Ever since Marvel introduced the idea of a shared cinematic universe, virtually every major studio has made a mad dash to replicate their success. So far, fellow Disney company Lucasfilm has done the best job with their previously-established Star Wars universe thanks to Rogue One and Rebels. DC and Warner Bros. are right behind them with their burgeoning Justice League-focused DCEU and WB is also expanding the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling with a series of movies based off of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Meanwhile, Universal is still attempting to make their shared monster universe a reality. Not to be mistaken for the latter franchise, Legendary has already made headway establishing their MonsterVerse thanks to 2014's Godzilla and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island.
The plan to join the two titans together has been long rumored, but it's finally becoming a reality. We know the sequel to Godzilla will be subtitled King of Monsters (challenging Kong to his role) and will star Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things and be directed by Krampus helmer Michael Dougherty. The film will arrive in 2019, with Kong vs. Godzilla set to release the following year. As the first Kong film inches towards its release, promising Apocalypse Now-style mayhem, one of the film's producers has shed some light on the connections the new movie will have to the Godzilla franchise.
Cinema Blend spoke with Alex Garcia while doing promotion for Kong: Skull Island, and they got into how the shady organization known as Monarch will factor into the '70s-set film and what it means for the future of the universe:
"It's a landslide expedition, officially, but John Goodman, who plays the guy from Monarch, is sort of pulling the strings in the background and we come to realize obviously that they knew much more than they let on initially."
It looks as if John Goodman's character will mirror what went down in Godzilla, where our protaganists were clearly being left out of the loop by the mysterious Monarch. This lack of transparency won't sit well with Tom Hiddleston's character Conrad, who's leading the expedition to Skull Island. Cinema Blend was able to talk a bit with Hiddleston about his role and what we can expect:
"He doesn't have a direction, and I think there's probably a question mark in his soul too, like where do I go now, what do I do now. So, he gets on the boat on the back foot. He's there, kind of skeptical, and he takes the money and then they get to the island and there's a huge prehistoric ape on the island and I think that's where suddenly this Conrad has been kind of spiritually asleep or sleep-walking."
That "huge prehistoric ape" presents a particular problem, as much like with Godzilla, giant monsters run the risk of making any film feel less grounded. Still, Godzilla and films like the new Planet of the Apes franchise have proven it's possible to craft fantastical-yet-grounded stories about intelligent beasts, and Garcia thinks Kong will do the same:
"If you can establish these characters in a way that feels compelling with the technology that we have today, with very distinct backdrops, where they're coming from, they're each established credibly in their own right, it should feel right for them to come together."
With the film only a month out at this point, we'll be able to judge for ourselves just how effective this latest entry into the MonsterVerse is. The first trailer for the film certainly painted a compelling picture, so let's hope the execution can carry out the idea in an exciting and satisfying fashion.
We'll bring you more news on Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, and the MonsterVerse as it arrives, so stay tuned.
Source: Cinema Blend
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019