It Ate Cleveland: The Godzilla vs. Cleveland Monster Movie That Never Happened

Steve DiMatteo Culture History

Godzilla vs Cleveland Ad

Would you believe Godzilla nearly destroyed Cleveland, Ohio?

Back in the 1980s, a movie was in development called It Ate Cleveland, which essentially would have been a spoof of Japanese kaiju films, featuring a Godzilla-like fire-breathing monster that rose from the depths of Lake Erie to attack Northeast Ohio.

That being said, the movie's Godzilla-like monster resembled Godzilla just a bit too much for Toho's liking, as the Japanese studio threatened a lawsuit when the project was originally named the very suable Godzilla vs. Cleveland. Though the movie wasn't initially canceled - just put on hold for a few years - the project was eventually shelved for good in 1987.

But there is a movie poster and some other promotional material that exist as some surviving evidence of the abandoned project, which you can see below.

It Ate Cleveland Movie Poster

The movie would have been made by a company known as the Cannon Group, which also owned Cannon Films. Cannon Films actually had quite a notable history in Hollywood as an internationally recognized studio that owned several classic film libraries. In addition to producing many well-known films (or infamous, if that's how you want to view Superman IV: The Quest for Peace), Cannon also once held the rights to valuable properties such as Barbie and Spider-Man, which as things turned it, it's probably good that those films were made later on by other studios.

As for Godzilla vs. Cleveland (or It Ate Cleveland, if you don't want to feel Toho's wrath), it would have been directed by Gene Quintano, who wrote a couple Police Academy sequels and would eventually get to write and direct a spoof movie of his own in 1993's Loaded Weapon 1, which is a very underrated entry in the spoof genre.

Cleveland Shirt Graphic

Dana Olsen, who wrote The 'Burbs, along with George of the Jungle and Inspector Gadget in the '90s, would have written It Ate Cleveland. So there's no denying this kaiju spoof movie would have had some serious talent behind the camera. It's a shame it never got made, but Cannon probably should have figured Toho would come calling with this very clear Godzilla ripoff.

Now, a Godzilla spoof movie did finally see the light of day in 2020's Notzilla, which sees a monster attacking another Ohio city in Cincinnati. We're still waiting for the day a kaiju comes to Cleveland's shores...

Godzilla vs Cleveland Color Ad

(Image source: Wikizilla)

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