'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' Director on Designing the New Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a surprising sequel for a number of reasons, but the biggest of [...]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a surprising sequel for a number of reasons, but the biggest of which is how it will suddenly expand the Monsterverse with not only one more addition from Toho's original franchise but three of Toho's major Kaiju. These Titans will be getting new looks for their sequel debut, and fans have been curious about what kind of thought processes have gone into translating their original incarnations into the new designs. ComicBook.com recently spoke with director Michael Dougherty about what went into crafting the designs during a recent press event, and Dougherty revealed an impressive amount of detail going in.

Concerning King Ghidorah, there was a distinct need to have Ghidorah retain its original Eastern features, "You can't have Ghidorah without the two tails and three heads, you know. And then he's got to have the right amount of horns. And the wings are very distinct. A distinct shape. They're not traditional Western dragons. Those have been marching orders from the beginning, to make sure Ghidora looks more like an Eastern dragon than a Western one, we don't want to look like Game of Thrones dragons."

Rodan was emphasized to have its original features as well, "Same thing with Rodan. Two horns. Very distinct wings. The armored chest plate." Toho actually had a set of guidelines that Dougherty happily complied with, "The good news is that Toho has very specific requirements, all of which I completely agree with. "

But there was a challenge in the new Mothra design, "The bigger challenge had been Mothra, because how do you take a giant moth and make it look cool? It can't just be a moth and magnified big."

But Dougherty did a ton of research to get Mothra's new look just right, "The beauty of it is that I had to go down a rabbit hole and read and research moths. And it turns out moths are better than butterflies, like they are super cool insects, and there are so many different species of moths that have very different shapes, some of which look almost predatory. You know, like some of them are much more sleek and scary looking that the typical Mothra design. So it allowed some leeway."

Dougherty had a clear image in mind for the Mothra he wanted to bring to life, "The approach with Mothra is to create an insectoid huge creature that looks believable from every angle and especially in motion, but also looking at different kinds of aspects we can draw from nature. Bioluminescence, moth dust, and also even going back to the idea that if these creatures were once worshiped as gods, what would she look like flying in the sky at night? You know, I wanted to jump off this idea that if you saw Mothra hovering in the sky at night you would think you were looking at an angel. That you were looking at a God."

A lot of thought and detail went into breathing new life in Toho's famous Kaiju, and fans of the originals will have a lot to look forward to later this Spring. Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, Bradley Whitford, among many other talents. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 31 with Godzilla vs. Kong scheduled for a 2020 release after.

The synopsis for Godzilla: King of the Monsters reads as such, "The new story follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance."


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