I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless.
— The Xilian Controller

American Godzilla film series character
ZILLA (2004)™
Final Wars - Monsters - Zilla
Official name Zilla
Country of origin Japan
Official nicknames
  • Tuna-Head
  • Tuna-Eating Lizard
Length (unknown)
Height 90 meters[1] (295 ft)
Weight (unknown)
Origins Sydney, Australia (engineered by the Xilien extraterrestrials)
First appearance Godzilla: Final Wars
Latest appearance Godzilla: Oblivion (as Zilla (IDW))
Created by Ryuhei Kitamura and Shogo Tomiyama in 2004
Based on Godzilla (1998) created by Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich and Patrick Tatopoulos

 Not to be confused with the American 1998 creature Godzilla or related American Godzilla characters.

Zilla (ジラJira?), also known as Final Zilla or Millenium Zilla among other names, is a Japanese movie monster that first appeared in the 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars. The creature is an alien created by the Xilien extraterrestrials[2] and is a new character and the first incarnation of its kind. The creature and its design and name is based upon Patrick Tatopoulos's movie monster Godzilla and the design he created for the 1998 film Godzilla. It is an evident parody of the Tatopoulos Godzilla. This monster was one of several creatures in Final Wars which was entirely made with CGI and the monster with the shortest Godzilla-battle in history, lasting about 13 seconds.

The creature made its second appearance in the comic Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (as the IDW Zilla). This is his very first comic book appearance. The IDW Zilla also appeared in the comic Godzilla: Oblivion a few years later. Zilla also exists within the timeline of the GODZILLA anime trilogy of films, with an entire chapter dedicated to the creature in the novel GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse.

Film appearances

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

Zilla made its first appearance in the 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars where the monster attacks and evidently dies in Sydney, Australia. Zilla was also briefly featured in trailers for the film.


Zilla first appeared briefly at the end of the trailer for Final Wars where he's seen roaring and then being sent away with a tail swipe from Godzilla (2004).

Godzilla Final Wars® (2004) - Theatrical Trailer

Godzilla Final Wars® (2004) - Theatrical Trailer

Zilla appears in the Japanese trailer for the Japanese 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars.

Zilla attacks Sydney (scene)

Zilla makes his first appearance when he walks along some buildings in Sydney and picks up a truck with his jaws while people are running away screaming (an evident reference to the 1998 Godzilla-film when Godzilla first arrives in New York). Later we are shown a crowd of people running until they are all blown away by a wall of fire which precedes the appearance of the monster walking into camera view (in an interview, the director of Final Wars confirmed and stated that Zilla was emitting an acidic fire from its stomach, which after blowing on cars lighted up and made it seem like Zilla was firing a beam attack), and he then turns around a block and chases and appearantly eat two men.

Godzilla Final Wars (2004) - The Monsters Attack The World

Godzilla Final Wars (2004) - The Monsters Attack The World


Pretender To The Throne (scene)

Zilla makes its last appearance in the scene called "Pretender to the throne". Under Xilian control, Zilla attacks Sydney, Australia, and later battles Godzilla (2004) there. At first they roar at each other, and then Zilla charges at Gojira and jumps over his atomic blast, but is sent flying by a tail swipe from Gojira into the Sydney Opera House. Gojira releases his atomic blast at the famous structure, destroying it and atomizing Zilla in the process. The "fight" itself lasts about 10-15 seconds, giving Zilla the record of the shortest battle in Final Wars, and marks one of the shortest defeats in any Godzilla-film in history, although most fights in the film ended rather fast.

Reference to original 1998 film

Godzilla: Final Wars references the 1998 Godzilla movie when Zilla is defeated. The Controller, in the Japanese version, says, "I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless.", a reference to the American Godzilla's diet of fish in the 1998 film. In the American version, he calls Zilla a "tuna-head". The line was, "I knew that tuna-head wasn't up to much."

Critical response

This scene got mixed reviews, some fans (mostly those who were dissatisfied with the 1998 Godzilla-film) liked it while others saw the scene as a sloppy, bad parody of what could actually have been a really long, epic and exciting battle.

Godzilla Final Wars (2004) - The "Pretender To The Throne" Chapter

Godzilla Final Wars (2004) - The "Pretender To The Throne" Chapter

The "Pretender To The Throne" chapter where Zilla makes its last appearance and where it meets the Japanese Godzilla (2004) for the first time.

Video game appearances

Zilla has so far made only one video game appearances, but has been considered to be included in some other games. Although the monster also appeared in a fan-made online game.

Godzilla: Save the Earth (2004)

In an article on IGN (written August 27, 2004) it is stated that "setting to tie in with the release of Final Wars, Godzilla will be coming to video game consoles thanks to the upcoming Godzilla: Save the Earth video game (for Xbox & PlayStation 2. A game that seems to have all the monsters that will appear in Final Wars and more[...]".[3]

When the monsters of the game Godzilla: Save the Earth were discussed, according to Simon Strange (one of the creators of the game) the fans didn't like the creature so he decided not to include the monster in the game.[4]

Godzilla: Unleashed (2007)

There was some speculation about whether or not the American Godzilla (in this case Zilla) was supposed to have been included in the 2007 video game Godzilla: Unleashed. Although many claims are doubtful and unverifiable, it has lately been concluded that Zilla was considered for the game.

Simon Strange (one of the people behind the game) announced in an interview that Zilla was considered to become a playable monster during the game's early stages of development but was scrapped due to a lack of popularity among fans, although it turned out a great amount of fans actually complained about the monster not being in the game.[5][6] The popularity status could appearantly be seen and confirmed in a poll on Japan's website, although this is unverifiable and the creature's popularity has evidently changed since then, seeing how fans complain about the game not including Zilla as a playable monster.

Simon Strange Talks Zilla In Godzilla Unleashed

Simon Strange Talks Zilla In Godzilla Unleashed

A preview of the game provided by Worthplaying and written by Geson Hatchett on November 13, 2007, speaks of which monsters were going to be seen in the game and mentions "Godzilla 2000 (along with that horrid American '90s one that all Godzilla fans try to forget).[7] This article even spawned a discussion about whether or not the former statement in the article was refering to the American Godzilla or the Japanese Godzilla from the Heisei Era[8], although the fact that the creature was called "that horrid American 90's one" makes it clear that the reviewer refers to the American Godzilla from 1998.

There was also a rumour about a screenshot of the game showing Zilla and Gigan fighting on Monster Island.[9] This claim is unverifiable and regarded as myth.

There is also a claim that "if you use the cheat 204935, and then play all the levels that unlock monsters correctly (like playing as an earth defender in "Rumble in the Surf" and smashing a glowing building)" you should be able to unlock characters like Zilla, King Kong, Godzilla Jr., Gamera, Battra, Monster X, and C-rex. The person who claimed this also stated that on the source website for this information, 67% of the people who tried the cheat claims that it works.[10] The source website was probably, but currently, despite that the site doesn't mention the cheat code, the percentage of people rating this cheat code as good is now 61%.[11] It is currently unconfirmed whether this cheat actually works or not, although it is regarded a myth.

Colossal Kaiju Combat (2013)

Simon Strange, one of the people behind the game, is interested in having Godzilla-monsters as playable characters in the upcoming video game Colossal Kaiju Combat.

Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (2015)


Zilla in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection

Zilla finally appears in the mobile game for smartphones Godzilla: Kaiju Collection as one of the playable monsters.


Godzilla Daikaiju Battle Royale (2013)

In the online game Godzilla Daikaiju Battle Royale there is a playable character called "Zilla". The password that is used to unlock the playable monster is "GINO". Interestingly, the Zilla in this game uses the 1998 animated Godzilla's green power breath instead of Zilla's own acid fire breath.                                                                                                                                                                         

Comic book and magazine appearances

Zilla has made few appearances in comics and magazines, but one notable appearance was in the comic Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.

Godzilla: Final Wars (Japanese magazine)

Mothra and Zilla Final Wars Magazine
Zilla is mentioned in a Japanese magazine about Godzilla: Final Wars.

G-Fan Magazine (issue 71) (2005)

Zilla appears on the front cover of G-Fan Magazine (issue 71).

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (2013)

IDW Publishing bought the rights to Zilla in order to have it included in the currently ongoing comic Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (also called ROE). The IDW Zilla appeared in the two first issues.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (issue 1) (June 26, 2013)

The expected release of this first issue was set to be June 19 but it was delayed until June 26. The comic starts with a giant creature being discovered on a radar and which is presumed to be either Godzilla or a new species, and presumably this is the very first reference to Zilla in the comic. Later, during a Megazoology Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, Zilla enters a beach and instantly cause panic and destruction. The human military defense and their high tech weapons are seemingly useless against the creature, and while they try to fight the creature and lead civilians into safety, suddenly Godzilla appears on the scene. An official description by IDW of the first issue said:

In the wake of the climactic conclusion of Godzilla #13 comes a brand new series! Dozens of new monsters have risen from the depth and are staking out their own territory, regardless of humanity’s political borders! A war of dominance beings... will Godzilla end up on top? First he’ll have to beat a new upstart... Zilla!

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (issue 2) (August 6, 2013)

The IDW Zilla makes its second appearance in this second issue of Rulers of Earth, and this issue even shows some reference to Final Wars. The comic picks up where the first issue ended, the IDW Godzilla and IDW Zilla stand face to face to each other and starts moving towards each other. While Godzilla tries to grab Zilla, the latter creature jumps to the side, but Godzilla hits Zilla in the head with his fists. With Zilla lying on the ground, Godzilla is about to put his giant foot down on the creature's head, but Zilla rapidly avoids the stomp attack and turns to rip up Godzilla's leg with its claws. Godzilla then grabs Zilla's tail with his jaws and throws him away. Zilla hits a large building, and Godzilla powers up his atomic breath and fires it at the creature. But it turns out Zilla had burrowed itself under the ground where the building once stood and thus it had escaped the atomic blast. An official description by IDW of the second issue said:

While the growing monster population continues to take its toll on Earth, an ambitious student named Lucy is ready to set out on a world-wide adventure to unravel the mysteries of the great kaiju…that is, if she can survive the battle between Godzilla and the upstart kaiju, Zilla!

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (issue 8) (January 29, 2014)

The IDW Zilla appears in the cover of the eight issue of Rulers of Earth but not in the comic itself.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (issue 13) (June 25, 2014)

The IDW Zilla makes a brief appearance in the thirteenth issue of Rulers of Earth, where Chavez and Lucy spot him swimming in the waters around the coasts of Monster Islands. Chavez mentions that he believes the reason he's keeping his distance is because he's probably not welcome, while Lucy mentions that the other monsters will eventually come to accept him.

Godzilla Rulers of Earth (issue 21) (March 4, 2015)

The IDW Zilla is one of the monsters who appear in the cover of the twenty-first issue of Rulers of Earth, though not in the comic itself.

Godzilla Rulers of Earth (issue 25) (June 8, 2015)

The IDW Zilla appears in the twenty-fifth issue of ROE, and even appears in the cover. He arrives in Los Angeles and kills a Trilopod to save Jet Jaguar. Shortly after, he participates in the battle against the Trilopods and manages to kill many of them. He then tries to attack Magita alongside Varan, but they are both defeated at the same time. Godzilla finally manages to destroy Magita, then he goes into the sea and Zilla follows him along with the other monsters.

Godzilla: Oblivion (2016)

Godzilla: Oblivion (issue 4) (June 22, 2016)

The IDW Zilla makes a brief appearance at the end of the fourth issue of Godzilla: Oblivion. He is seen emerging from an interdimensional portal along with some other Japanese Kaijus.

GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse (October 25, 2017)

Zilla appeared in France in October of 2039 and was brought down by the French military, who initially misidentified the creature as Godzilla due to it being bipedal and possessing back fins and a long tail. However, Zilla possessed the ability to reproduce asexually, and its offspring quickly overran the city of Rouen, which had managed to escape the wrath of Godzilla himself. Even though an adult Zilla was considerably more frail than most kaiju, able to be brought down with a single shot from a Maser Cannon or railgun, its greatest strength was its fertility. If just one egg was left behind, hundreds more Zillas could be born and overrun the city again. The Zillas were also intelligent and capable of working in herds, younger ones would draw the attention of tanks while adults attacked from the rooftops. Zilla was mentioned to be the hardest kaiju to free a city from, and was not finally exterminated until December.




SPFX director Takashi Matsuda who worked on Godzilla: Final Wars.

According to SPFX director Takashi Matsuda:

"In the planning stages, we wanted to use the 'best of the best' kaiju. Upon request from director Kitamura however, some monsters were replaced with others, and in the end, these 10 were picked. I was asked for advice by Kitamura, but deciding which monsters to use was difficult. I told him that if we use more than 10 monsters, it would be nearly impossible, so let's keep it at this amount. I feel really familiar with Gigan and Angilas because they've been in the Godzilla series since I started working for Godzilla movies as an assistant director. There were other kaiju too that I really wanted to appear in the movie, but if we used more than our current number, we would be releasing the movie next summer!"[16]

Director Ryuhei Kitamura included Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars for the sole purpose of being killed off by the "real" (Japanese) Godzilla as a fan-service for fans who were disappointed with the 1998 Godzilla-film.

Different creature


Trendmasters Godzilla - Ultimate Godzilla (1998) toy product based upon the 1998 film "Godzilla" and used as a template for the creation of Zilla (2004).

They started with scanning the Trendmasters Ultimate Godzilla toy version of the original Godzilla and the scanned creature was later edited and slightly changed into the final product which was featured in two specific scenes in the 2004 film. Zilla was given a more round shape head, different from most American Godzillas, and it was given a more aggressive behaviour (probably only because of the Xilian control), the abilitiy to jump like if it had no weight. The details on the body and skin texture is also slightly different from most American Godzillas; the eyeball and eyesocket are smaller and rounder and the areas around are unusual; it has an unusual amount of teeth and it lacks the notable dewlap spines going down its throat to its chest. Zilla also lacks some detailed skin texture.

The roars were performed by Frank Welker (the man who made the sounds for all other American Godzillas). The scenes with Zilla were shot in SydneyAustralia. The creature was later edited into the shot with computer animation.

Completely CGI

Zilla (along with Manda and Kamacuras while flying) is one of the few monsters in Final Wars realized completely through CGI instead of suitmation, as a kind of mockery-parody and reference to how Godzilla was made with CGI technology most of the time in its main film Godzilla (1998 film).

Trademark registration

In 2004, Zilla got its own official monster icon, and on Tuesday, November 14, 2006, Toho Co., Ltd. filed a US federal trademark registration. The trademark was registered on December 2, 2008.[17][18][19][20][21]


Zilla has appeared in few merchandise/collectibles through the years.

Godzilla: Final Wars Mini Battle Set 5 - Godzilla vs. Zilla

One known action figure that represents Zilla is part of the Bandai product Godzilla: Final Wars Mini Battle Set 5 - Godzilla vs. Zilla.[22][23]

Godzilla Vs Zilla Resin

The second known product of collectibles that represents Zilla is the Godzilla Vs Zilla Resin sculpture released in 2006.

Godzilla 2005 US Resin

Another piece of collectibles that seem to be based upon Zilla is the Godzilla 2005 US Resin sculpture released in 2006.

Claim of pre-2004 Zilla products

A user on YouTube claimed that there was officially Toho licensed Bandai toys labeled "Zilla" supposedly released in 1998-1999[24]. These claims are considered to be myths.

S.H. MonsterArts petition

There is a petition on with the goal of having the company Bluefin Tamashii Nations produce a S.H. MonsterArt-style Zilla or American Godzilla figure.[25]


Fans were mostly shocked when they first saw Zilla in Final Wars, as many hadn't expected to see the American Godzilla in the film, and while some were happy to see the creature in this film, some were disappointed. Zilla's appearance is mentioned in reviews of Godzilla: Final Wars on Toho Kingdom. Staff member Anthony Romero said:

"Another thing worth mentioning is Zilla. While some of the daytime shots are unimpressive, a gross exception being the classic foot perspective of the creature, the night time footage tends to be good. No, it's no where near as good as what was seen in GODZILLA (1998), but it's better than what one would expect an all CGI monster to look like in a Toho film."[26]

Staff member Miles Imhoff said:

"Finally, there’s Zilla. While nowhere near as crisp as he was in his own movie, he’s really rendered with sophistication. The fact that his character was given a “fight”, as opposed to a “flight”, personality is also a plus to me, as I am a fan of this particular monster."[27]

User Tim85 said:

"Zilla, the biggest shock of the movie, was done wonderfully. As much as fans would like to forget, GODZILLA (1998) is a part of the Godzilla legacy and is worth a mention. His CGI was believable and he actually does do some property damage. His fight with Godzilla is the shortest in Godzilla’s history, but it is oh so satisfying… and the Xilien Commander’s comment about him being a “useless tuna-eating monster” is the icing on the cake."[28]

After Zilla was first introduced to the world of Godzilla in 2004 and re-introduced in 2013, fans who were previously dissappointed on the American Godzilla character are increasingly changing their minds about the monster, and the amount of fans of the American Godzilla are constantly increasing. Although while some fans don't have any major problem with the fictional beast, other fans state that they can only like the creature if they don't refer to it as Godzilla.

When the news came that Zilla was going to be included in IDW's new comic, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, fans reacted much in the same way as they did when Final Wars was released in 2004. Fans were both shocked and excited about the news and were generally pleased with how the comic project turned out. ShadowWing Tronix of bw media spotlight said in a review of the first issue:

"A woman named Lucy Casprell is in Hawaii to take part in a daikaiju conference when Zilla (the name given to Roland Emmerich’s “Godzilla In Name Only” monster in the Final Wars movie) arrives, and GODzilla shows up right behind him!" and "I also like the nods to Emmerich’s movie when Zilla first appears. Hopefully Rulers Of Earth succeeds where Final Wars failed and “fixes” this Zilla like Godzilla: The Series did. (The Fox Kids show, not the old NBC one.)"[29]

Name change controversy

 Main article: The Godzilla and Zilla debate

Ever since Godzilla: Final Wars was released in 2004, many Godzilla-fans misinterpreted the appearance of the creature Zilla in the film and subsequently caused a seemingly worldwide myth that the American Godzilla character and all of its incarnations had been renamed Zilla. Although artist Matt Frank made a statement on deviantART in 2013 that the name "Zilla" will be applied to future incarnations of the American Godzilla (unless something change), but not to former incarnations. He also noted that Zilla (2004) and Godzilla (1998) go by different "titles" (names).


  • During the Los Angeles premiere of Godzilla: Final Wars, Patrick Tatopoulos, the creature designer and supervisor for Godzilla, said that he felt honored that his American Godzilla-creature design was featured in an official Toho Godzilla-film, despite the new character's rather inglorious role.[30]
  • In Godzilla Final Wars, Zilla attacks SydneyFinal Wars director Ryuhei Kitamura studied film in Sydney and having it featured in his film was his way of paying tribute to what he calls his "second home".
  • In Final Wars, Sydney is attacked by Zilla who later battles the Japanese Godzilla there. This can be seen as a reference to Tab Murphy's script treatment of the now cancelled Godzilla 2, where the American Godzilla, has settled down in Australia and later battles giant mutant insects and the Queen Bitch in Sydney.
  • Australia-map-wall-art-sticker-62

    The continent Australia, where the left side is similar in shape to the rectangular head of the American Godzilla, and where the right part of the continent almost looks like one of its spines on its back.

    Zilla appears in Australia in Final Wars, and the shape of the continent is similar to the shape of its head, but also the American Godzilla's head and one of its back spines.



Video games




The American Godzilla Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Zilla (2004).


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External links

See also

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