After the Godzilla Experience at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013, the intriguing viral marketing, and the dark, destructive trailer, is it any wonder that Gareth Edwards' take on Godzilla is our number one Most Anticipated Movie of 2014?
Unlike the abysmal 1998 giant-iguana version of Godzilla, whose only enemy was mankind (while using Madison Square Gardens to dump his spawn), the 2014 version appears to have the King of Monsters battling several beasts in various terrains - air, ground, subterranean and the ocean.
While well-known actors such as Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) seem to get a lot of screen time in the trailers, the inclusion of several other monster species most likely means the human characters in this film are little more than stomping fodder for Godzilla. But just who could these unknown MMAs (Massive Monster Assailants) be? Based on our knowledge of Godzilla lore and screenshots from the trailer, we have a pretty good idea.
The monsters we chose were selected because they are NOT extraterrestrial (with one exception), and NOT mechanical - sorry King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla fans.
At first glance, Destoroyah doesn't appear to be the kind of monster suited for a more "realistic" Godzilla film, but consider this - he doesn't start off gigantic. The Precambrian creature starts off as small as a insect then mutates through 4 life-cycles: Juvenile, Aggregate, Flying, and Final.
It's entirely possible that all the different creatures, or Mutos, we see in the Godzilla trailer are just this same species in its various stages of metamorphosis.
Gigan's original form was that of an alien cyborg - complete with forehead lasers, buzz saws bursting forth from his chest and two hook-blade appendages for arms. Yes, Gigan breaks our "no extraterrestrial or mechanical" rule but he has to be included as a high possibility because of the hook-like arms that appear near the end of the trailer. It's very possible that his origin has been modified for the film, as he remains one of Godzilla's most deadly foes.
Rodan is an ancient, humungous pterodactyl that lives peacefully deep within the earth until some unwitting miners accidentally started bothering him. After being awakened, he flew around wreaking havoc on Japan until Godzilla stopped him.
He hasn't always been Godzilla's enemy, though, even joining forces with him and Mothra to defeat King Ghidorah. It's worth noting that at one point, Rodan destroyed New York City. In the trailer, a birdlike silhouette in the sky could tease Rodan's appearance.
Kumonga is your basic, everyday, gigantic arachnid (that's spider for you non-NatGeo types) that lives underground and comes out every so often to feed. Like all spiders, he possesses the ability to spin webbing - except his webbing is strong enough to stop Godzilla in his tracks.
Something closely resembling Kumonga was seen during the footage shown at San Diego Comic Con in 2013, as illustrated by Mike Keller (see his video HERE and drawing HERE). Similar evidence can also be seen briefly in the trailer - if that clawed appendage happens to be a severed spider leg.
Varan is an odd flying squirrel-type creature with membranes between his arms and legs and is covered from his head to his the tip of his tail in spines similar to those on the back of Godzilla. Even though he prefers to pillage the ground and attack from the sky, Varan isn't afraid to get his tail wet either.
He could easily be the unidentified creature flying and diving into the ocean that we saw in the trailer - though his presence wouldn't really explain the underground tunnel the scientists find.
Centipoor was created by the evil Dr. Demonicus using radioactive material found in a meteor, referred to as the "Lifestone". Along with Mothra and Lepirax, Centipoor battled Godzilla with the multi-legged beast eventually being destroyed by Godzilla.
It's not unfathomable to think the dead centipede-like creature in the picture below isn't at least modeled after Centipoor in a recreation of that comic book scene.
There's always the distinct possibility Edwards and writers Dave Callaham (Doom, The Expendables) and Max Borenstein (Seventh Son) decided to use a unique set of monsters in their film which are merely inspired by these classic Godzilla foes, instead of translating them directly. However, with all the available classic monsters at their disposal, we don't think that's the case.
Godzilla roars into theaters May 16th, 2014.
Follow me on Twitter - @MoviePaul - and tell me which creature YOU think the King of Monsters should do battle with.