Godzilla: King of the Monsters had quite a few references to Kong: Skull Island, but the biggest one was also the easiest to miss - an older version of Dr. Houston Brooks. This summer's Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the third movie in Warner Bros. and Legendary's MonsterVerse, which began with 2014's Godzilla and expanded with 2017's Kong: Skull Island. However, the two were only loosely connected until now.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the first movie to bridge the gap between the other two franchise installments, which will continue in 2020 with Godzilla vs. Kong. That film will pit Godzilla against King Kong for the second time in cinematic history, though it's not clear how or why the two Titans will clash. In any case, their eventual meeting was foreshadowed a number of times in King of the Monsters.
In 2018, it was revealed that King of the Monsters would bring back a Kong: Skull Island character. At the time, it was believed that Tom Hiddleston's James Conrad would return as an older man, played by Charles Dance. Considering the age difference as well the fact that they were both part of the British Army, the theory made sense. However, Corey Hawkins' Dr. Houston Brooks seemed like the logical choice. And as it turns out, the latter theory was correct. During the scene where Mothra emerges from her cocoon, an older version of Dr. Brooks appears in a cameo, portrayed by Joe Morton. Dr. Brooks and the twin sister of Dr. Chen (Zhang Ziyi) witness Mothra's rebirth.
Dr. Brooks' work at Monarch is referenced at another point in the movie when Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) brings up Brooks' Hollow Earth theory, which explains that monsters are able to live in deep, underground caverns that connect different regions of the planet.
It's understandable that Dr. Brooks' return would be easily overlooked by audiences, considering that his connection to Kong wasn't mentioned and his role was limited to a cameo. However, Dr. Brooks actually had a significant part to play in the MonsterVerse, beyond what occurred in Kong: Skull Island. Brooks was one of only four characters to survive the events of the movie, and he's spent the years since working with Monarch not only to uncover all the other Titans in the MonsterVerse but continue to study what he discovered on Skull Island as well. Plus, his son, Sam, also joined Monarch and informed the organization on Kong and Skull Island's current situation in the present day.
The movie's other references to Kong and Kong: Skull Island were much less subtle, however. According to a file, "Titanus Kong" is being kept at Monarch's Outpost 33. Footage showed that Kong was among the many Titans awakened by King Ghidorah. Murals in the underwater civilization and in Godzilla: King of the Monsters' credits sequence heavily teased a Godzilla vs. Kong showdown. All of these Godzilla references and connections, both subtle and obvious, remind audiences that Kong is Godzilla's next opponent, and the fight will take place in less than a year.
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020