MonsterVerse

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MonsterVerse
MonsterVerse logo updated.jpg
Official logo featured on tie-in comics
Owned byLegendary Entertainment
Warner Bros.
Print publications
Book(s)Various books
ComicsVarious comics
Films and television
Film(s)
Games
Video game(s)Various video games
Miscellaneous
Based on

The MonsterVerse[1] 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[2] of the Godzilla franchise, which was followed by Kong: Skull Island (2017), a reboot[3] 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.[4]

Development[edit]

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".[5] 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.[6][7]

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".[8] Later in October, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island would have references to Monarch.[9]

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,[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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".[13] In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room led by Terry Rossio to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong.[14]

Films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Story by Screenplay by Producer(s) Status
Godzilla May 16, 2014 (2014-05-16) Gareth Edwards David Callaham Max Borenstein Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers Released
Kong: Skull Island March 10, 2017 (2017-03-10) 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

Godzilla (2014)[edit]

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.[2][15] In March 2010, Legendary announced to have acquired the rights to Godzilla for a feature film reboot.[16] In January 2011, Gareth Edwards was announced as the director for the film.[17] The film was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures with filming completed in 2013 in Canada and the United States for release in 2014.[18] Godzilla was released on May 16, 2014 to positive reviews from critics[19][20] and was a box office success, grossing $524.9 million worldwide against a budget of $160 million.[21]

Kong: Skull Island (2017)[edit]

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,[22] Sker Buffalo,[22] Mire Squid,[22] Leafwing,[22] Psychovulture,[22] Spore Mantis,[22] Ramarak,[23] and the Skullcrawlers to the MonsterVerse and a post-credits scene introduces Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse.[24]

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.[25] In September 2014, Jordan Vogt-Roberts was announced as the film's director.[26] In September 2015, Legendary moved development of the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Bros. to create an expanded cinematic universe.[27] 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[28][29] and was a box office success, grossing $566 million worldwide against a budget of $185 million.[30] The film received a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 90th Academy Awards.[31]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)[edit]

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".[32] The film introduces Scylla, Methuselah, and Behemoth to the MonsterVerse.[33] Off-screen, the film introduces Baphomet, Typhon, Mokele-Mbembe, Kraken, Abaddon, and Bunyip to the MonsterVerse.[34]

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.[35] However, Edwards left the sequel in May 2016 to work on smaller scale projects.[36] In January 2017, Michael Dougherty was announced as the director and co-writer for the film.[37] Principal photography began in June 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia and wrapped in September 2017.[38] The film was released on May 31, 2019 to mixed reviews from critics,[39] and was a box office disappointment,[40][41][42] grossing $385 million worldwide against a budget of $170–200 million.[43][44]

Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)[edit]

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.[45]

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.[46][45]

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • 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
Godzilla Kong:
Skull Island
Godzilla:
King of the Monsters
Godzilla vs. Kong
2014 2017 2019 2020
Titans
Godzilla T.J. StormM Archive audio T.J. StormM TBA
MUTO Matt CrossM   CGI  
Lee RossM
King Kong   Terry NotaryM Archive footage TBA
Toby KebbellM
King Ghidorah   Pictured Jason LilesM  
Alan MaxsonM
Richard DortonM
Rodan   Jason LilesM[47]  
Humans
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
Alexandra RabeY
Ilene / Ling Chen   Zhang Ziyi
Ford Brody Aaron Taylor-Johnson  
CJ AdamsY
Elle Brody Elizabeth Olsen  
Joe Brody Bryan Cranston  
Sandra Brody Juliette Binoche  
James Conrad   Tom Hiddleston  
Hank Marlow   John C. Reilly  
Will BrittainY
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  

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

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 [21]
Kong: Skull Island March 10, 2017 $168,052,812 $398,600,000 $566,652,812 268 144 $185 million [30]
Godzilla: King of the Monsters May 31, 2019 $110,500,138 $275,400,000 $385,900,138 622 308 $170–200 million [43][44]
Total $479,229,019 $1,002,400,000 $1,481,629,019 $515 million [4]

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Godzilla 75% (319 reviews)[48] 62 (48 critics)[49] B+[50]
Kong: Skull Island 75% (370 reviews)[51] 62 (49 critics)[52] B+[50]
Godzilla: King of the Monsters 41% (326 reviews)[53] 48 (46 critics)[54] B+[50]

Tie-in material[edit]

Books[edit]

Title Release date Writer(s) Note
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

Comics[edit]

Title Release date Writer(s) Illustrator(s) Cover Artist(s) Note
Godzilla: Awakening May 7, 2014 (2014-05-07) 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

Video games[edit]

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".[55][56] 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.[57]

Title Release date Developer Publisher Note
Godzilla: Crisis Defense[58] May 7, 2014 Legendary Legendary Tie-in web game to Godzilla
Godzilla: Strike Zone[59] May 15, 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Warner Bros. International Enterprises Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla
Godzilla: Smash 3[59] May 16, 2014 Rogue Play Pipeworks Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla

Future[edit]

Steven S. DeKnight (director and co-writer of Pacific Rim: Uprising) discussed about the possibility of a crossover between Pacific Rim and the MonsterVerse, stating:

"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."[60]

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."[61][62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "MonsterVerse Trademark Application of Legendary Pictures, LLC". Justia Trademarks. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Lambie, Ryan (September 21, 2010). "Producer Brian Rogers discusses US Godzilla reboot". Den of Geek. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Williams, Trey (March 11, 2017). "Kong: Skull Island is Step 1 in Warner Bros. reboot of 1933 classic as monster franchise". Market Watch. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Godzilla and Kong Universe". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Wickman, Kase (July 26, 2014). "Holy Mothra: Gareth Edwards Reveals 'Godzilla 2' Monsters At Comic-Con". MTV. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (September 10, 2015). "King Kong On Move To Warner Bros, Presaging Godzilla Monster Matchup". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Masters, Kim (September 16, 2015). "Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary Over 'Kong: Skull Island' (and Who Says "Thank You")". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Cinematic Franchise Uniting Godzilla, King Kong and Other Iconic Giant Monsters" (Press release). Legendary Pictures. October 14, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Masters, Kim (September 16, 2015). "Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary Over 'Kong: Skull Island' (and Who Says "Thank You")". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Rahman, Abid (May 10, 2016). "Warner Bros. Moves Dates For 'Godzilla 2,' 'Godzilla vs Kong'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Galuppo, Mia (October 17, 2016). "Wanda Unveils Plans for $8 Billion 'Movie Metropolis,' Reveals Details About Film Incentives". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 20, 2016). "Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields to Write 'Godzilla 2' for Legendary (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  13. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Masters, Kim (January 17, 2017). "Thomas Tull to Exit Legendary Entertainment (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (March 10, 2017). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Film Sets Writers Room (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Corneth, Roth (September 22, 2010). "'Godzilla' Will Return To His Roots In Legendary Pictures Reboot". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (March 29, 2010). "'Godzilla' stomps back to screen". Variety.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (January 4, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Monsters' Director Stomps to 'Godzilla'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  18. ^ Weintraub, Frosty (September 13, 2012). "CCI: GODZILLA Invades Theaters May 16, 2014; Studio Expects 3D Release". Collider. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  19. ^ Silman, Anna (May 16, 2014). "Review Roundup: One of the Scariest Things in Godzilla Is Bryan Cranston's Wig". Vulture. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  20. ^ Shaw-Williams, H. (May 2, 2014). "'Godzilla': First Audience Reactions Promise a Slow Reveal". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Godzilla (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Spry, Jeff (March 8, 2017). "Meet the crazy creatures of Kong: Skull Island with 6 monster bio cards". Syfy Wire. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  23. ^ "Ramarak The Skullcrawler Trademark Application of Legendary Pictures, LLC". Justia Trademarks. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Matt (March 11, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island' Post-Credits Scene Explained". Collider. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  25. ^ Sciretta, Peter (July 27, 2014). "Legendary Announces King Kong Prequel 'Skull Island' Movie For 2016 [Comic Con 2014]". Slashfilm.com. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  26. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (September 16, 2014). "Legendary's 'Skull Island'; Tom Hiddleston Stars, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Helms King Kong Origin Tale". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  27. ^ Kit, Borys (September 10, 2015). "'Kong: Skull Island' to Move to Warner Bros. for Planned Monster Movie Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  28. ^ Goldberg, Matt (March 10, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island': What Did You Think?". Collider. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  29. ^ Mendelson, Scott (March 13, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island': Four Lessons For 'Justice League' And The DC Films Franchise". Forbes. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  30. ^ a b "Kong: Skull Island (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  31. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  32. ^ Orquiola, John (July 21, 2018). "Godzilla 2 Has Renamed The MonsterVerse Creatures". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  33. ^ Whalen, Andrew (May 31, 2019). "Godzilla: King of the Monsters Monster List: All 17 Titan Names Revealed". Newsweek. Archived from the original on June 1, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  34. ^ Walkuski, Eric (March 21, 2019). "Set Visit: Everything we learned from the Godzilla: King of the Monsters set". Joblo. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (May 22, 2014). "'Star Wars' Spinoff Hires 'Godzilla' Director Gareth Edwards (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  36. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (May 13, 2016). "Director Gareth Edwards Exits 'Godzilla 2'". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  37. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 23, 2017). "'Godzilla 2' Finds Director in Michael Dougherty". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  38. ^ Bernstein 2019, p. 13.
  39. ^ Adam Holmes (May 28, 2019). "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Reviews Are In, Here's What The Critics Are Saying". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on June 1, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  40. ^ Mendelson, Scott (June 3, 2019). "'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters' Is A Terrifying Box Office Disappointment". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 3, 2019. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  41. ^ Hibberd, James (August 14, 2019). "The 17 biggest summer box office winners and losers of 2019". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  42. ^ Rebecca Rubin (November 17, 2019). "With 'Good Liar' and 'Doctor Sleep,' Warner Bros.' Box Office Misfortunes Mount". Variety. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  43. ^ a b "Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  44. ^ a b Rebecca Rubin (June 2, 2019). "'Godzilla: King of the Monsters': Inside a Fading Franchise". Variety. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  45. ^ a b "Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Entertainment's Monsterverse Shifts into Overdrive as Cameras Roll on the Next Big-Screen Adventure "Godzilla Vs. Kong"". Business Wire. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  46. ^ Aaron Couch (November 25, 2019). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Release Date Pushed 8 Months to November 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  47. ^ Minow, Nell (July 23, 2018). "Comic-Con 2018: Jason Liles on Playing the Beasts of Rampage and Godzilla: King of the Monsters". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  48. ^ "Godzilla (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  49. ^ "Godzilla (2014) Reviews". Metacritic.
  50. ^ a b c "Home - Cinemascore". cinemascore.com.
  51. ^ "Kong: Skull Island (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  52. ^ "Kong: Skull Island Reviews". Metacritic.
  53. ^ "Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  54. ^ "Godzilla: King of the Monsters Reviews". Metacritic.
  55. ^ "Godzilla The Game - PS4 Gameplay Trailer". Bandai Namco Entertainment America. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  56. ^ Spencer (July 13, 2015). "Godzilla Developer Was So Passionate About Their Favorite Monster They Snuck It In The Game". Siliconera. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  57. ^ Barton, Steve (February 28, 2019). "Experience Kong VR: Destination Skull Island". Dread Central. Archived from the original on June 9, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  58. ^ Godzilla (2014) 'Crisis Defense' Game Launched
  59. ^ a b "Godzilla (2014) Licensed Products Guide". SciFi Japan. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  60. ^ Chitwood, Adam (October 20, 2017). "Exclusive: 'Pacific Rim Uprising' Director Says Crossover with 'Godzilla' and 'King Kong' Is Possible". Collider. Complex Media. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  61. ^ Mirjahangir 2019, 21:30.
  62. ^ "Legendary wants the MonsterVerse to Continue after Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020". Scified. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.

Sources[edit]

  • Bernstein, Abbie (2019). The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Titan Books. ISBN 1789090687.
  • Mirjahangir, Chris (2019). Interview with Alex Garcia and Zach Shield (Audio). Toho Kingdom.