Kaiju Profile: The Other Titans of Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Hey kaiju fans, I'm The Boy Who Cried Godzilla, and today we're looking at all of the new Titans who woke up in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters"!
Back in October 2017, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" director Michael Dougherty dropped a minor spoiler for his upcoming film. [CLIP: "um, although I do need to design some new monsters, uh, for this one, beyond our initial four."] The emergence and rampage scenes for these Titans were nearly cut to save money, but the filmmakers realized that King Ghidorah's troops would lack menace if everyone except Rodan was just dots on a map. While there's a lot we still don't know about Legendary's latest original kaiju, we're going to share all that we've gathered.
At the start of 2019, every Titan except Godzilla and Kong were dormant and under close observation by the cryptozoological organization Monarch. After a group of ecoterrorists led by Alan Jonah awakened King Ghidorah in Antarctica, the three-headed alien summoned his terrestrial brethren and ordered them to wipe out humanity. Only Godzilla and Mothra resisted his call. The rest of the Titans wreaked havoc around the globe until Madison Russell activated the sonar device ORCA at Fenway Park, pacifying them. Behemoth, Scylla, Methuselah, and a new female MUTO all travelled to Boston, arriving a few minutes too late to take a side in the final battle between Godzilla and King Ghidorah. Along with Rodan, they all bowed before Godzilla, the undisputed King of the Monsters.
That's their shared history—now for a look at the individual Titans.
Abaddon resided beneath Devils Tower in Wyoming, in a nod to the 1977 film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Its name comes from an "angel of the bottomless pit" who leads an army of locusts in the Christian Bible's Book of Revelations.
Amhuluk, named after a horned water monster from Kalapuyan folklore, had his resting place marked as the Manpupuner rock formations in Russia's Komi Republic.
Baphomet hails from Volubilis, an ancient Berber city near Meknes, Morocco. Its name is an Old French misspelling of Muhammad, famously invoked by King Philip IV as a god worshipped by the Knights Templar. The goat-headed fellow came later.
Behemoth, named after a monster from the Hebrew Bible, emerged near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and quickly set to work destroying the city. He has a sloth-like body, although some concepts were closer to a woolly mammoth. After King Ghidorah's defeat, he used his unique radiation to regrow the Amazon rainforest. In the novelization, a Monarch agent named Mariko sabotaged her organization's efforts to kill him, believing him to be "the most interesting Titan." That turned out to be an apt description, given the wild applause he received at the G-Fest screening of "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and YMSF's efforts to produce a six-inch figure of him. Since most Toho kaiju resemble reptiles or insects, Dougherty wanted another mammalian Titan to complement Kong.
Bunyip's point of origin was Uluru, also called Ayers Rock, in Australia's Northern Territory. It's named after a swamp monster from Australian Aboriginal mythology.
In the "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" novelization, an unnamed Monarch outpost was built around an octopus-like Titan in the Indian Ocean with "a dense, curving cone of shell" protecting his head. The agents there nicknamed him Kraken, after a sea monster from Norse mythology. He had multiple brains and hearts, could change his color and pattern at will, and could likely regenerate any part of his body. Upon hearing King Ghidorah's call, he tricked Monarch's containment field into thinking he was dead before launching a surprise attack, sinking the outpost.
Leviathan, named after Behemoth's aquatic counterpart in the Hebrew Bible, lurked in Loch Ness, Scotland. I guess just calling it "Nessie" would have been too on-the-nose.
Margygr is the other novelization-exclusive Titan. Monarch found her remains in the Arctic, clearly the loser of a fight with another Titan, and transported her to Castle Bravo for study. Her name comes from a type of mermaid described in the Norwegian educational text "The King's Mirror," written around 1250. This photo from "The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters" closely matches her description in the book, making her only the third monster to be created for a Godzilla film, rejected, and then turn up somewhere else.
Methuselah appeared to be a simple mountain outside Munich, Germany, until he heard King Ghidorah's call. He's named after a Biblical figure said to have lived until the ripe old age of 969. Concept art posted by Xu Tianhua to ArtStation offered several different takes on this Titan, some of them leaning closer to rhinos or bulls. DNEG visual effects supervisor Brian Connor cited Methuselah's awakening as an especially difficult scene, incorporating birds, dust, trees, and debris that had to fall just right to reveal the Titan's face.
All we know about Mokele-Mbembe in the movie is that he's named after a sauropod-like cryptid said to live in the Congo and is located in Jebel Barkal, Sudan. You can also just seem to glimpse him as he breaks out of Monarch Outpost 75. The novelization expands his role significantly and describes him as having "four thick legs," "a massive, snake-like tail," a curved horn on his head "pulsing with a very faint green light," a head that looks "something like an earless elephant, except that its tusks turned down, rather than up," and a mouth that "open[s] like a crocodile's, revealing thousands of teeth." His body is grey and pebbled. When battling Monarch and the Egyptian army, he used his trunk and tail as weapons.
Quetzalcoatl's home was Macchu Pichu, an ancient Incan citadel in Peru. Its name, which comes from a Mesoamerican feathered serpent god, is shared with a monster from "Godzilla: The Series."
Scylla burst out of an oil field in the Arizona desert, likely a reference to the 1955 film "Tarantula," and perhaps "Godzilla: Final Wars" as well. From there, she attacked the state capitol, Phoenix. A news article at the end of the film reports on her cooling the Arctic—how, we're not sure—while another establishes her as the same Scylla described by Greek mythology. Her design is a mixture of spider, crab, ammonite, and Cthulhu.
Sekhmet came from Cairo, Egypt, named after the goddess of war and healing from Egyptian mythology.
Tiamat inhabited Stone Mountain in Georgia. It's named after a Babylonian salt sea goddess.
Typhon is from Angkor Wat, Cambodia, named after the "father of monsters" from Greek mythology. The mythical Typhon's children include Scylla, although there is no known connection between the two Titans themselves.
Yamata no Orochi, named after a serpent from Japanese mythology, lived in a place familiar to any kaiju fan: Mt. Fuji. Orochi has a long history in kaiju media, appearing in the Toho films "The Three Treasures" and "Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon." "GMK" also presents King Ghidorah as a juvenile Orochi.
In addition, the opening Warner Bros. logo is flanked by a pair of Titans, one resembling a griffin and the other a three-headed quadruped. While it's possible these two are among the film's unseen Titans, we don't know for sure.
Now for the ones who didn't make the cut! A set report by Bloody Disgusting mentions a Titan in Mexico named Sargon, presumably removed during post-production. There's also concept art of Titans who look nothing like the ones in the film, like a scorpion, another Lovecraftian nightmare, and this spindly boi. Castle Bravo designs work in Otachi and a Kaiju Skinmite from "Pacific Rim," along with this 2006 photo of a beluga whale skeleton, better known to the Internet as SCP-682. Since all were depicted with preexisting images, we believe they were simply placeholders. The same can't be said for concept art of the film's final scene, which shows several familiar faces circling Godzilla: Gigan, Kamacuras, Baragon, Anguirus, Kumonga, and even Gamera! According to Michael Dougherty, they weren't just placeholders: at one point Legendary wanted to license some Toho monsters for cameos. After finding out that Toho charges a separate price for each monster regardless of screentime, they decided it wasn't worth it. However, the skeletal remains of what Dougherty has said "might or might not be Anguirus" can be glimpsed outside Godzilla's temple.
While it's safe to expect more from them in "Godzilla vs. Kong," that's all we have for now on Legendary's original Titans. Thanks for watching!