The director of Godzilla: King of the Monsters hints that the title creature may not be the most powerful kaiju in the story. Michael Dougherty has been discussing some of the plot details about the much-anticipated follow-up to the 2014 reboot of Godzilla, which introduced the MonsterVerse to theaters. When Godzilla become a major global success, the groundwork was set for refreshing and expanding the mythology of the Toho creations for modern audiences.
While the original film saw two original creatures (MUTOs) fight against the title character, Kong: Skull Island set the scene for the arrival of the classic kaiju in a post-credit sequence. This will be realized in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, when King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan will be set against the colossal reptile, as they fight for dominance of the planet for reasons still unknown. While the origin may change from the Toho films, in the past, Rodan is usually depicted as a giant Pteranodon, awoken from prehistoric hibernation by nuclear testing and mutated in size. The sequel will see all these new versions of the original Japanese Toho monsters battle the latest version of Godzilla (or Gojira), and, surprisingly, Dougherty has suggested that one of them - namely Rodan - could be more destructive than the star of the movie.
Speaking to EW, Dougherty revealed a fondness for this particular kaiju and states that he certainly won't be a minor player in the expected mayhem and will be difficult to overcome. He says:
“Rodan’s been kind of a sidekick character, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him... In a lot of ways he’s more powerful than Godzilla. He’s like this winged A-bomb. I think we’ve done him justice.”
It's an intriguing statement, and it suggests that, whatever happens in the plot, humanity can expect some major destruction to occur. The Toho version of Rodan first appeared in 1956 and went on to feature in a further eight Japanese kaiju movies. Depending on the film, he has been either a powerful adversary or a close ally to Godzilla. With that statement from Dougherty, it seems that Rodan's powers will be faithfully recreated from the previous outings. Able to soar at supersonic speeds, he can create shock-waves that are capable of destroying whole cities in an instant, which could qualify for that "winged A-bomb" comparison. Along with the speed and power, Rodan was also seen to be impervious to atomic breath in past Japanese films, putting Godzilla at a serious disadvantage. While many are expecting Ghidorah to be the main antagonist in the film, it sounds like Dougherty has upped the stakes for every kaiju and will be acknowledging the history and power attributed to each one.
Most of the plot details are still under wraps, but with the director's obvious love for the source material, audiences can hopefully expect some superlative action that will satisfy fans of the Toho originals and those that are new to the creatures. More details are expected at SDCC 2018, and this may include images of Rodan and the other monsters. Cast member O'Shea Jackson has already promised an unforgettable fight scene with King Ghidorah, and now with Dougherty's tease about Rodan, it looks like Godzilla: King of the Monsters could be a creature feature for the ages.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: May 22, 2020