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Dogasu's Backpack | Movies & Specials Guide | Lord of the "Unknown" Tower ENTEI
The first version of the third movie that screenplay writer Shudou Takeshi (首藤剛志) thought up was a very, very different movie from the one that ended up being produced. It involved a real world Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Rocket-Dan, and questions about what happened to the real world animals that used to live in the Pokemon world.
The following information comes from a blog that Shudou Takeshi wrote years later. The relevant posts are Number 209 "The Third Pokemon Movie from the Hospital," Number 210 "The Mythical Third Pokemon Movie...Has Disappeared," and Number 211 "From the Mythical Third Movie to "The Lord of the "Unknown" Tower."
Mr. Shudou had already used the themes of "self existence"(自己存在) and "co-existence"(共存) for the first two movies and so, as he sat in his hospital bed staring up at the ceiling, he decided he wanted to make a film that asked "What is this world that I'm in?" (自分のいる世界とはなんなのか). The pokemon world is where real-world animals don't exist (the few appearances of real world animals in earlier episodes, he says, is due to the animation staff not paying enough attention) so he wanted to have the third movie tackle this question. What happened to all the real world animals? Why are there real trees and flowers but not real animals? What is the difference between plant Pokemon and regular plants?
The idea was to have the third movie introduce a new type of creature - real world animals - into the world where only humans and Pokemon exist. This would have been done with the discovery of a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil; not a fossililized Pokemon, mind you, but a real, actual dinosaur fossil.
The discovery of a Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil was, as you would expect, big news in the Pokemon world. Real world animals used to exist in this world and records (including photographs) of them do exist but there isn't anyone alive today who actually remembers ever seeing one. A Darwin-type theory of evolution doesn't really exist, either, and professors who tried to tackle this problem usually tended to stop what they were working on to move to the countryside to try to figure this out. Orchid-Hakase is one such professor.
(Something Mr. Shudou's blog doesn't really explain is when exactly the extinction (?) of real world animals took place. The fact that photographs exist implies that this is a fairly recent event but if that's so then why wasn't there any theory of evolution beforehand? Did the development of photography happen much, much earlier in the Pokemon world than it did in the real world?)
In any case, the eyes of the Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil starts to glow blue and before long the fossil comes back to life. It then starts moving foward, walking toward no destination in particular. It crosses rivers and oceans effortlessly, crushing everything in its path, and even makes its way through Satoshi's hometown of Masara Town. During the film the Tyrannosaurus Rex would have trampled Orchid-Hakase's laboratory, causing the professor to step outside, look at the ruins around him, and say "I thought this time would come someday. But I don't know why it's come to this..." (いつかこんな時が来ると思っていた。なぜ、こうなるのか分からんけれど……).
Satoshi and his friends, as well as the Rocket trio, would have spent the movie trying to stop this dinosaur fossil's rampage. The fossil's rampage would have taken it through the Rocket-Dan's secret base as well, causing the rest of the organization to get involved as well.
The dinosaur would have been stopped, obviously, but Mr. Shudou doesn't explain how.
At the time this story was being concocted, the Gold & Silver video games had already been delayed. Accordingly, there weren't any new pokemon left for the movie staff to advertise and the game staff, for whatever reason, wasn't willing to make another movie exclusive pokemon like they did with Lugia and the second movie. So, with only the original 151 pokemon to work with, Mr. Shudou created this story.
It took Mr. Shudou about half a year to come up with the story pitch. He expected to have his proposal rejected for being too complicated or because it would shake up the status quo too much and had prepared arguments for why they should go forward with it anyway.
But in reality, the story was rejected because "A story where a bunch of minerals gain consciousness and comes to life won't be a hit" (無機質なものに、意識が宿り動きだすというストーリーはヒットしない). There was also concerns about how the second movie, while a huge hit both domestically and abroad, still didn't perform nearly as well as the first movie. They didn't want this downward trend to continue and making this kind of movie was seen as being too risky. Mr. Shudou doesn't know if his original story would have been a hit or not but he did have confidence in the story he wrote regardless.
It was also thought that this movie just wouldn't work together with whatever Pikachu short it was going to end up being paired up with.
Mr. Shudou says he smiled at the appropriate people and said he'd think of another story but afterward went home and drowned his sorrows in alcohol. After all, he says, he did spend half a year thinking of this story...
A few days later, the people behind the video games sent over the designs of four new pokemon set to debut in Gold & Silver. Two of those pokemon were Entei and Unknown. The idea was to have the movie promote the new games (which would eventually come out in November 1999) and that these four should be used to do so. Other pokemon designs would be sent over as they were completed.
The original script? (Mr. Shudou's blog is unclear) was discovered and auctioned off for 1 billion yen (about 8 million US dollars) to someone in their 30s going by the name Suu (スー). Will this version of the film ever see the light of day? Only time will tell!
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