Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
- Do not confuse with Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) or any other media bearing the same title.
Their reign begins
Long live the king
The king awakens. (
The king's awakening. (
— Japanese taglines
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (ゴジラ キング・オブ・モンスターズ is a Gojira Kingu Obu Monsutāzu, lit. Godzilla: King of Monsters)2019 American science fiction monster film produced by Legendary Pictures, and the third entry in the MonsterVerse. It was released to American theaters on May 31, 2019.
The sequel to Legendary's Godzilla, King of the Monsters picks up five years later, where many are in favor of exterminating Godzilla and all the other Titans like him. The scientific organization Monarch however believes Godzilla and some other Titans to be benevolent and is against killing them. When the eco-terrorist Alan Jonah and his men steal the ORCA, a sonar device developed to communicate with Titans, Monarch pursues the terrorists to Outpost 32 in Antarctica: the resting place of the colossal Monster Zero. They are unable to stop Monster Zero from being unleashed, after which the three-headed terror awakens many of the other dormant Titans around the globe and bends them to his will. Now, Monarch must work alongside Godzilla and his mystical ally Mothra to stop Monster Zero and his pawns before the entire global ecosystem is destroyed.
"The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance."
In 2014, Mark and Emma Russell desperately search through the ruins of San Francisco for their son Andrew. As Mark comes to the realization that his son is gone, he witnesses Godzilla emerge from behind a building and walk past.
Five years later, Emma is separated from her husband and lives with her now 12-year-old daughter Madison. Madison receives an email from her father asking to catch up. Upon reading it, Madison initially hesitates before beginning to type a response stating that she is worried about her mother. However, the smoke detector begins to go off as Madison realizes the bacon she was cooking is burning. Emma enters the kitchen and tries to turn the alarm off and asks her daughter what is going on. Madison responds that she was trying to make breakfast, but accidentally overcooked the bacon. Madison closes her laptop before Emma can see it, and says that her father has been contacting her. Emma asks if she has responded, and she replies that she hasn't yet. Emma then informs Madison that she has finally finished her sonar device: the Orca. Suddenly, their apartment is shaken by a deafening screeching noise. Emma is contacted and told that she needs to go to the containment area immediately, prompting her to grab the Orca and leave the apartment with Madison. Their apartment is actually in the middle of China's Yunnan rainforest, just outside of Monarch Outpost 61: the Temple of the Moth.
As Emma and Madison enter the temple, adorned with ornate carvings of a huge moth, they are greeted by Monarch entomologist Dr. Tim Mancini, who informs them that the Titan housed there has suddenly become incredibly active after sleeping peacefully previously. As they enter an observation room overlooking a large chamber, they gaze upon a giant glowing blue egg. As the egg begins pulsating and glowing brighter, it becomes clear that the Titan inside is about to hatch. Soon, a gigantic mass breaks through the egg. As the hatchling sheds the amniotic fluid covering it, it reveals itself as a giant larva. Dr. Mancini introduces it as Titanus Mosura, better known as Mothra. A containment field is activated around the colossal larva, but inexplicably deactivates shortly afterward. Dr. Mancini informs Emma that it seems some outside party is interfering with their systems. As Mothra sees the armed men standing around her, she becomes agitated and lashes out. The men try to stun her with electrical rifles but she proceeds to spit silk at them and thrash about the chamber. Mancini prepares to activate a protocol to kill Mothra, but Emma begs him not to. She runs into the chamber holding the ORCA and gently sets it down in front of Mothra. As Emma tries to set the Orca to the correct frequency, she only enrages Mothra further. Madison rushes to her mother's side, and just as Mothra bears down upon them both, Emma activates the Orca and successfully pacifies Mothra. Mothra's red bioluminescent glow is replaced with the soft blue color she emitted when she hatched, and she backs down. Madison reaches out her hand and touches Mothra's face, with the creature releasing a strong blast of air through her nostrils. The peaceful moment is interrupted by a bomb explosion that strikes the observation room. Armed assailants enter the room and promptly gun down most of the Monarch personnel. Dr. Mancini gets to his feet and surrenders to the attackers, but is promptly shot in the head by their leader.
Meanwhile, Drs. Ishiro Serizawa, Vivienne Graham, and Sam Coleman are speaking before a Senate committee on behalf of Monarch, with Admiral William Stenz and other military officials in attendance as well. Sam explains that they are now witnessing the reemergence of the Titans, and that Godzilla, the MUTOs, and Kong are just the "tip of the iceberg." Monarch believes many such creatures are still in hiding around the world, and could awaken as well. Sam argues that Monarch is specially suited to determine which of the Titans are threats to humanity, and which may be able to protect them. Senator Williams of Hawaii is dismissive of Sam's arguments, believing that the Titans are nothing more than threats that must be dealt with. Serizawa and Graham interject that humanity should try to find a way to coexist with the Titans rather than kill them, effectively forming a symbiotic relationship. Williams sarcastically asks if Monarch intends to make Godzilla humanity's pet, but Serizawa responds that rather they would be his. When Graham and Serizawa receive a digital message about the events which just transpired in China, they excuse themselves from the meeting. Senator Williams angrily calls after them, but Sam attempts to ease the tension by bringing up a presentation on "Titan reproduction," showing a clip of the MUTOs performing their courtship in 2014, before leaving with Serizawa and Graham.
The three travel to Colorado, where Mark Russell now lives in a secluded cabin and photographs wolves. Mark is in the middle of photographing a wolf pack feeding on a deer carcass before they are scared away by the Monarch Osprey. Inside Mark's cabin, the three explain the situation to him. Emma and Madison have been kidnapped by an unknown force, and the Orca has been stolen with them. They convince Mark to accompany them to Monarch's underwater base, Outpost 54: Castle Bravo. Mark is introduced to Monarch scientists Ilene Chen and Rick Stanton, along with G-Team members Col. Diane Foster, Chief Warrant Officer Jackson Barnes, Staff Sergeant Anthony Martinez, and First Lieutenant Lauren Griffin. There, they discuss the situation. Emma and Madison have been kidnapped by a man named Alan Jonah, a misanthropic former British Army colonel and MI6 agent-turned eco-terrorist obsessed with using the Titans to end humanity's reign on Earth. Recently, Jonah has begun trafficking in Titan DNA. Undoubtedly, he now plans to use Emma and the Orca for his own violent agenda. While Monarch initially presumes Jonah aims to use Mothra, who has now cocooned under a waterfall, for this purpose, Mark believes this is a smokescreen and Jonah really has his eyes on a much bigger prize.
Mark's fear is right, as Jonah's terrorist mercenaries have commandeered a Monarch Osprey and flown it to the off-the-books Outpost 32 in Antarctica. Upon landing, Jonah and his men exit calmly before opening fire and killing all of the Monarch guards, while Emma and Madison listen in horror from inside the Osprey. Jonah comes aboard and tells them both to disembark, and they all enter the Outpost. Inside, they are faced with a wall of ice containing what look like frozen serpents. Madison immediately recognizes this Titan as "Monster Zero." Jonah's men begin using machines to drill into the ice while Emma calibrates the Orca to Monster Zero's frequency.
Back at Castle Bravo, Monarch detects Godzilla approaching unusually close to the base. G-Team mans the base's Maser Turrets and prepares to open fire on Godzilla, but Mark tells them to stand down. While Mark wants Godzilla dead as much as anyone else, blaming him for the loss of his son, he says that unless Monarch believes they can win this fight that they have to stand down. Serizawa agrees and tells G-Team to deactivate the turrets. Godzilla's heart rate begins to decrease, and Mark says to lower the shields in order to signal that they are not a threat. While Stanton scoffs at the notion, Serizawa orders the shields to be dropped. As the shields open, everyone sees Godzilla slowly swimming toward them from outside, his dorsal fins emitting a bright blue glow. Graham identifies this as an intimidation display, akin to a gorilla beating its chest. Mark approaches the window to the ocean and watches Godzilla's approach, before the blue glow vanishes and Godzilla seemingly backs off. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief before Godzilla suddenly turns and charges past the base, leaving everyone shaken. Mark asks to see Godzilla's patrol patterns, and says that if he is leaving his hunting grounds he must feel threatened by something. Monarch studies Godzilla's current course and determines he can only be heading to one place: Antarctica.
Monarch follows Godzilla inside their flying flagship the USS Argo, before Godzilla drops from detection. Stanton is certain that this is evidence of Dr. Houston Brooks' Hollow Earth hypothesis; Godzilla is using underground tunnels and pockets to move more quickly. Once the Argo reaches Antarctica, it deploys two Ospreys to Outpost 32. G-Team disembarks and finds the fatalities Jonah's men have left behind. The team enters the Outpost and searches through the long passageway inside, but can find nothing until the terrorists ambush them and open fire. G-Team engages in a firefight with the terrorists as Emma and Madison are escorted out by Jonah and some of his men. Upon seeing a video feed of Emma and Madison inside the outpost, Mark exits his Osprey and grabs a gun from one of the bodies before charging in himself. He fights his way to a catwalk where he comes face to face with Emma and Madison, aiming his gun at Jonah. Col. Foster manages to shoot one of the terrorists, Asher, who was carrying a detonator. To Mark's shock, rather than run to him, Emma and Madison stay with Jonah. Emma grabs the detonator and apologizes to Mark before telling him to run. She presses the detonator, setting off charges planted in the ice and causing it to crack open. Jonah flees with Emma and Madison and gets back into his Osprey, while Mark tries to pursue them in an elevator. However, Mark sees the members of G-Team still struggling to escape and takes the elevator back down to assist them. Aboard Jonah's Osprey, Madison exclaims that they need to go back for her father, but is held back. Jonah tells Emma to wake Monster Zero, and she obliges. Emma activates the Orca and emits a sonar that awakens the long-frozen creature. First, a spiked tail rises from the fissure in the ice, shaking like a rattlesnake's tail. Then, gradually three demonic dragon heads emerge one by one, shaking the ice from themselves. The members of G-Team look up bewildered at the creature before opening fire with their rifles. Monster Zero seems almost intrigued by them, dropping his heads to the ground and observing them. Then, Monster Zero stands up and a yellow glow moves along his necks before each of his mouths spews golden beams of pure bio-electricity, vaporizing several of the soldiers. Barnes and the others retreat to their Osprey, as a blue glow becomes visible underneath the ice. Godzilla bursts out from the ice and challenges Monster Zero, with the two Titans charging at each other. One Osprey is damaged in the battle and unable to take off. The Monarch scientists run to reach G-Team's Osprey amidst Godzilla and Monster Zero's clash. Godzilla fires his atomic breath, but his enemy's heads dodge it and counter with gravity beams that knock Godzilla off the ice shelf. Monster Zero again turns to menace the fleeing humans, and bites down on eats a huge chunk of ice, swallowing Dr. Graham with it. The Argo enters the battle area and opens fire on Monster Zero, who seems to have had enough and takes flight as Godzilla attempts to reenter the battle.
Having been knocked unconscious after a stray missile exploded near him, Mark awakens aboard the Argo. On the bridge, members of Monarch discuss what just happened while Serizawa quietly grieves for Graham. Col. Foster insists that she saw Emma set off the detonator, but Sam is in denial that she would do such a thing. Mark enters the room and interjects that Foster is right: Emma acted of her own volition and was responsible for unleashing Monster Zero. Monster Zero has vanished into a tropical storm over Brazil, while Godzilla appears to be following Jonah's Osprey to Isla de Mara, Mexico: the site of Monarch Outpost 56. Monarch concludes that Jonah and Emma aim to awaken the Titan within the volcano there. The Argo then receives a transmission from Emma, who explains her actions. Human activity has damaged the environment to the point that a mass extinction is inevitable, she says. She believes the Titans are essential to saving the world from the apocalypse mankind has started, but the U.S. government is intent on exterminating them all instead. So, she took matters into her own hands and is awakening them herself before this can happen. Mark and the others are horrified at Emma's actions, accusing her of losing her mind and gambling with billions of innocent lives, but she maintains her resolve and warns them to seek shelter before signing off. Monarch finds that Emma's broadcast did not come from Isla de Mara, but rather the signal is being bounced off of multiple satellites and she could really be anywhere. Matters become worse as Monarch finds that the containment field over the volcano's crater has been deactivated. G-Team lands in the village near Isla de Mara to evacuate civilians before the Titan is unleashed.
In the bunker where they are holed up with Jonah and his men, Madison begs her mother to stop proceeding with this plan. Jonah is infuriated, stating that Emma knew exactly what was going to happen because she approached him and orders her to activate the Orca. Emma tries to ask Jonah to give civilians more time to evacuate, but she is informed that they need to act immediately. Emma apologizes to Madison and activates the Orca, with the sonar being broadcast through speakers at Outpost 56. The terrified civilians in the village below witness the volcano begin to erupt, after which a huge flaming creature emerges from the crater. Dr. Chen informs Mark that according to local legends, the creature is called Rodan, the Fire Demon. G-Team's fighter jets open fire on Rodan, angering him to the point he takes flight and pursues them along with the Argo. As Rodan flies above the nearby village, the resulting shockwave tears buildings from the ground and launches debris, vehicles, and even people into the sky. G-Team saves as many citizens as they can and evacuates them onto an Osprey. While chasing after the Argo, Rodan engages in a dogfight with G-Team's jets, gradually destroying them each by creating a sonic boom, tearing them apart with his talons, and finally performing a spinning maneuver that crushes several jets with his wings. Eventually, only the Argo is left, and Rodan is hot on its heels. Monarch has also determined that the tropical storm into which Monster Zero disappeared is actually being generated by the creature himself, and is heading right toward them. The Argo lures Rodan directly into the storm and dives out of the way before reaching Monster Zero. Rodan initially evades the creature before charging directly at him and attacking. The two monsters tear into each other with their claws and teeth, prompting Stanton to remark that they're killing each other. The G-Team Osprey races to the Argo, but Monarch is unable to open the hangar doors. Monster Zero overpowers Rodan, restraining his wings with his side heads and firing a gravity beam from his middle head that blasts Rodan into the ocean below.
Admiral Stenz contacts the Argo and informs Monarch that the U.S. military is taking over the situation. He says they have developed an experimental chemical weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, to kill the Titans. The weapon has already been launched and will kill everything in a two-mile radius on impact, so he warns the Argo to evacuate immediately. Mark is able to force open the doors on the Argo and allows the Osprey to make an emergency crash-landing inside of it. While everyone survives the impact, Monster Zero quickly closes in on the Argo. Just before he can reach it, Godzilla leaps from the water and drags Monster Zero under. The two Titans struggle underwater, with Godzilla fighting to keep all three heads submerged. Godzilla is able to bite down on Monster Zero's left head and forcefully tear it off. Despite Godzilla nearly being victorious, the Argo is forced to retreat as the Oxygen Destroyer draws near. The missile carrying the weapon strikes the water where the Titans are fighting, and produces a massive green explosion. The blast produces a mushroom cloud, and when the smoke clears countless dead fish float to the surface. Shortly after, the two-headed Monster Zero flies from the sea, seemingly unaffected by the blast. Godzilla, however, is seriously wounded and begins to sink into the deep, his vital signs dropping drastically. Finally, all signs of Godzilla vanish and Dr. Stanton regretfully informs everyone that he is gone. Serizawa bitterly tells Mark that he finally got his wish.
Monster Zero touches down on the Isla de Mara volcano, where a truly hideous display takes place. An elongated tongue sprouts from the stump where the creature's left head once was, followed by sinews, skull bones, and lumps of flesh which become surrounded in a placenta-like sac. The middle head removes the sac with its mouth as the head beneath it fully regenerates in a matter of moments. Whole once more, Monster Zero shrieks out to the heavens, his call serving as a mass awakening for all of Earth's Titans. The spider-like Scylla emerges from underground in Sedona, Arizona, and the horned, mountain-backed Methuselah erupts from underground near Munich, Germany. It becomes clear that Monster Zero is no ordinary Titan, he has awakened all of the others and seemingly taken command of them. Jonah and Emma observe the mass awakening on a screen in their bunker, with Jonah remarking that he was under the impression they would awaken each Titan individually. Emma replies that she isn't doing this, prompting Jonah to look at Ghidorah on the screen and declare "Long live the king." Rodan lands at the foot of the volcano and submits to Ghidorah, as do the other Titans all around the world. All except one. In China, a Monarch team including Dr. Brooks and Dr. Chen's twin sister Dr. Ling is observing Mothra's cocoon. They both witness the creature's beautiful imago stage emerge from the cocoon and spread her glowing wings from under the waterfall.
Aboard the Argo, Dr. Chen determines from further mythological research that Monster Zero may not be part of the natural order at all. She says that ancient legends called him "Ghidorah, the One Who is Many." A dragon that "fell from the stars," Ghidorah seemingly fought Godzilla in the ancient past as evidenced by cave paintings of the two locked in battle. Monarch therefore concludes that Ghidorah must be an alien creature, explaining his unnatural abilities such as his immunity to the Oxygen Destroyer and his instant regeneration of his missing head. When the Argo reaches Castle Bravo, they find it surrounded by a U.S. Naval fleet. Inside the base, Admiral Stenz addresses the current crisis before Monarch. Titans are assaulting the globe. Not only are Ghidorah, Rodan, Scylla, and Methuselah loose, but others such as the tusked sloth-like Behemoth and the Queen MUTO are on the rampage as well. When Stenz describes the Titans' behavior as "erratic," Chen interjects that he is wrong. Mark explains that they are demonstrating pack behavior. They are all responding to an alpha, Ghidorah. If they can stop Ghidorah, he says, they might stop them all. Unfortunately, the only creature seemingly capable of combating Ghidorah was just killed by the military. Mark prepares to leave Castle Bravo aboard an Osprey to search for Madison himself, but is interrupted by a bright light in the sky. Mark exits the Osprey to get a better look and witnesses the clouds part as the imago Mothra appears in the sky above. Monarch detects that Mothra is emitting a sonar frequency and receiving a response... from Godzilla. They conclude that Godzilla is still alive, and that they have to find him before Ghidorah destroys the world. Mark, Chen, Stanton, and Serizawa depart via a Navy submarine and follow Mothra to Godzilla's location, while G-Team boards the Argo and heads to the U.S. to battle Ghidorah and Rodan alongside the military.
Madison has come to grasp the horror of what her mother unleashed, and takes it upon herself to set things right. After overhearing her mother discuss with Jonah the potential to use the ORCA to control the Titans, she steals it and escapes the bunker where they are hiding in Boston. The submarine comes upon a whirlpool that pulls it deeper underwater. Stanton concludes that this whirlpool is actually an entrance to the Hollow Earth, and is where Godzilla retreated. The doctors are all shocked to see ancient ruins on the ocean floor. Proceeding further, they come upon an entire sunken city. Mark notes that the ruins resemble those of ancient Egypt or Rome, but Stanton states that they are considerably older. Adorning the city's walls are paintings of humans worshiping a figure that is unmistakably Godzilla. Finally, the sub detects an air pocket, and sends drones inside to investigate. They find an incredibly radioactive chamber surrounded by molten lava flows where Godzilla is lying atop a giant altar. They realize that this is Godzilla's lair, and where he goes to recover and feed on the natural radiation. Unfortunately, Godzilla may take years to recover through this process, meaning he won't be able to stop Ghidorah in time. However, it may be possible to accelerate the process by exposing Godzilla to one of the sub's nuclear torpedoes. Unfortunately, the sub sustained damage from the whirlpool and cannot fire its torpedoes. Furthermore, the heat and radiation in Godzilla's lair are so lethal that no one could survive manually placing the warhead and arming it. However, Serizawa declares that he will do it himself.
Meanwhile, Madison makes her way to Fenway Park, where civilians are being evacuated, and attaches the Orca to the stadium's sound system. Serizawa dons a radiation suit to protect him long enough to arm the warhead, and bids farewell to Stanton, Dr. Chen, and Mark. Before leaving, he entrusts Mark with his notes. When Mark asks Serizawa if he is sure about this, he says he firmly believes that Godzilla is not only proof that man can coexist with the Titans, but he is the key to coexistence. Serizawa takes the warhead aboard a smaller submarine and departs. The sub surfaces in the air pocket and Serizawa disembarks. Fighting through the lethal radiation and heat, Serizawa drags the warhead to the top of the altar and arms it. He removes his helmet and approaches Godzilla, who opens his eyes and looks at him. Serizawa gently places his hand on Godzilla's face and says his final words: "Goodbye, old friend." The warhead explodes, annihilating the sunken city and propelling the submarine back to the surface. Mark and Chen exit the sub and look to see if Serizawa was successful. They witness a whirlpool open near them, from which Godzilla emerges fully rejuvenated and pulsing with nuclear energy. Godzilla triumphantly fires his atomic breath into the sky, then leans forward and observes the humans. He briefly locks eyes with Mark before turning and making his way to the East Coast of the U.S. for a final confrontation with Ghidorah.
Upon realizing Madison has taken the Orca, Emma sets out to rescue her. Before she can board a jeep to leave, Jonah and his men surround her. Jonah mocks Emma's preoccupation with finding her daughter over their mission, but she draws a gun on him. Jonah tells his men to let her leave, as they already have everything they need. In Boston, Madison has activated the Orca, which causes the Titans around the world to suddenly cease their rampage. Ghidorah, however, is alerted to the disturbance and makes his way from Washington D.C. to Boston. He is accompanied by a massive storm that sweeps through the city before he lands at the ballpark and searches for the source of the signal. Ghidorah bites down on the loudspeakers and destroys them, then peers into the pressbox to see Madison inside. He charges his gravity beams and fires them, with Madison barely being able to evade the blasts. Madison flees into the center of the stadium but is knocked down by a nearby blast from Ghidorah. She defiantly throws the Orca at Ghidorah, who looks down at Madison and prepares to finish her with his gravity beams before being knocked off his feet by a blast of atomic breath.
Madison turns to see Godzilla triumphantly march into the city, accompanied by a full military escort. After Ghidorah gets back up, Godzilla begins running at his foe and the two Titans collide with each other, producing a shockwave that reaches the Argo. Now back aboard the Argo with the others, Stanton determines that the amount of radiation Godzilla absorbed from the explosion is too great, meaning he will explode like an atomic bomb in about 12 minutes. The priority becomes rescuing Madison before this happens, and Mark accompanies G-Team to Fenway Park inside two Ospreys while Godzilla and Ghidorah battle to the death. Ghidorah begins to gain the upper hand over Godzilla, but Mothra arrives and pins his heads against a building by spitting silk at them. Ghidorah tries to free his heads but Godzilla seizes the opportunity to tackle him through the building. As Godzilla closes in on him, Ghidorah calls out to Rodan, who arrives and attacks Mothra. With Godzilla and Ghidorah fighting on the ground while Mothra and Rodan duel in the sky, Madison seeks refuge in her and her mother's former home in Boston. Back at Fenway, Mark and G-Team cannot find Madison though they do find the damaged ORCA. Emma pulls up in her jeep and orders them all to get in. They are able to track Madison down to the house, and find her unconscious hiding inside a bathtub. Fortunately, she regains consciousness and the family is reunited at last in an embrace.
Rodan seriously injures Mothra by burning her wings, and slams her against a skyscraper. Mothra uses her claws to knock Rodan off the side of the building, but he immediately flies back and pins her on the top of the building. Mothra dodges as Rodan attempts to stab her with his beak, and finally impales him through the chest with her stinger. Rodan looks down in shock as the sting immobilizes him, and he soon falls screaming furiously into the flaming city below. Ghidorah feeds on a nearby electrical transformer, charging his body with electrical energy that he projects from his wings in countless directions. He leaps at Godzilla and restrains him with his legs and tails, and begins pulling him into the air. Ghidorah wraps his middle neck around Godzilla's throat and strangles him until he goes limp, all while flying progressively higher into the sky. After soaring above the clouds, Ghidorah releases Godzilla and sends him plummeting back to the ground. Godzilla strikes the ground lifelessly, and can barely move as Ghidorah lands to finish him off. However, the injured Mothra crawls onto Godzilla and defiantly spreads her wings at Ghidorah. She then flies directly at him, only to be disintegrated by gravity beams from all three of his heads. Mothra's glowing blue energy descends onto Godzilla, causing red cracks to begin to form on his skin. Ghidorah seizes the opportunity and constricts his necks around Godzilla then bites down on him, draining his energy through his mouths. Emma and Mark race to repair the Orca so that Ghidorah can be drawn away from Godzilla before he kills him. Mark, G-Team, and Madison board the Osprey as Emma stays behind to finish calibrating the Orca. Once it is activated, Ghidorah releases Godzilla and begins making his way in the humans' direction. As Ghidorah draws near the Osprey, Emma realizes that it won't be able to escape him with the Orca aboard. She takes the Orca and enters the jeep, causing Ghidorah to chase after her while the Osprey escapes. Ghidorah pursues Emma furiously before destroying the jeep with a gravity beam. Emma is thrown from the vehicle and lands on the ground mortally wounded. As Ghidorah looms over her, she utters the phrase "Long live the king."
Godzilla appears behind Ghidorah, the radiation inside his body built to critical levels to the point his skin is covered in fiery fissures and everything around him melts from the intense heat. Godzilla roars at his nemesis as his dorsal fins spark and glow. A huge nuclear pulse of energy bursts forth from Godzilla, taking the shape of Mothra's wings and making the sound of her screech. The pulse incinerates the flesh from Ghidorah's wings, causing him to reel back. Ghidorah falls onto his back, and frantically fires his gravity beams in retaliation. Godzilla is unaffected this time, however, and emits another pulse that disintegrates both his left and right heads. As Godzilla stomps down on Ghidorah's chest, the energy inside him finally explodes, leveling a huge portion of Boston in a fiery burst of energy. The rubble left behind begins to move, after which the burned but recognizable head of Ghidorah emerges. However, it is soon revealed to be nothing more than Ghidorah's final disembodied head, and is hanging from Godzilla's mouth. Godzilla fires his atomic breath, igniting Ghidorah's head until it finally burns away into nothing. Godzilla turns to see that Scylla, Behemoth, Methuselah, and the Queen MUTO are approaching him, while several smaller Leafwings flutter around him. He prepares to fight again if necessary. Rodan, bearing a massive wound in his chest but still very much alive and mobile, approaches Godzilla and roars up angrily at him. Godzilla stares down at Rodan, and his expression convinces the winged Titan to back down and submit to him. The other Titans follow suit, each "bowing" in their own way to the new King of the Monsters.
In the aftermath of the battle, the Titans have become docile under Godzilla's reign and have helped to rebuild the world's ecosystems. Rodan has nested in a volcano near Fiji, while Monarch has uncovered a new Titan egg that could be another Mothra or something else entirely. Not all is well though, as Skull Island has become unstable and Kong may no longer be able to keep it under control. The waters around Isla de Mara are still contaminated by the Oxygen Destroyer, and local fishermen can no longer make a living. However, one fisherman uncovered something else from the water, something which Jonah and his men have come to Mexico to see. The man leads Jonah into a room, where he shows the object in question: the head Godzilla had torn off of Ghidorah in their second battle. Jonah observes the head with diabolical intent before simply saying "We'll take it."
- Main article: Godzilla: King of the Monsters/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Michael Dougherty
- Story by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
- Screenplay by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
- Produced by Thomas Tull, Brian Rogers, Mary Parent, Alex Garcia
- Executive Producers Barry H. Waldman, Zach Shields, Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira
- Music by Bear McCreary
- Cinematography by Lawrence Sher
- Edited by Roger Barton, Richard Pearson, Bob Ducsay
- Production Design by Scott Chambliss
- Assistant Directors Cliff Lanning, Thomas Robinson Harper
- Sound Design Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn
- Visual Effects Supervised by Guillaume Rocheron
- "Godzilla's Theme" Originally Composed by Akira Ifukube
- "Mothra's Song" Originally Composed by Yuji Koseki
- "Godzilla" Originally Written by Buck Dharma
- Japanese Theme Song "Pray" performed by [ALEXANDROS]
- Written by Yohei Kawakami
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Weapons, vehicles, races, and organizations
- Main article: Godzilla: King of the Monsters/Development.
Godzilla director Gareth Edwards stated that he wanted the film to stand on its own with a definitive ending, with no teaser for a sequel. Nonetheless, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures greenlit a sequel on May 18, 2014, after Godzilla's successful opening weekend. Edwards was announced as the director, but no cast members were confirmed to return.
On July 26, 2014, a teaser for the untitled sequel screened at San Diego Comic-Con, revealing that Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah would all be appearing. A month later, the release date was set for June 8, 2018. The four-year gap between Godzilla and Godzilla 2 was due to Gareth Edwards signing on to direct Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and as a result being unavailable to begin work on Godzilla 2 until 2016. In an interview with Collider conducted in early August 2015, writer Max Borenstein revealed that he was writing the script for the film, promising that the sequel would do "bigger and even better things" than the first film.
On October 14, 2015, Legendary Pictures announced a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla titled Godzilla vs. Kong, set for release in 2020 and serving as a sequel to both Godzilla 2 and Legendary's Kong: Skull Island. On May 10, 2016, the release dates of both Godzilla 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong shifted from March 22, 2019 and May 29, 2020 respectively. Three days later, Deadline reported that Gareth Edwards had left the film in order to pursue other projects. On October 20, 2016, Variety reported that Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, who had recently co-wrote Legendary's Christmas horror-comedy Krampus, would be stepping in as the new writers for Godzilla 2. The sequel's official title was revealed on December 14, 2016: Godzilla: King of the Monsters
On January 23rd, 2017, Variety reported that writer Michael Dougherty would also direct the film. Four days later, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame would star in the film. Other principal cast members were announced from February 21 to July 10, including Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins reprising their roles as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and Dr. Vivienne Graham, respectively.
Following production, TheWrap reported that Jason Liles, who had recently portrayed the giant gorilla George through motion capture in the film Rampage, would be acting as one of King Ghidorah's motion capture actors in the film. The same day, Empire explained that Liles would specifically be portraying King Ghidorah's middle head, with Alan Maxson and Richard Dorton playing the other two heads and additional motion capture actors performing as the monster's body.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was delayed once more on May 23, 2018, pushed back to May 31, 2019.
Principal photography on Godzilla: King of the Monsters began on June 19, 2017, at Blackhall Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Locations as diverse as Antarctica and Fenway Park were recreated as indoor sets. For many members of the cast, the first days of shooting were ironically for the climax of the film in Boston. To aid the actors in reacting to the off-camera monsters, Dougherty used a iPad-controlled speaker system called "The Behemoth" to play their roars. Crowd scenes in the fictious Mexican town of Isla de Mara were shot in the historic center of Mexico City from August 19 to 22. Production wrapped on September 27.
Though the 2014 Godzilla 2 teaser at San Diego Comic-Con was not released to the public, Legendary Pictures confirmed the presence of King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan in the film on Twitter the same day. From July 5 to July 12, 2017, Monarch timeline videos uploaded to Kong: Skull Island social media accounts revealed the locations of each monster: Antarctica, China, and Mexico, respectively.
Entertainment Weekly published a first-look article on Godzilla: King of the Monsters on July 13, 2018, including two stills showing Dr. Emma Russell and her daughter Madison in an icy chamber and Godzilla firing his atomic breath into the sky, as well as some basic plot details from director Michael Dougherty. @MonarchSciences, a Twitter account Legendary previously used to promote Kong: Skull Island, deleted all of its Tweets and began posting again on July 18. The account soon added a link to a new site where visitors could view Monarch outposts around the globe, as well as information on Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. The previously-dormant @GodzillaMovie Twitter posted a short video of Madison Russell attempting to contact Monarch. Godzillamovie.com was also updated with a poster for the film.
On July 21, a presentation for the film was held in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. Dougherty and cast members Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Thomas Middleditch, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. were present for a panel on the film. Dougherty confirmed that composer Bear McCreary, whose past work included 10 Cloverfield Lane and Colossal, would be scoring the film and incorporating the main theme from the original Godzilla and the other monsters' classic motifs into his score. The film's first official trailer was also screened for the first time during the panel, and was subsequently uploaded to Warner Bros.' YouTube channel.
On September 6, a listing appeared on Amazon for an official graphic novel prequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, written by Arvid Nelson and illustrated by Drew Johnson. The comic, later titled Godzilla: Aftershock, was first promoted at a Los Angeles Comic Con panel on October 27, presented by MonsterVerse Mythology Manager George Tew, SVP of Creative Strategy Barnaby Legg, SVP of Comics Robert Napton, and Drew Johnson. New photographs related to Godzilla: Aftershock and Godzilla: King of the Monsters were revealed, including a cave painting depicting a battle between Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. In addition, a teaser trailer for Godzilla: Aftershock was screened, revealing the design of Godzilla's new opponent, the parent of the MUTOs from the previous film.
@MonarchSciences began posting new images of potential Titan sightings on November 26. On December 1, a major presentation for the film was held at Tokyo Comic Con. Michael Dougherty commented on concept art and storyboards for the film before showing teaser footage for the second trailer. A portion of Bear McCreary's rendition of Godzilla's Theme played during the panel. Afterwards, a two-meter statue of Godzilla's updated design was revealed, as well as Tamashii Nations' S.H. MonsterArts figures for Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, the first public look at their full designs. The second trailer premiered on December 9 at Comic Con Experience in São Paulo, Brazil, and debuted online the following day.
On March 21, multiple news outlets published articles detailing visits they had made to the film's set back in 2017, revealing several new details about the film such as the names of new Titans and character specifics. Warner Bros. screened a five-minute clip from the film at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, on April 2; it also played before IMAX screenings of Shazam! on its opening weekend of April 4-7.
On April 12, Toho announced that the rock band [ALEXANDROS] would be performing the theme song "Pray" for the Japanese release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The band's lead vocalist and guitarist, Yohei Kawakami, describes himself as a big Godzilla fan and had previously written an "unofficial" theme song for Shin Godzilla titled "kaiju," which he submitted to Toho in 2016 to no avail. However, Toho contacted the band with an offer to perform the Japanese theme song for Godzilla: King of the Monsters in the winter of 2018. Kawakami describes the song as a "magnificent rock ballad" which was written after the band had viewed a preview of the film. Michael Dougherty approved of the song, saying it "complements the dramatic ending perfectly."
Warner Bros. premiered the third and final trailer on April 23. On May 7, Monarch Sciences updated with detailed information on the film's human characters. On May 9, the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California set up a giant inflatable Godzilla head on its roof, with rubble surrounding him to suggest he was bursting out of the structure. A blue light radiated from Godzilla's mouth at night, mimicking the film's "call to arms" scene. The film's world premiere was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, on May 18th. Another gigantic promotional stunt took place on May 28, with images of the film's four central monsters displayed on the LED screen of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, the world's tallest building.
- Main article: Godzilla: King of the Monsters/Gallery.
- Godzilla II: King of the Monsters (international title)
- Godzilla II: King of the Monsters (Godzilla II: Rey de los monstruos; Spain)
- Godzilla II: The King of the Monsters (Godzilla II: el Rey de los monstruos; Latin America)
- Godzilla 2: King of Monsters (Годзилла 2: Король монстров Godzilla 2: Korol' monstrov; Russia)
- Godzilla 2: King of Monsters (Годзила 2: Краљ чудовишта Godzila 2: Kralj čudovišta; Serbia)
- Godzilla II: King of Monsters (Godzilla II: Rei dos Monstros; Brazil)
- Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters (哥斯拉2：怪兽之王 Gēsīlā 2: Guàishòu zhī wáng; China)
- Godzilla II: King of the Monsters (哥吉拉II：怪獸之王 Gējílā II: Guàishòu zhī wáng; Taiwan)
- Godzilla II: King of the Behemoths (哥斯拉II: 王者巨獸 Go1si1laai1 II: Wong4ze2 geoi6sau3; Hong Kong)
- Godzilla: King of Monsters (ゴジラ キング・オブ・モンスターズJapan) Gojira Kingu Obu Monsutāzu,
- Godzilla 2 (early title)
- Fathom (working title)
- RealD 3D (post-converted)
- Dolby Vision and Atmos
Toho released Godzilla: King of the Monsters theatrically in Japan as Godzilla: King of Monsters (ゴジラ キング・オブ・モンスターズ. While it is the first Gojira Kingu Obu Monsutāzu)Godzilla film released during the political Reiwa period of Japan, as an American production it is not considered part of the series' Reiwa era. Whereas the first entry in the MonsterVerse, Godzilla, arrived in Japan over two months after its U.S. release, the sequel was released on the same day, May 31. A Japanese dub for the film was recorded at Toho Studios, with Ken Watanabe, Rieko Takahashi, and Godzilla series veteran actor Katsuhiko Sasaki all reprising their voice roles from the previous film's dub. The rock band [ALEXANDROS] provided a theme song titled "Pray" exclusively for the Japanese-dubbed version of the film, which plays over the end credits in place of "Godzilla." In addition to the dubbed version, the film was also screened in its original English language with Japanese subtitles. A special early screening event for the film was held at the Toho Cinema Shinjuku on Monday, May 27, with a blue carpet ceremony featuring many of the film's staff and cast members taking place beforehand. The theater is located in Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, the site of the Godzilla Head and the premiere of Shin Godzilla in 2016.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters opened at #1 in the United States and Canada with $47.7 million, edging out Aladdin's $42.8 million. However, this represented what Box Office Mojo called "the lower end of studio expectations," and was significantly less than the domestic opening weekends of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, which earned $93.2 million and $61 million, respectively. Internationally, it opened with $130 million.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters received mixed reviews from critics. 42% of the 332 critic reviews cataloged on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes for Godzilla: King of the Monsters were positive. The site's Critical Consensus reads, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers spectacular kaiju action -- and reaffirms that cutting-edge effects are still no substitute for a good story." Another aggregator, Metacritic, gave it a 48, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Compared to critic scores, aggregated audience scores are considerably more positive. The film holds an 83% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes from 21,569 reviews and a 7.2 user score on Metacritic indicating "generally favorable reviews." Reviews from fans are generally positive as well, with Richard Pusateri of SciFi Japan giving the film a glowing review. He praised the film's devotion to the source material, saying "GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, the third installment in the Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse series, has been able to connect fondness for the classic 1960s Godzilla movies with the form of modern blockbuster action movie extravaganzas. GKOTM remembers where it came from." Pusateri commends the film's computer-generated effects, saying they accomplish things that would not have been possible with a suit or puppet. In addition to praising the film's monster action and reverence for the franchise, Pusateri goes on to say, "Fanboy esthetics aside, this is a well-paced, thoughtful film with a good story and clever screenplay." Renowned Godzilla artist Matt Frank, also writing for SciFi Japan, gave the film a less enthusiastic but still positive review. In comparing Godzilla: King of the Monsters to the more restrained approach of its 2014 predecessor, Shin Godzilla, and the GODZILLA anime trilogy, Frank says that it is a film which "throws out any restraint or concern about audiences 'accepting' a world of ancient and almost Lovecraftian super-beasts that are now vying for control, and also throws out concepts like pacing and character motivation with it." Frank goes on to say that although the film is lacking in some important aspects regarding its human-driven story, it embraces the style and tone of a kaiju film from the Showa series. "Indeed this movie is so indulgent in its chosen genre, mostly thanks to the aggressive enthusiasm of writer/director Michael Dougherty, that it starts to feel like the most expensive fan fiction ever made," Frank says. While critical of the film's pacing and characters, Frank is very complimentary of its handling of the monsters. "But when the goods are gotten, the monsters really ARE the stars. Dougherty and the CG team, along with motion capture actors TJ Storm and Jason Liles among others, are putting it all on the table to not just show off all the ridiculously extravagant CG carnage that Hollywood money can buy, but make the monsters feel like actual characters with strange and endearing quirks," he writes. Frank sums up his thoughts on the film with "Even though I had issues with it, I was engaged the entire time" and "This is the Godzilla movie for fans who really do find pure joy in watching monsters tear into each other."
|2019 Saturn Awards||Best Fantasy Film||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||Nominated|
|2019 Saturn Awards||Best Performance by a Young Actor||Millie Bobby Brown||Nominated|
|2019 Saturn Awards||Best Music||Bear McCreary||Nominated|
|2019 Saturn Awards||Best Special/Visual Effects||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||Nominated|
|E! People's Choice Awards 2019||The Action Movie of 2019||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||Nominated|
|2019 Hollywood Professional Association Awards||Outstanding Sound-Theatrical Feature||Godzilla: King of the Monsters||Won|
|2019 Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards||Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performace||Jason Liles, Alan Maxson, and Richard Dorton||Won|
|2019 Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards||Best Musical Score||Bear McCreary||Nominated|
Warner Bros. initially announced the digital release date for Godzilla: King of the Monsters as August 6, then pushed it back to August 13, possibly because the former date coincided with the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In addition, Walmart stores began selling digital download codes for the film on Vudu on August 11 or earlier, packaged with Godzilla on Blu-ray and digital.
Warner Bros. 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + HD / Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital HD / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD / DVD (2019)
- Region: Various (Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD)
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Dolby Atmos for 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, and Blu-ray; Dolby Digital 5.1 for DVD) [U.S. release - will vary depending on country]
- Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese [U.S. release - will vary depending on country]
- Special features: audio commentary by director and screenwriter Michael Dougherty, executive producer and screenwriter Zach Shields, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Jackson Barnes); deleted scenes (5:01); trailers (12:08); Godzilla: Nature's Fearsome Guardian (1:00); Mothra: Queen of the Monsters (2:01); King Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine (1:30); Rodan: Airborne God of Fire (1:01); Godzilla 2.0 (27:24); Monarch in Action (32:56); Making Mothra (7:00); Creating Ghidorah (6:23); Reimagining Rodan (5:21); The Yunnan Temple (6:58); Castle Bravo (6:18); The Antarctic Base (6:24); The Isla de Mara Volcano (5:55); The Undersea Lair (7:18), Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature (4:09); Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight (8:34); Monsters Are Real (14:18); Welcome to the MonsterVerse (3:42)
Toho Blu-ray / DVD (2019)
- Region: A/1 (Blu-ray), 2 (DVD)
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English (Dolby Atomos for Blu-ray; Dolby Digital 5.1 for DVD), Japanese (Dolby TrueHD for Blu-ray; Dolby Digital 5.1 for DVD), Japanese audio description (2.0)
- Subtitles: Japanese (corresponding to the original English dialogue, Japanese dubbing, and audio commentary)
- Special features: 4 Japanese trailers, 7 Japanese theater announcements, and 9 Japanese TV spots; audio commentary by director and screenwriter Michael Dougherty, executive producer and screenwriter Zach Shields, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Jackson Barnes); Monsters 101; Evolution of the Monsters; Monarch in Action (32:56); Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature (4:09); Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight (8:34); Monsters Are Real (14:18); Welcome to the MonsterVerse (3:42); North American theatrical trailer
- Notes: If purchased through the Godzilla Store, both releases come with the Bandai Movie Monster Series Burning Godzilla (2019) figure, while purchases through TSUTAYA include an exclusive blanket featuring the film's four main Titans. A4 clear files were available with both releases on a first-come first-served basis, and varied based on the retailer.
Toho 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + DVD (2019)
- Region: A/1 (Blu-ray), 2 (DVD)
- Discs: 4
- Audio: English (Dolby Atomos for 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray; Dolby Digital 5.1 for DVD), Japanese (Dolby TrueHD for 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray; Dolby Digital 5.1 for DVD), Japanese audio description (2.0)
- Subtitles: Japanese (corresponding to the original English dialogue, Japanese dubbing, and audio commentary)
- Special features: 4 Japanese trailers, 7 Japanese theater announcements, and 9 Japanese TV spots; audio commentary by director and screenwriter Michael Dougherty, executive producer and screenwriter Zach Shields, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Jackson Barnes); Monsters 101; Evolution of the Monsters; Monarch in Action (32:56); Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature (4:09); Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight (8:34); Monsters Are Real (14:18); Welcome to the MonsterVerse (3:42); North American theatrical trailer; "Godzilla: King of the Monsters Toys" featurette; Hollywood World Premiere; Japan Premiere Blue Carpet event; Japan Premiere stage greetings; opening night stage greetings; Toho Studios Godzilla tour; interviews with Ken Watanabe (Ishiro Serizawa), director Michael Dougherty, and Japanese dub cast members Kei Tanaka (Mark Russell), Yoshino Kimura (Emma Russell), and Mana Ashida (Madison Russell).
- Notes: Includes an outer case, bonus booklet, and background banner, as well as the exclusive S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2019) Poster Color Ver. figure. Amazon offers an exclusive SteelBook version of the Blu-ray. If purchased through the Godzilla Store, it comes with a Bandai Movie Monster Series Burning Godzilla (2019) figure, while purchases through TSUTAYA include an exclusive blanket featuring the film's four main Titans. A4 clear files were available on a first-come first-served basis, and varied based on the retailer.
- Main article: Godzilla: King of the Monsters/Videos.
- The release gap between this film and its predecessor marks the longest gap between the first two entries of a series of Godzilla films, narrowly surpassing the almost exactly five-year gap between The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Biollante to begin the Heisei series. It is not, however, the longest period between a Godzilla film and its immediate sequel, a distinction which goes to the seven-year hiatus between Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong vs. Godzilla.
- The film's opening emulates the opening of the original Godzilla film from 1954, beginning with the sound of Godzilla's footsteps followed by his roar. Shin Godzilla also opened similarly, although it used the same sound effects from the 1954 film.
- While in the 2014 film Godzilla's roars were entirely new, Godzilla: King of the Monsters incorporates his classic roars from the Showa series at several points. In addition, Mothra's roars include some of her classic chirping sound effects.
- One of the signs that can be seen during the protests shown on the news at the beginning of the film reads "Destroy All Monsters!"
- The ORCA was named after Quint's iconic fishing boat from Jaws, which the characters use to hunt the shark.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Avengers: Endgame used the same lakeside cabin in Fairburn, Georgia, to depict the homes of Mark Russell and Tony Stark/Pepper Potts, respectively. Lexi Rabe, who played Potts and Stark's daughter Morgan in Avengers: Endgame, also appears in Godzilla: King of the Monsters as a younger Madison Russell.
- Concept art of Castle Bravo, published in The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, shows stock images of Otachi and Kaiju Skinmites from Pacific Rim on a computer screen. Another piece incorporates a strange 2006 photo of a beluga whale skeleton which was used to represent SCP-682, the "hard-to-destroy reptile" from the SCP Foundation series.
- The pounding sound Godzilla's dorsal fins make when they flash is taken from King Kong's weakening heartbeat from the final scene of the 1976 film.
- The turrets that G-Team commandeers when Godzilla approaches the Castle Bravo base are Maser Turrets. Maser Cannons are a recurring fictional anti-kaiju weapon in the Godzilla franchise first introduced in The War of the Gargantuas and featured in numerous films ever since.
- Although Outpost 32 is located in Antarctica, the set on which it was filmed was extremely hot. Kyle Chandler can be seen sweating profusely during the scene where Ghidorah awakens.
- While the Oxygen Destroyer is never directly shown in the film, the digital schematic that briefly appears onscreen aboard the USS Argo shows that it is shaped almost exactly like the original version of the device from the 1954 film.
- Although all the Titans were originally supposed to make appearances in the film, they were scrapped from the original script due to budget concerns. However, a compromise was made by giving a select few actual onscreen appearances while having the rest named on computer monitors.
- While in this film Mothra originates from China rather than Infant Island, a photograph is shown of Dr. Ilene Chen's mother and aunt, who are twins, labeled "Infant Island, 1961." The trait of identical twin sisters that runs in Dr. Chen's family serves as an homage to the Shobijin, Mothra's miniature twin priestesses who accompany her in the majority of her appearances. During the scene where Chen's twin sister Dr. Ling observes Mothra emerging from her cocoon, her hair is styled much like the Cosmos' in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla.
- Three shots from the 2012 Comic-Con teaser for Godzilla (2014) are reused in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and can be seen on individual monitors throughout the film. Two of them are reutilized versions that appeared in the film's official teaser trailer while the other one uses a filter. The shot of a devastated city seen through a bisected skyscraper now includes the Queen MUTO, ceasing her rampage upon the activation of the ORCA in Boston.
- The scene where Madison leaves Alan Jonah's hideout was filmed at the ruins of a 19th-century building used as a hospital during the American Civil War and popularly claimed to be haunted.
- A death scene for Admiral William Stenz was filmed but went unused. In the novelization, the Argo loses contact with his submarine, leaving his fate ambiguous.
- Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's sacrifice in this film is a complete subversion of Dr. Daisuke Serizawa's sacrifice in the original 1954 film. Whereas the original Serizawa burned his research notes before killing himself along with Godzilla using the Oxygen Destroyer, here Serizawa makes sure to leave behind his notes before sacrificing himself to help Godzilla recover from the Oxygen Destroyer.
- According to Michael Dougherty, there is a skeleton located just outside of Godzilla's underwater lair which "might or might not be Anguirus."
- Michael Dougherty noted that the scene where Ghidorah arrives in Fenway Park to attack Madison was partially inspired by Poltergeist.
- A ship called the Calico can be seen in the ruins of Boston just before Godzilla emerges with King Ghidorah's final head in his mouth, referencing the ship of the same name from the Hanna-Barbera Godzilla cartoon.
- Concept art of the film's final scene, published in The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, depicts the Toho monsters Kamacuras, Kumonga, Anguirus, Baragon, Gigan, and even Kadokawa's Gamera. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, director Michael Dougherty said, "We had thought about using some additional Toho creatures to give them some cameos but every Toho creature comes with a price tag. It was a choice to either shell out more money simply for the rights for these creatures to show up on screen for a few seconds, or embrace the opportunity and the challenge to create new creatures." It is unknown whether Legendary ever contacted Kadokawa about licensing Gamera.
- This is the only Godzilla film to lack an opening title card. Instead, the title is displayed at the start of the end credits.
- A United World News shown during the credits montage is authored by a "Steven Martin," referencing the reporter character Steve Martin who was added into the American version of the original Godzilla film, Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, and later returned in Godzilla 1985. Another author is named "Mike D. Hegarty".
- One news article shown during the film's end credits montage indicates that Monarch is constructing a "mechanized giant" to keep order on Skull Island following failed attempts to create organic Titans of its own. This could be an allusion to Mechagodzilla, which in many of its appearances is an artificial kaiju created by humanity to combat other monsters.
- Another article during the credits montage, discussing ancient accounts of Godzilla battling members of Kong's species, contains the headline "What is a King to a God?," referencing the Jay-Z and Kanye West song "No Church in the Wild." This lyric has become a popular phrase among the Godzilla fanbase ever since Godzilla vs. Kong was announced.
- After going uncredited in the 2014 film, Godzilla's motion capture actor TJ Storm is credited for reprising the role in this film. Jason Liles, Alan Maxson, and Richard Dorton are all credited for their performance as King Ghidorah. However, they are all listed among the crew, while the cast list states that Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan were all portrayed by themselves.
- The film's credits end with a dedication to original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima and Godzilla vs. Hedorah director Yoshimitsu Banno, both of whom passed away in 2017. Banno is also posthumously credited as an executive producer on the film, a role he previously served for the 2014 film.
- Five minor military characters in the film are each named after a noted special effects artist.
- Lieutenant Bottin is named after special make-up effect creator Rob Bottin, who worked on films such as The Thing, RoboCop, Total Recall, and the 1976 remake of King Kong.
- Corporal Winston is named after late special make-up effect creator Stan Winston, known for his work on the Terminator films, Jurassic Park, Aliens, and many more. Winston and his studio were also set to handle the monster effects for the original 1994 incarnation of TriStar Pictures' GODZILLA before Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot's script was replaced by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's version.
- Sergeant Baker is named after retired special make-up effect creator Rick Baker, who designed and portrayed King Kong in the 1976 remake and is also widely regarded for his effects work in An American Werewolf in London. Baker also had a cameo in the 2005 version of King Kong, and is a good friend of longtime Godzilla series suit modeler Shinichi Wakasa.
- G-Team Officer Tippett is named after director and visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett, whose work includes the original Star Wars trilogy, RoboCop, and Jurassic Park.
- G-Team Officer Harryhausen is named after late stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who worked on films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and Jason and the Argonauts.
- The numerical designations of the Monarch outposts surrounding many of the Titans in the film contain allusions.
- Outpost 61 references the release year of Mothra's debut film, 1961.
- Outpost 56 references the release year of Rodan's debut film, 1956.
- Outpost 54 likewise references the release year of Godzilla's debut film, 1954.
- Outpost 32 serves as a reference to Outpost 31, the primary location in the 1982 sci-fi horror film The Thing. The titular creature in that film, much like King Ghidorah, is an alien monster that became frozen in the Antarctic ice in the ancient past only to be released in the present day. 32 is also half of 64, possibly referencing the year of King Ghidorah's film debut, 1964.
- Outpost 33, which is labeled on a computer screen over Skull Island, refers to the release year of King Kong's debut film, 1933.
- Outpost 55, which houses the spider-like Scylla and is located in the Arizona desert, references the 1955 American monster film Tarantula!.
- Outpost 77, located at Devils Tower, references the 1977 American sci-fi film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- There are several monster scenes in Godzilla: King of the Monsters that mirror those in past Godzilla films.
- King Ghidorah is initially found frozen in ice, which also occurs in GMK.
- During Godzilla and King Ghidorah's first confrontation in Antarctica, there is a wide shot of them facing off that is framed similarly to a shot from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah just before the monsters' first battle.
- Rodan emerges from the crater of a volcano, which occurs in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
- Rodan engages in a high-speed dogfight with fighter jets over a body of water, which also happened in the character's debut film.
- Rodan and King Ghidorah's fight includes a midair collision, as did their first battle in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
- Godzilla and King Ghidorah engage in an underwater battle. The military intervenes by firing the Oxygen Destroyer missile at the two, only for it to incapacitate Godzilla but leave Ghidorah otherwise unharmed. This is a subversion of the final battle in GMK, in which the JSDF tries to hit Godzilla with a D-03 Missile as he battles with King Ghidorah underwater, only for the missile to accidentally strike King Ghidorah instead.
- During the final battle, as Ghidorah lifts Godzilla into the sky, he constricts his middle neck around Godzilla's throat and strangles him, an attack he also used in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Ghidorah restraining Godzilla and lifting him into the air is also reflective of their most recent battle in GODZILLA: The Planet Eater.
- Mothra is annihilated by a direct blast from Ghidorah's gravity beams in an attempt to defend Godzilla. This is reminiscent of both GMK and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., in which she is destroyed in a similar manner by Godzilla's atomic breath while attempting to defend either human characters (in GMK) or her larvae (in S.O.S.).
- Before her death, the seriously wounded Mothra crawls onto Godzilla as he is left nearly dead following Ghidorah's most recent attack. After Ghidorah kills her, Mothra's energy flows into Godzilla, ultimately providing him with the power he needs to triumph over Ghidorah. A similar scenario plays out in the climax of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, in which the mortally wounded Fire Rodan lands on top of the crippled Godzilla and in his dying act transfers his energy into him. The revived Godzilla begins emitting intense heat and radiation and goes on to easily destroy Super Mechagodzilla.
- Mothra's revival of Godzilla also echoes the climactic battle of GMK, in which after being destroyed by Godzilla's atomic breath, Mothra's energy flows into the unconscious Ghidorah and revives him as King Ghidorah so that he can continue the battle against Godzilla.
- Ghidorah bites down on Godzilla with his three heads and lifts him into the air, draining his energy which is shown visibly passing through his necks. Keizer Ghidorah does the same thing to Godzilla in the final battle of Godzilla: Final Wars. Michael Dougherty commented that this scene was also meant to invoke the poster for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
- Godzilla becomes overloaded with nuclear energy to the point characters fear he may explode. Eventually, the energy builds to critical levels and Godzilla's skin becomes covered in glowing red patterns as he emits a tremendously high temperature. This same thing occurs in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
- Godzilla defeats Ghidorah with a series of nuclear pulses that each deal devastating damage to him. This is reminiscent of both Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, in which Godzilla frees himself from King Ghidorah's grip and gains the upper hand with a well-timed nuclear pulse, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah where Godzilla bombards Destoroyah with a series of intense nuclear pulses that force him to try to flee.
- The scene where Alan Jonah observes the recovered severed head of King Ghidorah is framed very similarly to the opening scene of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II in which G-Force salvages the severed central head of Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- While its predecessor Godzilla was noted by some for similarities with the 1995 film Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Godzilla: King of the Monsters also features some parallels with the other films of director Shusuke Kaneko. Godzilla's physical appearance has changed since the last film, much like how Gamera's appearance evolved in each film of the Heisei trilogy. The film also incorporates the idea that the kaiju have inspired creatures from real-world mythologies, a concept featured in both Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris and Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Both Mothra and King Ghidorah's new designs in this film share some traits with their revamped designs from GMK. After seeing the film, Kaneko himself acknowledged the similarities between Godzilla: King of the Monsters and GMK.
- There are many parallels between Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion. Both films have humanity deciding to join forces with the heroic monster against a much greater threat. Both of the antagonistic kaiju are extraterrestrial monsters who want to reshape the earth to fit their needs with an army of minions at their disposal. The heroic kaiju is nearly killed before his final encounter with his enemy, but comes back to life. With the assistance of humanity and a powerful final attack, the heroic monster is victorious in his final clash with his foe. At the end of the film, both humanity and the heroic monster are in an uneasy alliance, but many question how long it will last.
- The film also shares some similarities with Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, with human villains aiming to unleash the antagonist monster in order to drastically reduce the human population. It also features a lead young female character who had a previous traumatic experience with the main monster.
- The Asylum, an American studio specializing in knock-offs of blockbuster films, produced Monster Island to capitalize on Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It premiered on SyFy on June 1, a day after Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released in American theaters.
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- Bloody Disgusting set visit
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- SciFi Japan licensed product guide
- Storyboards for proposed Ilene Chen introduction scene by Anthony Winn
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