When watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters, one may not immediately notice that the titular monster has evolved slightly since his appearance in the 2014 movie. While Godzilla is still the same monster, his design has gone through a few minor tweaks since his first solo outing in the MonsterVerse.
With director Gareth Edwards at the helm, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. reimagined the kaiju with 2014's Godzilla, which became the second American adaptation of the fan-favorite Toho monster. The movie gave Godzilla a new look, but at the same time was able to avoid the mistakes of Roland Emmerich's 1998 film by making sure Legendary's version was still recognizable as Godzilla. The MonsterVerse's take on Godzilla retains basic design, his blue atomic breath, and large dorsal fins running down his back and tail. His iconic roar also received an update.
One of the special features included in the home video release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, "Godzilla 2.0", reveals that the sequel actually made a few subtle changes to Godzilla's look. Apparently, Godzilla's size, which went from 108 meters to 119.8 meters in five years, isn't the only that King of the Monsters changed. Director Mike Dougherty revealed that one of the biggest changes is Godzilla's back spikes, which he tweaked to make them resemble the original 1954 Godzilla. According to Dougherty, Godzilla's original, longer back spikes looked like something that "nature could have crafted".
In addition to the new spikes, Godzilla also received longer claws on his hands and feet since the monster is of course a predator. These make him even more dangerous in close combat, especially when he's grabbing King Ghidorah by one of his three necks.
Doughterty's version of Godzilla doesn't change much from the previous movie. It keeps the spirit of the monsters from Edwards' film while also finding a way to honor the 1954 monster. Also, as Dougherty points out in "Godzilla 2.0", it's not unusual at all for Godzilla's look to change from movie to movie, even when the franchise isn't being rebooted. It's standard practice for a filmmaker to put their own stamp on Godzilla, and in this case, Dougherty's biggest contribution is Godzilla's back spikes. This means that some of Godzilla's features could be updated again when Godzilla, who has now regained his crown as the King of the Monsters, goes up against the King of Skull Island in Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong.
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020