Kong: Skull Island is the next chapter of Legendary Entertainment's "MonsterVerse", a new cinematic universe that will culminate in a Godzilla vs. Kong movie in 2020. As the end of Kong: Skull Island suggests, other classic monsters from the Godzilla movies are coming to the MonsterVerse as well.
Kong: Skull Island is set to open March 10 and has been receiving critical praise for its action scenes. The ComicBook.com User Anticipation Ratings have a more mixed reception with audiences expecting a 3.59-of-5.
Godzilla was released in 2014 and it was designed as the first entry into an expanded universe based on the classic movie monsters. The film company is currently in the preliminary casting stages of a sequel to Godzilla, titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which has a tentative release of March 22, 2019, and has landed Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown.
The now-discussed Godzilla vs Kong has a tentative release date of May 29, 2020.
After it was announced Kong: Skull Island would take place in the same film universe as the newest Godzilla film, and that both would build to an epic clash between the characters, many speculated how the next King Kong film would build onto that.
Warner Bros. released the credit roll to the forthcoming Kong: Skull Island which were then picked up by SciFi Japan, showing the full list of cast, crew, and music credits used in the film.
Most interesting, however, is the ownership statement of Godzilla and other monsters referenced in the film, owned by Toho.
The full line states:
‘Characters of “Godzilla,” “King Ghidorah,” “Mothra” and “Rodan” created and owned by Toho Co., Ltd.’
This line would not be required if the characters were merely hinted at, but legal ownership must be clarified if they are shown on screen or referenced by name. So expect to see or hear about the classic Godzilla monsters in some capacity.
With Godzilla: King of Monsters currently set to start production in Atlanta soon, and the Godzilla vs. Kong film set to hit theaters in 2020, it makes sense that Kong: Skull Island will begin to build the connective tissue established in Godzilla.
Legendary has already lined up the rights to Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, but if these movies are successful, perhaps we'll one day see some of the following monsters appear on the Big Screen:
Godzilla's first official kaiju battle came in 1955, when the King of the Monsters faced a mutated ankylosaurus named Anguirus. With a spiky back, a horned nose, and the ability to curl up into an armadillo-like ball, Anguirus proved to be a formidable threat to Godzilla....until Godzilla unleashed his atomic breath on the spiky monster.
Anguirus became a frequent ally of Godzilla in later movies, usually appearing as a "jobber" to establish other monsters as legitimate threats to Godzilla. A recent IDW comic even referenced Anguirus's losing streak, noting that the monster had never won a fight in his 60 year history.
Anguirus has always had a special place in the Godzilla franchise and if Legendary is bringing back Toho's monsters to Hollywood, it's only fair that Anguirus get at least a cameo in one of the new movies.
One of Godzilla's recurring foes, Gigan is an alien cyborg kaiju with hooks for hands and a giant buzzsaw built into its torso. Gigan was originally a space dinosaur, but aliens captured the monster and modified it for a planned invasion of Earth.
Gigan usually wasn't strong enough to fight Godzilla on its own, so it often teamed up with other alien invaders like Megalon or King Ghidorah to fight Godzilla and its friends. Recently, Gigan emerged as a more formidable threat, as alien invaders upgraded the cyborg with laser vision and buzzsaw arms.
Although a space dinosaur cyborg doesn't exactly sync up with Legendary's storyline of ancient monsters returned to Earth, Gigan would be a great way to introduce the extraterrestrial element that most Godzilla movies have featured in some form.
The first Godzilla movie was an allegory about the dangerous of nuclear weapons and set the tone for future movies to explore other societal issues. The 1971 movie Godzilla vs. Hedorah probably took this a bit too far by introducing a monster made of literal pollution to warn moviegoers about...well, trash.
Hedorah first appeared from outer space and began feasting on industrial waste. Although Godzilla easily defeated the creature at first, it quickly grew in power as it consumed more and more pollution. As Hedorah grew in size, it emitted a sort of sulfur rain that killed thousands of people. Although Godzilla eventually killed Hedorah in a final climactic battle, it was one of the few monsters to do lasting damage to Godzilla. When everything was said and done, Hedorah cost Godzilla both an arm and a hand.
It might seem crazy to introduce a sentient pile of toxic goo to the MonsterVerse, but if Legendary can make a King Kong movie work in the present day, nothing's out of question.
Although Godzilla and his large cast of monsters are synonymous with kaiju movies, there are plenty of other kaiju from outside Toho Co. that were also pretty popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Perhaps the most famous kaiju outside of Godzilla is Gamera, the star of several movies produced by Daiei Films.
A giant turtle with long fangs that walked on two legs, Gamera gained a fanbase in the US after several of its movies became popular fixtures on Saturday afternoon matinee shows on TV stations across the country. Although the Gamera films were corny, watching a giant turtle use its fire breathe to fly around like a flying saucer had a certain appeal to many kids bored on a weekend afternoon.
Gamera and Godzilla have never fought each other before (the two monsters are owned by rival studios) so Legendary could make history just by getting the pair together on screen. Casual fans won't really understand the importance of a Godzilla/Gamera clash, but we would answer the question as to which monster truly is the strongest of them all.
Every monster needs a nemesis and Godzilla's most dangerous foe is probably Mechagodzilla. If Godzilla represents the dangers of unchecked nuclear power, Mechagodzilla represents the arrogance of man and the battle between nature and technology
Mechagodzilla was originally an alien creation, designed to counter Godzilla (who frequently was Earth's last line of defense against alien invaders.) Later incarnations of Mechagodzilla were built by human military forces, created to outgun Godzilla with an arsenal of missiles, lasers, and other weaponry. One version of Mechagodzilla was even built around the skeleton of the original Godzilla killed in the 1954 movie.
We know that robots vs. monsters can do gangbusters in the box office (just look at Pacific Rim) so a Mechagodzilla/Godzilla rematch makes sense in Legendary's MonsterVerse.