Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set to follow up a film that reimagined cinema's favorite

  • fire-breathing behemothand left everyone with plenty of questions, like: How does the

  • movie connect to its predecessors?

  • And, is Godzilla really the king, or is he just some scaly-ass poser?

  • Don't worrywe've got the answers you're looking for.

  • New faces, returning stars

  • A host of stars are joining the Godzilla family for King of the Monsters.

  • The star-studded cast includes The Conjuring franchise veteran Vera Farmiga as paleobiologist

  • Dr. Emma Russell, Stranger Things darling Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell, and

  • Friday Night Lights alum Kyle Chandler as animal behavior expert Dr. Mark RussellEmma's

  • ex-husband.

  • Though there are more than a handful of new characters to meet in Godzilla: King of the

  • Monsters, the film doesn't go without a few returning favorites.

  • The actors returning for King of the Monsters include Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins.

  • Watanabe slips back into the crisp white lab coat of his Godzilla character Dr. Ishiro

  • Serizawa, a scientist at the crypto-zoological organization Monarch.

  • Hawkins will be back as Serizawa's right-hand woman Dr. Vivienne Graham.

  • Another actor coming back for King of the Monsters?

  • Godzilla himself.

  • Professional stuntman T.J.

  • Storm reprises the monstrous role in a motion-capture performance.

  • Family, rescue, and monsters

  • The vast majority of sequels use the ending of their direct precursors as a springboard

  • to launch into new narrative territory.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters is no exception.

  • Set in 2019, five years after 2014's Godzilla, King of the Monsters centers around the members

  • of Monarch as they go head to head with a "battery of god-sized monsters" — and by

  • that, we mean Godzilla and his three foes Rodan, Ghidorah, and Mothra.

  • Mankind once believed the "ancient super-species," collectively known as Titans, were the stuff

  • of fiction.

  • The Titans are all too realand threaten humanity's existence when they rise to fight

  • for dominance.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters also sees Dr. Emma Russell and her daughter Madison get

  • kidnapped by a mysterious organization that wants to use Emma's intellect and inventiveness,

  • as well as Madison's "strange connection" with Mothra, for nefarious purposes.

  • Emma feels humans and Titans can co-exist peacefully, but after experiencing a great

  • loss, her ex-husband Mark doesn't agree.

  • Despite holding a negative view of the monsters, Mark teams with Monarch's Dr. Ishiro Serizawa

  • and Dr. Vivienne Graham to rescue Emma and Madison.

  • The terrible trio

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters will bring Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah back to the big

  • screen, and we've got the skinny on who the three creatures are and how they'll be depicted.

  • A colossal moth-like being, Mothra will be both beautiful and deadly in King of the Monsters.

  • Director Michael Dougherty aimed to give her a realistic appearance, including long legs

  • that help her fight against and defend herself from her adversaries.

  • Rodan, on the other hand, is a pterodactyl-like monster, described by Dougherty as a "massive

  • A-bomb [and a] bit of a rogue" with incredible physical power.

  • Dougherty elaborated:

  • "You never quite know where his loyalties lie.

  • Godzilla's more of a lumbering, plodding presence; it takes him a couple of days to destroy a

  • city like Tokyo.

  • Rodan can level it without even thinking."

  • As for Ghidorah, the three-headed dragon beast is Godzilla's ultimate nemesis.

  • That each of his heads has "its own different personality" — one alpha and two "lackeys"

  • makes Ghidorah even more formidable than Godzilla's other challengers.

  • "Good thing he's on our side."

  • The title of Godzilla: King of the Monsters tells audiences all they need to know about

  • the monster's ranking in the Titan hierarchy: he's the big kahuna, the grand poobah, the

  • top banana.

  • But what about where Godzilla stands on the hero-villain binary?

  • As Bradley Whitford's Dr. Stanton states in one of the film's trailers, Godzilla is on

  • our side," and can help save mankind from being eradicated as soon as Monarch sets him

  • free.

  • Though Godzilla isn't out to harm humans, not everyone is totally willing to consider

  • him the good guy.

  • O'Shea Jackson Jr., whose character Barnes leads Monarch's military crew, the G-Team,

  • told Fandango that Godzilla is a heroic protector:

  • "Speaking as a Godzilla fan, I always hated those humans who acted like didn't Godzilla

  • didn't just save their ass.

  • What happened in San Francisco in 2014 [in Godzilla], from what I can see, he holds down

  • the Pacific, so California seems safe.

  • So I'm down with that."

  • On the converse, Kyle Chandler, whose Dr. Mark Russell has a "troubled history with

  • the Titans," isn't a fan of any of the Titans, Godzilla included, explaining:

  • "They're mean, ugly, dangerous, and they've caused havoc with [Mark's] family."

  • Looks like some will be hesitant to bow down to the king.

  • That could be their undoing... or give Godzilla the chance to prove them wrong.

  • Past meets present

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters may be as fresh as can be in terms of its time settingtaking

  • place in 2019, the same year of its releasebut it also incorporates elements of the

  • past.

  • Talking with Fandango, director Michael Dougherty detailed that the concept of King of the Monsters

  • is rooted in the mythology that the world belongs to the Titans, since they were on

  • Earth long before humans came along.

  • In his words, humans are "the invasive species," and the Titans are, quote, "the old gods

  • the first gods."

  • He also shared that King of the Monsters gives the creatures, according to him, "a more mythological,

  • almost biblical, backdrop" when exploring their history.

  • Dougherty explained:

  • "These creatures were once worshipped by some ancient civilization.

  • I really love that about the old movies that Mothra was this deity.

  • It really opened up the mythology."

  • In simple terms, King of the Monsters sees ancient mythology clash with the modern day,

  • bringing humans and god-like beasts together at the same point in time.

  • It's a union partially motivated by a childhood wish of Dougherty, who said,

  • "As a kid it, always bummed me out that dinosaurs never actually crossed paths [with humans].

  • So I'm saying f--- that."

  • Filling in the gaps

  • The five-year break between Godzilla and King of the Monsters leaves a lot of time unaccounted

  • for.

  • Though we can't say for certain whether King of the Monsters will explain the in-world

  • events that went down between 2014 and 2019, or how the film will address the gap, we can

  • assure you that another piece of Godzilla content definitely will.

  • As of ten days ahead of King of the Monsters' May 31st debut, fans can dig into Godzilla:

  • Aftershock.

  • The Legendary Comics-published tie-in prequel graphic novel takes place in the time after

  • Godzilla and before King of the Monsters and sets the stage for the sequel.

  • Written by Arvid Nelson with artwork by Drew Edward Johnson, Godzilla: Aftershock continues

  • the plot laid out in Godzilla, seeing an all-new monster, MUTO Prime, ascend from deep within

  • the planet and Godzilla battle an "unstoppable primal instinct" that challenges his inner

  • strength.

  • The graphic novel also introduces several characters from King of the Monsters, as Dr.

  • Emma Russell and the members of Monarch try to put an end to the creature and attempt

  • to piece together the truth behind a past tragedy "of apocalyptic proportions" that

  • is resurfacing again.

  • As Godzilla fights in a rivalry that spans as many years as the Earth has been a planet,

  • Emma unravels secrets beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

  • A meaningful message

  • King of the Monsters is about more than a bunch of behemoths trading blowsin fact,

  • it carries a message about environmentalism, the role humans play in the destruction of

  • planet Earth, and the importance of science in our modern society.

  • Director Michael Dougherty told Fandango:

  • "In a time when, in our current climate, where science is being constantly questioned and

  • targeted, the idea of creating a film where scientists are heroes, I thought was really

  • important."

  • "So you want to make Godzilla our pet?"

  • "No.

  • We would be his."

  • Star Vera Farmiga even described the movie as being more about environmentalism than

  • your average monster-filled flick, which is what drew her to the project.

  • An Easter egg hunt

  • Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find a modern film that doesn't deliver fan service

  • in the form of Easter eggs.

  • They've become the norm in contemporary cinema, with audiences practically squirming in their

  • seats at the thought of finding every last hidden secret tucked inside a new release.

  • It should come as little surprise that Godzilla: King of the Monsters will continue this trend

  • but what you should know about the sneaky references is that some will set up the future

  • of the Godzilla franchise.

  • Actor O'Shea Jackson Jr. told Fandango during a set visit in 2017 that he was, quote, "nerding

  • out really hard" over the Easter eggs in King of the Monsters, and said that fans will have

  • a blast trying to uncover them all.

  • Director Michael Dougherty piggybacked off Jackson Jr.'s remarks when he told Entertainment

  • Weekly that the film will also tease the introduction of another famous movie creature post-King

  • of the Monsters: King Kong.

  • Dougherty shared:

  • "It's not like we're bending over backwards to introduce Kong, but there's definitely

  • some bread crumbs."

  • Grab your binoculars and a basket before heading out to see King of the Monsters, as the moviegoing

  • experience sounds like it will double as a massive Easter egg hunt.

  • Shared cinematic universe

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters is no average sequel.

  • It expands the revived world that Godzilla set up and calls back to the old-school monster

  • movies produced by Toho, the Japanese company responsible for 32 Godzilla films.

  • It also sets up a new cinematic universe packed with monsters and centered on Monarch's undertakings

  • that will stretch across multiple releases.

  • King of the Monsters not only serves as the sequel to Godzilla, but also as the next entry

  • in Warner Bros.' initial trio of MonsterVerse movies, which see Godzilla exist among a wide

  • variety of other giant super-monsters, new and old.

  • Additionally, director Michael Dougherty once mentioned that King of the Monsters hinges

  • on something of a crossover event, as the film unites the creatures featured in Toho's

  • classics.

  • Dougherty told the folks at Fandango:

  • "Outside of the Universal classic monster movies, Toho is one of the first companies

  • to pioneer the idea of a shared universe.

  • They were doing it long before Marvel was.

  • Mothra was a completely separate film from Godzilla when it started.