The MonsterVerse is Warner Bros.' chance of getting a massive shared universe down from the get-go, and Godzilla vs. Kong already appears to be correcting the mistakes made by Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Years ago, Zack Snyder's Man of Steel introduced audiences to a new Superman (Henry Cavill), one that faced the pitfalls of modern life, while not only trying to find out who he truly is but also attempting to hide from the rest of the world.
It ultimately led to WB launching a DC movie universe (unofficially titled the DC Extended Universe) with Snyder's Batman V Superman in 2016. Shortly after that, David Ayer's Suicide Squad, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, and the Justice League movie all released within the next year-and-a-half, thus giving people another comic book universe to lose themselves in. But, while all of this was happening, WB was also shepherding a number of other shared universes, including the MonsterVerse.
Beginning with Gareth Edwards' Godzilla reboot in 2014 and continuing with Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island in 2017, the MonsterVerse aims to introduce various kaiju (or Titans, as they're officially known in-universe) before ultimately bringing two of the most iconic monsters in cinema history - Godzilla and King Kong - together for an epic showdown in Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong, which releases in 2020. But the way the studio is going about doing all of this is a bit different than what they did with the DCEU - and it's already proving to be working.
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Godzilla's MonsterVerse is Doing its Shared Universe Right
Introducing characters separately first, and then bringing them together at a later point isn't necessarily a requirement for team-up movies, as proven time and time again by the X-Men franchise, as well as a number of other ensemble films. But when it comes to establishing a living, breathing shared universe around a core character, and then having another character come in and challenge that one, giving each titular character their own film to develop works a tad bit better in this regard.
In the DCEU's case, separating Batman V Superman into two movies, and using the Dawn of Justice portion as a sequel in order to create a Justice League team would've been better in hindsight. However, producing a proper Man of Steel 2 in order to not only give Superman another solo story but to also introduce the various Justice League members, before going head to head with Batman in Batman V Superman, also could've worked. As it turns out, this is precisely what WB is doing with the MonsterVerse.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is jam-packed with new Titans - in the same way that Batman V Superman was considered character-heavy with every member of the future Justice League - but the way Godzilla 2 is going about introducing every character is fundamentally different. Instead of piquing audiences' interest with a brief cameo and promise of a future team-up movie, Godzilla 2 is using all of those characters as story elements; Godzilla is supposed to take on each and every monster before ultimately taking on Ghidorah in the end, as shown in the second Godzilla 2 trailer. This way, Godzilla: King of the Monsters can expand the MonsterVerse with more Titans while also giving Godzilla his greatest opponent to take on before he faces off with the king of the primates in 2020.
It's not that putting Batman and Superman together in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was wrong, but rather that the MonsterVerse is doing shared universe's right by subtly bridging the two corners of the shared universe together in their separate films. It's worth noting that Godzilla vs. Kong isn't a team-up movie; instead, it's a brawl - and each contender deserves to have their time in the spotlight. Otherwise, Godzilla vs. Kong would just be Godzilla 3 with Kong in it, and there's no way a studio would want the movie's main character to lose in a fight. Another way to think about it: Creed 2 being Adonis V Drago, with Drago winning.
Page 2 of 2: WB Rushed The DCEU... But Not The MonsterVerse
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020