a giant monster movie. Aliens? Robots? Giant insects? Perhaps a Neosaurus egg they can zap with radium in order to hatch it, allowing them to send the Neosaurus to fight Godzilla? Just a thought.
Either way, it probably wouldn't have mattered. Odds are Batgirl would have had Godzilla eating out of the palm of her hand by the time Batman and Robin arrived in Japan anyway.
Toho's plans for their sequel to King Kong vs. Godzilla were a little more in-depth...
When a supervillain threatens the world with a pair of doomsday devices -- one for controlling the weather, the other for controlling Godzilla -- Batman, Robin, and Batgirl combat the rampaging monster in their array of vehicles, including the Batmobile, the Batcopter, the Batboat, and the Batcycle.
|"Whale Repellent? I said Gorilla-Whale Repellent, chum! You see Robin, in Godzilla's homeland of Japan he's known as Gojira, a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, gorira and kujira..."|
Seriously folks, how awesome would this have been? Just close your eyes, conjure Adam West's voice in your mind, and picture Batman discussing the threat Godzilla poses to Gotham City with Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara.
Then just imagine the technicolor clash of the campy titans. It would have been epic! Dare I say it? "Best. Movie. Ever." Many internet commenters are of the opinion that Batman would be hopelessly outmatched in such a face-off, but I disagree. You're talking about a guy who built a nuclear reactor in the cave under his mansion (hey, maybe the Atomic Pile is what draws Godzilla to Gotham City in the first place). I have complete faith in his ability to create high-tech weapons and defensive systems every bit as effective as those of the Japan Self Defense Forces.
And I can only assume that once the villain's hold over Godzilla was broken, Batman vs. Godzilla would follow the tradition of all great crossovers and end with the King of the Monsters teaming up with the World's Greatest Detective to defeat their common enemy.
But enough dwelling on what might have been. Let us now turn our attention to what still could be, based upon the awesome announcement DC Comics made last month. That's right: Batman '66!
If you haven't heard, DC will be publishing a comic book set in the universe of the '60s TV show, written by Jeff Parker with art by Jonathan Case (who does awesome likenesses of all the actors from the series, as you can see below).
- Watch: Video of writer Jeff Parker discussing Batman 66 at WonderCon
- Comic Book Resources: "Batman '66" Is What The Industry Needs
- Parkerspace: Batman on Route 66
- Newsarama: Jeff Parker Plays it (Mostly) Straight with BATMAN '66
IDW Publishing, on the other hand, just announced a new ongoing Godzilla comic book series called Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, designed to accommodate their ever-growing roster of Toho movie monster licenses. It follows the previous Godzilla ongoing series and the miniseries Godzilla Legends, Kingdom of Monsters, Gangsters and Goliaths, and Half-Century War.
While Kingdom of Monsters and the 2 regular Godzilla series share the same continuity, the other mini-series all take place in their own universes with their own unique histories of monster attacks, so obviously IDW is not opposed to variety and risk-taking in their story lines.
Furthermore, DC and IDW already have a history of crossovers and collaborations. Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes was released in 2011, The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction crossover begins in July 2013, and it's been announced that IDW will be reprinting classic DC comic strips.
Clearly the time is ripe for DC and IDW to publish a BATMAN vs. GODZILLA comic book! And not just any sort of comic, but a tabloid-sized Treasury Edition, like all the greatest crossover bouts from my childhood, like Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, and Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk! Might as well go all the way, right?
Come on DC and IDW, you need to make this happen. It's not just the RIGHT thing to do, it's the AWESOME thing. Don't make me start a petition or something. Just take my money!