Hollywood has tried its hand at adapting some very popular franchises from Japan before, and the experience has always been something of a mixed bag, with more flops than certified hits. This convention even applies through different adaptations of a single property like Toho’s immortal giant atomic lizard, “Godzilla”. The first fully-American production by Tri-Star in 1998 was a “base-breaking” film, while the later 2014 attempt by Legendary Pictures was better-received and became the foundation of a new film franchise, the Legendary “Monster-Verse”. Its direct sequel is coming out next year and the first promotional images for it have appeared.
Entertainment Weekly has it that Legendary Pictures has begun showing the first look into “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, the sequel to 2014’s “Godzilla” and the third installment overall of the Legendary Monster-Verse film series, after 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island”. The follow-up apparently takes place in about a same-year time-skip as the wait from the first movie to the sequel. But according to “King of the Monsters” director Michael Dougherty, who is taking over for Gareth Edwards from “Godzilla”, some four to five years will not be enough to acclimate mankind to the presence of Godzilla when the sequel starts.
“The world is reacting to Godzilla in the same way we would react to any other terrifying incident, in that we are overreacting,” says Dougherty when he describes the transition of time between Edwards’ “Godzilla” and his film, where humanity has only become paranoid following the disappearance of the titular “King of the Monsters” Godzilla in the aftermath of the first battles between MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism, the Western appellation for the original Japanese kaiju). It is now public knowledge that MUTO exist, but speculation on how many more are there have placed the world on a hair-trigger panic.
The most iconic image of this preview for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is a shot of the two-legged giant lizard belching his trademark “atomic breath” into the air like a fountain firework. And there is a lot to watch out for in this upcoming film due to the appearance of more classic monsters from Toho’s “Godzilla” films: Mothra the giant moth, Rodan the massive Pterosaur-like beast, and the three-headed dragon King Ghidorah. Human characters in “King of the Monsters” include Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Milly Bobby Brown from Netflix series “Stranger Things”, and Zhang Ziyi.
The “King of the Monsters” film is due to premiere on May 31, 2019. The next step in the Legendary Monster-Verse is a showdown between Godzilla and the Monster-Verse version of King Kong from “Kong: Skull Island”, and it will definitely happen in “Godzilla vs. King Kong” slated for 2020.
Image courtesy of Godzilland Museum on Tumblr