Official logo featured on tie-in comics
|Owned by||Legendary Entertainment|
|Films and television|
|Video game(s)||Various video games|
The MonsterVerse is an American multimedia franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of monster films featuring Godzilla and King Kong, produced by Legendary Entertainment and co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The first installment was Godzilla (2014), a reboot of the Godzilla franchise, which was followed by Kong: Skull Island (2017), a reboot of the King Kong franchise, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). The next film to be released will be Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). With three films released to date, the series has grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide.
- 1 Development
- 2 Films
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Reception
- 5 Tie-in material
- 6 Future
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Legendary Entertainment confirmed at the July 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International that it had acquired the licensing rights to Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah from Toho and revealed concept footage with the closing title cards reading "Conflict: inevitable. Let them fight". In September 2015, Legendary announced that the film Kong: Skull Island would not be developed with Universal Studios. Instead, it would be developed with Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together.
In October 2015, Legendary announced plans to unite Godzilla and King Kong in a film titled Godzilla vs. Kong, set for a 2020 release date. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise "centered around Monarch" (the secret government agency which debuted in 2014's Godzilla) and that "brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new". Later in October, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island would have references to Monarch.
In May 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Godzilla vs. Kong would be released on May 29, 2020, and that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be pushed back from its original June 2018 release date to March 22, 2019, however, the film was later pushed back again to May 31, 2019. In October 2016, Legendary announced that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be filmed at its parent company Wanda's Oriental Movie Metropolis facility in Qingdao, China, along with Pacific Rim: Uprising. That same month, it was revealed that Legendary was planning a writers room to create their Godzilla–Kong cinematic universe, with Alex Garcia overseeing the project for Legendary.
In early January 2017, Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary, resigned from the company but would remain as producer for the Godzilla–Kong series, which was revealed as the "MonsterVerse". In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room led by Terry Rossio to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Story by||Screenplay by||Producer(s)||Status|
|Godzilla||May 16, 2014||Gareth Edwards||David Callaham||Max Borenstein||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers||Released|
|Kong: Skull Island||March 10, 2017||Jordan Vogt-Roberts||John Gatins||Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Alex Garcia|
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters||May 31, 2019||Michael Dougherty||Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields||Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Alex Garcia and Brian Rogers|
|Godzilla vs. Kong||November 20, 2020||Adam Wingard||TBA||Terry Rossio||Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers and Eric McLeod||Post-production|
The film reimagines Godzilla's origins in contemporary times and is set 15 years after a nuclear meltdown in Japan which subsequently awakens two giant parasitic creatures, known as "MUTOs". As the MUTOs ravage the countryside in order to reproduce, they awaken a larger ancient alpha predator, known as "Godzilla", whose existence has been kept secret by the U.S. government since 1954. The film introduces Godzilla, the MUTOs, and the Monarch organization to the MonsterVerse.
In 2004, director Yoshimitsu Banno acquired permission from Toho to produce a short IMAX Godzilla film which was in development for several years until the project was eventually turned over to Legendary Pictures. In March 2010, Legendary announced to have acquired the rights to Godzilla for a feature film reboot. In January 2011, Gareth Edwards was announced as the director for the film. The film was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures with filming completed in 2013 in Canada and the United States for release in 2014. Godzilla was released on May 16, 2014 to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $524.9 million worldwide against a budget of $160 million.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
In the film, set in 1973, a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific and encounter terrifying creatures and the mighty Kong. The film introduces King Kong, Mother Longlegs, Sker Buffalo, Mire Squid, Leafwing, Psychovulture, Spore Mantis, Ramarak, and the Skullcrawlers to the MonsterVerse and a post-credits scene introduces Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse.
In July 2014 at the San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary announced a King Kong origin story, initially titled Skull Island, with a release date of November 4, 2016, and Universal Pictures distributing. In September 2014, Jordan Vogt-Roberts was announced as the film's director. In September 2015, Legendary moved development of the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Bros. to create an expanded cinematic universe. Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii and Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was released on March 10, 2017 to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $566 million worldwide against a budget of $185 million. The film received a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 90th Academy Awards.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
In the film, humanity must rely on Godzilla and Mothra to defeat King Ghidorah and Rodan, the former which has awakened other Titans to destroy the world. The film changes the monsters' designation from "MUTOs" to "Titans". The film introduces Scylla, Methuselah, and Behemoth to the MonsterVerse. Off-screen, the film introduces Baphomet, Typhon, Mokele-Mbembe, Kraken, Abaddon, and Bunyip to the MonsterVerse.
Prior to announcing a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong, Legendary originally intended to produce a Godzilla trilogy, with Gareth Edwards attached to direct all films. However, Edwards left the sequel in May 2016 to work on smaller scale projects. In January 2017, Michael Dougherty was announced as the director and co-writer for the film. Principal photography began in June 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia and wrapped in September 2017. The film was released on May 31, 2019 to mixed reviews from critics, and was a box office disappointment, grossing $385 million worldwide against a budget of $170–200 million.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)
In an age when monsters reclaim the planet, humanity's fight for survival triggers the inevitable battle between Godzilla and King Kong, while Monarch unravels the origins of the Titans and a human conspiracy that threatens to destroy all of the monsters.
The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary announced plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. The film's writers room was assembled in March 2017 and Adam Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hawaii and Australia and concluded in April 2019. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released on November 20, 2020 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where it will be distributed by Toho.
Cast and characters
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
- An M indicates the character appears through use of motion capture.
- A Y indicates an appearance by an actor portraying a younger version of a character.
|Character||Released films||Upcoming film|
King of the Monsters
|Godzilla vs. Kong|
|Godzilla||T.J. StormM||Archive audio||T.J. StormM||TBA|
|King Kong||Terry NotaryM||Archive footage||TBA|
|King Ghidorah||Pictured||Jason LilesM|
|Ishiro Serizawa||Ken Watanabe||Ken Watanabe|
|Vivienne Graham||Sally Hawkins||Sally Hawkins|
|William Stentz||David Strathairn||David Strathairn|
|Houston Brooks||Corey Hawkins||Joe Morton|
|Mark Russell||Kyle Chandler|
|Madison Russell||Millie Bobby Brown||Millie Bobby Brown|
|Ilene / Ling Chen||Zhang Ziyi|
|Ford Brody||Aaron Taylor-Johnson|
|Elle Brody||Elizabeth Olsen|
|Joe Brody||Bryan Cranston|
|Sandra Brody||Juliette Binoche|
|James Conrad||Tom Hiddleston|
|Hank Marlow||John C. Reilly|
|Mason Weaver||Brie Larson|
|Preston Packard||Samuel L. Jackson|
|William Randa||John Goodman|
|San Lin||Jing Tian|
|Emma Russell||Vera Farmiga|
|Rick Stanton||Bradley Whitford|
|Sam Coleman||Thomas Middleditch|
|Alan Jonah||Charles Dance|
|Diane Foster||Aisha Hinds|
|Jackson Barnes||O'Shea Jackson Jr.|
|Lauren Griffin||Elizabeth Ludlow|
|Anthony Martinez||Anthony Ramos|
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||North America||Worldwide|
|Godzilla||May 16, 2014||$200,676,069||$328,400,000||$524,976,069||183||165||$160 million|||
|Kong: Skull Island||March 10, 2017||$168,052,812||$398,600,000||$566,652,812||268||144||$185 million|||
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters||May 31, 2019||$110,500,138||$275,400,000||$385,900,138||622||308||$170–200 million|||
|Godzilla||75% (319 reviews)||62 (48 critics)||B+|
|Kong: Skull Island||75% (370 reviews)||62 (49 critics)||B+|
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters||41% (326 reviews)||48 (46 critics)||B+|
|Godzilla: The Art of Destruction||May 13, 2014||Mark Cotta||The making of Godzilla|
|Godzilla – The Official Movie Novelization||May 20, 2014||Greg Cox||Novelization of Godzilla|
|Kong: Skull Island – The Official Movie Novelization||March 14, 2017||Tim Lebbon||Novelization of Kong: Skull Island|
|The Art and Making of Kong: Skull Island||March 21, 2017||Simon Ward||The making of Kong: Skull Island|
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters – The Official Movie Novelization||May 31, 2019||Gregory Keyes||Novelization of Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters||June 4, 2019||Abbie Bernstein||The making of Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|Title||Release date||Writer(s)||Illustrator(s)||Cover Artist(s)||Note|
|Godzilla: Awakening||May 7, 2014||Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein||Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah, and Lee Loughridge||Arthur Adams||Tie-in prequel graphic novel to Godzilla|
|Skull Island: The Birth of Kong||April 12, 2017||Arvid Nelson||Zid||Zid, Drew Johnson (issue #4)||Tie-in prequel/sequel comic to Kong: Skull Island|
|Godzilla: Aftershock||May 21, 2019||Arvid Nelson||Drew Edward Johnson||Tie-in prequel graphic novel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
A 2014 app titled Godzilla Encounter would help you detect traces of Godzilla. Legendary's Godzilla was featured as a playable character in Bandai Namco's 2014 video game Godzilla as "Hollywood Godzilla". In 2017, a short virtual reality experience titled Kong VR: Destination Skull Island was made available at 1500 Samsung retail demo locations, in 15 AMC theater locations, and Samsung VR stores.
|Godzilla: Crisis Defense||May 7, 2014||Legendary||Legendary||Tie-in web game to Godzilla|
|Godzilla: Strike Zone||May 15, 2014||Warner Bros. Entertainment||Warner Bros. International Enterprises||Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla|
|Godzilla: Smash 3||May 16, 2014||Rogue Play||Pipeworks||Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla|
"There's been a lot of discussion about that possibility [of crossing over]. And part of the big overall plan after the third movie we've talked about is that could happen, it's always a possibility. It's by far not a certainty; it's merely theoretical at this point."
In March 2019, when asked about the future of the MonsterVerse, producer Alex Garcia stated:
"It's one brick at a time, each piece has to be as good as it can be, so right now it's all focused on this [Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong]. But could there be? Yeah, that's the hope if the movies turn out really well."
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