The next couple of years will surely be big ones for the King of the Monsters. With a number of Godzilla projects slated from multiple studios, it’s a good time to be a kaiju fan. And just in time, too, as we are rapidly approaching the 70th anniversary of the iconic character. October 2024 will mark 70 years since the first Godzilla film, so it makes sense that we have so much to look forward to.
So what can G-fans expect to see in the next couple of years? Here are news and updates about upcoming Godzilla projects.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters trailer breakdown
Ever since Legendary announced that they’d be producing a live-action series for the MonsterVerse, fans have been eagerly anticipating it. And rightly so, as this will be the first-ever live-action American Godzilla TV series. Apple TV posted the first trailer for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters on September 8, and it looks both thrilling and intriguing.
The trailer opens with a shot of Kurt Russell’s character Lee Shaw. Shaw is an Army officer who has uncovered a dark secret about the Titans. We also see the younger version of Shaw, played by Russell’s son, Wyatt Russell. The story will follow Shaw throughout the decades as he unravels a conspiracy that could threaten the Monarch organization.
Another notable face in this trailer is John Goodman, returning as William Randa from Kong: Skull Island. This was a surprise to many, as there was no prior announcement that Goodman would appear in the series. It looks like Randa will largely appear cameo-style in flashbacks and video recordings. Exactly how Goodman’s character is connected to the story is unclear, but we hear him deliver the lines: “I can’t go back in time and fix all the mistakes I made, but maybe I could leave something for the future… a legacy.” This suggests that the character is somehow connected to the series’s central mystery, and has left clues for our protagonists to follow.
Scattered throughout the trailer are shots of what appears to be Skull Island, along with possibly new monsters. Whether we return to the island in this series or only see it in flashbacks, it will be very exciting to see more of Kong’s domain in this series.
One of the most promising aspects of Monarch is the expanded worldbuilding of the Monsterverse. One complaint viewers sometimes have about kaiju films is that they don’t really contextualize the existence of giant monsters within the real world. In other words, what would living in a world with Godzilla actually be like? This series promises to address that. The trailer features shots of a ruined San Francisco (post-Godzilla 2014) and a somewhat humorous but mostly terrifying sign for a “Godzilla Evacuation Route.”
Fans of the more grounded, realistic kaiju films are sure to enjoy this series, as it will likely make the Monsterverse feel more fleshed out and complex.
Closing on an epic shot of Godzilla at the Golden Gate Bridge from the 2014 film, the trailer for Monarch promises a fantastic series. Delving into the origins of Monarch, the Titans, bringing back old characters, and introducing new ones, the show looks like it will be a highly bingeable TV experience that will further develop the lore of the Monsterverse.
Monarch will debut with a 2-episode premiere on Apple TV+ on November 17, 2023. This season will run for 10 episodes, with an estimated runtime of one hour per episode.
Godzilla Minus One trailer breakdown
In 2016, Toho released Shin Godzilla, which was heralded by many G-fans as the best film in the entire franchise. Tonally much darker, more serious, and more allegorical than many recent kaiju films, Shin Godzilla much more resembled the original 1954 classic.
Toho seems intent on continuing that trajectory with their next entry in the series, Godzilla Minus One. The first live-action Japanese Godzilla film since Shin Godzilla, Minus One is set to be unlike any Godzilla film we’ve seen before. That’s because the movie will be set in the 1940’s.
Toho released the first full trailer for the film on September 3, and it looks incredible. Although we can’t tell too much about the plot from the trailer, the mood and atmosphere are readily apparent. The trailer opens with shots of panicked crowds, citywide destruction, and mass chaos. It’s clear that this version of Godzilla won’t be a hero.
The trailer hints at a few plot points, including American interference, a government cover-up, and Japan desperately struggling against a brand-new design of the notorious kaiju. Speaking of design, this movie looks visually incredible. The VFX on display makes Godzilla and the destruction he causes look exceptionally tactile and textured. But, as mentioned, the real highlight of this trailer is the setting.
Most, if not all, Godzilla films up to this point have been set in the present day or the near future. This is the first time that a Godzilla film will also be a period piece, set in Japan, in 1947. This also will be the farthest back in time Godzilla has appeared on screen (except for that brief bit with time travel back in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah). Because of this, Minus One will likely be a standalone film, unconnected to any other Godzilla timelines.
Seeing Godzilla back in mid-20th century Tokyo with brand new SFX will be an absolute thrill for longtime G-fans. But as exciting as this take on Godzilla may be, this film certainly won’t be an ordinary, fun-filled kaiju romp.
In the trailer, the text on-screen reads: “Postwar, Japan had lost everything. From Zero to Minus.” Like the original 1954 film, Minus One will likely explore themes of Japan’s recovery after the war, nuclear devastation, and a struggling nation on the brink of collapse. But while Godzilla 1954 was set in a country on the road to recovery, Minus One will take place in a Japan still in the midst of a devastating crisis.
The film’s director, Takashi Yamazaki, said the film will be “a setting where Godzilla looks as if fear itself is walking toward us, and where despair is piled on top of despair.” He also said this would be “the most terrifying Godzilla” to date. If anything, this trailer backs Yamazaki’s words up. This new Godzilla looks utterly dread-inducing, and Minus One may just be the darkest, bleakest, most destructive Godzilla film yet.
The film will debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival on November 1, 2023. It will debut in Japanese theaters soon after on November 3, and in North American theaters on December 1.
Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire updates
Since we last covered the Godzilla vs Kong sequel, Legendary Pictures has officially announced the title: Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire. Although details about the plot are sparse, we do know that the two monsters will be teaming up against an existential threat to the world. There’s no official trailer yet, but Legendary released a 30-second teaser giving us some clues about what this might be.
The clip features a menacing ape monster, much skinnier-looking than Kong, sitting atop a dark throne surrounded by bones. Two of those bones are the skulls of none other than Godzilla and Kong themselves. It seems unlikely that these two beloved kaiju will perish in the movie (but who knows!) This shadowy ape monster will probably be the main antagonist of the film. It might even be another member of Kong’s species and a rival to his throne.
The film will star Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kaylee Hottle, all returning from Godzilla vs. Kong. Dan Stevens, Rachel House, Fala Chen, and Mercy Cornwall will also be joining the cast in undisclosed roles. The film will premiere on April 12, 2024, exclusively in theaters.
Godzilla: Singular Point and other projects
An often overlooked gem of the recent kaiju-mania was the Godzilla: Singular Point anime. Released on Netflix, this anime took a unique approach to the character, having its own unique world-building and storyline surrounding it. Although there’s no official word on a season 2, rumors have been swirling about another season for a while. If one does happen, it could come out in late 2024, possibly for the Godzilla 70th anniversary.
Another Kaiju anime on Netflix, Skull Island, is in a similar boat. Though season 1 finished with several plot threads hanging, there is similarly no word from Netflix about renewal. This anime, centered on Kong, was a huge success with kaiju fans. It therefore seems likely Netflix will consider creating another season. Additionally, because it connects to the MonsterVerse, there’s a lot of potential for intersection with other MonsterVerse characters and creatures.
Speaking of Kong, we similarly haven’t heard much about the Kong animated series in development about Disney+. This series, although centered around the King of Skull Island, will not be related to Legendary’s MonsterVerse in any way. It will instead create its own origin story and mythos for the iconic character. Disney was able to acquire the rights by purchasing the work of author Joe DeVito, which included the novel Kong: King of Skull Island.
While Disney may have the rights to this book, the rights surrounding the Kong character overall are a complicated issue. This series will therefore likely take a while to develop, but it’s still something kaiju fans are eagerly awaiting.
Which upcoming Godzilla and Kong projects are you most excited to see? Let us know on our Discord or over on social media @mycosmiccircus!