In 2020, Godzilla and King Kong will fight each other for the first time in years in Godzilla vs. Kong, but that highly-anticipated conflict might only happen because of technology that will appear in this summer's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Back in 2014, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures partnered to launch the MonsterVerse, beginning with the release of Gareth Edwards' Godzilla reboot in 2014, and the franchise has grown exponentially despite only one movie having released since then: Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island.
That prequel not only introduced King Kong into the MonsterVerse but set the stage for even more monsters (or Titans, as they're officially called in-universe) as well. This is in part thanks to Skull Island inhabiting dozens of monsters itself and the island having an opening to a hollow earth point, in which monsters who live underneath the Earth's soil can traverse across the planet and exit at certain points - even on the other side of continents.
While this aspect may come into play at some later point in the MonsterVerse's future (such as if King of the Monsters forces all the other Titans to come out into the world), getting Kong to fight Godzilla is where the franchise is going next. At the moment, Kong and Godzilla seemingly don't know each other, and unless Godzilla vs. Kong is simply a rehash of King of the Monsters' story in which both Titans are vying for supremacy, something needs to happen in order to pit them against each other - and we think we know what that is.
Godzilla 2's Villains Are Trying To Control The Titans
First revealed in the Godzilla: King of the Monsters set visit reports and then later shown in the HBO/IMAX preview for the sequel, Vera Farmiga's Dr. Emma Russell uses a device known as the Orca to wake Ghidorah at Monarch's outpost in Antarctica. Long before any official details released about the film's story, Farmiga explained that her character would be used to try to communicate with the Titans, which isn't too far-fetched for a movie based on iconic Toho characters.
Instead of being one of the Mothra's fairies, as previously theorized, Farmiga's Dr. Russell appears to use technology created by her and her husband, Kyle Chandler's Dr. Mark Russell, to potentially control the Titans. As fans may remember, Bryan Cranston's Joe Brody discovered in the first Godzilla movie that the Titans use sonar to communicate with each other, and his research was ultimately possessed by Monarch. It's possible, then, that the Russells used that research and took it to the next level.
But, of course, Emma isn't meant to be a villain in this story. Rather, Charles Dance's Alan Jonah kidnaps her and her daughter, Millie Bobby Brown's Madison Russell, and forces Emma to use the device to wake Ghidorah, Rodan, and possibly Mothra as well. Jonah is essentially an eco-terrorist, someone who wants to use the Orca to force the Titans to protect the Earth. This falls in line with Emma's "manifesto" that was shown in past King of the Monsters trailers. But what happens to the Orca after all this is over?
Theory: The Orca Is Used To Make Kong Fight Godzilla
A device like the Orca can't be introduced in one movie and completely forgotten by the next one. It's too powerful and too important to the overarching story arc. Plus, who's to say that Monarch doesn't have a change of heart and chooses to revamp its mission statement - "Discovery and Defense in a Time of Monsters" - to something more proactive as a result of the events in Godzilla: King of the Monsters? As seen in set photos, Monarch has become much more militaristic in Godzilla vs. Kong, and they might be actively trying to restore balance to Earth.
What's the best way to do that? Use the Orca to force all the remaining monsters to defeat each other. Ensuring mutual destruction on the monsters' behalf would work best in humanity's favor, and it could be considered a necessary risk to the planet itself in order to obtain some amount of tangible security. Interestingly, this coincides with the official synopsis for Godzilla vs. Kong, which states that "humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course," and how Monarch "embarks on a perilous mission" to discover the monsters' origin.
In their search, they uncover "a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever." That human conspiracy could theoretically be Monarch (or, at least, some group of humans) using the Orca to force Godzilla and Kong to fight each other. If they are the last of their kind, their destruction could certainly guarantee a return to the norm for humanity. Neither of them is generally considered bad, so they wouldn't fight each other unless it was absolutely necessary, but both of them represent a threat to humanity's future. So, pitting them against each other using a device humans can control makes sense.
Why This Is Best For The MonsterVerse
Using the Orca would remove any faults Kong and Godzilla have for fighting each other. They were both considered villains at one point (especially in their earlier movies), but both monsters are commonly misunderstood creatures. Kong just wants to be left alone and keep to Skull Island, while Godzilla has been trying to restore balance to the world for years. After that, Godzilla would return to the deep and not be heard from until the time was right. Simply put, they are both tools in maintaining the natural order of their ecosystems.
Furthermore, while seeing the two monsters fight each on the big screen, using modern technology, is a Toho fan's dream come true, there must be narrative reasons for why they are coming together for the first time, and now of all times. Using the Orca as a tool - both in-universe and from a storytelling perspective - gives Kong and Godzilla a reason to fight and it gives humans a reason to be in the movie at all.
But, then again, it's certainly possible that Godzilla vs. Kong is simply a rehash of King of the Monsters' story and the monsters want to fight each other because they can. After all, Kong was the dominant Titan on Skull Island, but Godzilla will presumably become the king of the monsters on the entire planet. So, with Kong now being 40+ years older and much, much stronger, perhaps he'll expand his reach and try to defeat Godzilla for the MonsterVerse's ultimate title. Or, perhaps not.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020