Godzilla: King of the Monsters is about to blow Warner Bros. Monsterverse franchise open in a big way, by finally exposing the world of Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla (2014) to full extent of the Toho monsters threat. As the threat of Kaiju (or in this case, "Titans") grows bigger, so does the organization that hleps study and/or battle those monsters, Monarch.
The way that King of the Monsters is expanding and tightening the connections of WB's Monsterverse already has fans comparing the franchise to *the* biggest shared universe franchise out there, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When we got to visit the Godzilla 2 set, director Mike Dougherty was all too aware of the challenge of making a shared universe franchise movie in Marvel's shadow. With that awareness came intention, to build a Marvel-sized franchise, that is distinctly different from the MCU in some key ways.
According to Dougherty, his intention is to pit a group of people who are in no way superheroes up against some very superhero-level challenges. As the director explains it:
"I felt there was an opportunity to kind of craft Monarch as a group of heroes, who, unlike a lot of top secret government agencies like the spies and whatnot, who have their own kind of nefarious mission statements, Monarch has a very positive outlook on what these creatures are and what they represent. And the idea of a team of heroes who are scientists really appealed to me. You know, that, this isn't a Marvel film where you have people mech suits, or with superpowers, running around, getting into endless fistfights, these are just very intelligent, capable people who are up against impossible odds."
Indeed, the version of Monarch we meet in Godzilla: King of the Monsters is very different than the trio of scientists with crackpot theories we met in Kong: Skull Island, or the clandestine organization we (kinda, sorta) saw in Godzilla. In the five years after the showdown between Godzilla and the MUTOs across the Pacific region, Monarch has been given a massive budget upgrade, creating something comparable to Marvel's SHIELD. Monarch now employees teams of the leading scientific minds, as well as an elite special forces unit, appropriately dubbed "G-Team." In terms of resources, the organization has hi-tech facilities all over the world, cutting-edge technology for interacting with, containing, and/or taking down the "Titan" monsters, and even some impressive vehicles for transport, rescue and combat.
The rub here is that the intellectuals are the heroes at the forefront of this story, giving moviegoers a nice scientific alternative to the fantasy of being superheroes. However, Monarch may need an actual superhero, when there's eventually a Godzilla vs. Kong showdown in the next film.
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