The highly anticipated follow-up to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla reboot and the third installment in the shared "MonsterVerse," Godzilla: King of the Monsters, has officially begun filming. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures shared a press release announcing the production start, which peculiarly never refers to the film by "Godzilla: King of Monsters," potentially revealing that the film's title might change before release.
The film's synopsis is as follows:
"The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological 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 super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance."
Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins will reprise their roles from Godzilla, with Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Millie Bobbie Brown (Stranger Things), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), and Bradley Whitford (Get Out) joining the cast.
Edwards left the project early on to pursue other endeavors, with Krampus and Trick 'r Treat director Michael Dougherty stepping in to take over the project.
The 2014 film was much more successful at breathing life into the Godzilla franchise than the 1998 film starring Matthew Broderick, which did little more than cash in on the well-known fanbase of the project.
Edwards' film focused more on the familiar elements of the monster franchise, showing the titular monster attempting to protect the world from a dangerous threat. The film also featured a much more successful creature design than seen in the 1998 film, finding a balance between the original character design and a look that fit the tone of his film.
The previous film had a much more dramatic tone than previously seen in Godzilla films, with many of the most devout Godzilla fans taking issue with the emphasis on the human characters as opposed to the monster everyone had been waiting to see. Considering Dougherty's previous films and the way he's managed to blend humor with other genres, in addition to the comedic actors he's brought into the mix, this film sounds like it will be much more in line with this year's Kong: Skull Island, which injected more of a sense of fun and adventure into the shared universe.