|“||Their reign begins.||„|
|“||Long live the king.||„|
— Alternate tagline seen on a S.D.C.C exclusive poster
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a 2019 American science fiction monster film produced by Legendary Pictures. It's the third entry in the MonsterVerse, following the 2017 MonsterVerse film, Kong: Skull Island, and the sequel to the 2014 MonsterVerse film, Godzilla.
The film is directed by Michael Dougherty, produced by Thomas Tull, Brian Rogers, Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia, and written by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty, and Zach Shields. The film continues where the 2014 film left off, and introduces Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse. It is dedicated to Haruo Nakajima & Yoshimitsu Banno.
This 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 monster King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's existence hanging in the balance.
In 2019, five years after Godzilla defeated and killed the MUTOs in 2014, the existence of the "Titans", giant god-like animalistic creatures that once dominated Earth, has been revealed to the world. Since those events, rumors have spread that the existence of many more Titans is being kept secret by the cryptozoological organization known as Monarch, and the public and government are calling for Monarch to be prosecuted and for all the Titans, good and bad, to be exterminated indiscriminately. Dr. Emma Russell, a paleobiologist working for Monarch, continues to study the Titans while working on her invention the "ORCA", a sonar device that is capable of emitting frequencies that only Titans can hear and raising her daughter Madison at the same time after her eldest son and Madison's older brother Andrew was lost during Godzilla's battle with the MUTOs in San Francisco.
At an excavation site in China where they have been based for some time, Emma and Madison witness the birth of Mothra, a giant larval moth-like Titan. When a containment field surrounding Mothra fries several insects and a guard fires on her in panic, she starts to turn hostile and attacks the Monarch operatives. However, Emma intervenes and manages to calm Mothra down using the ORCA, allowing Madison to reach out to her and touch Mothra's face. However, their peaceful moment is interrupted when an eco-terrorist group, led by former British Army colonel Alan Jonah, raid the site, kidnapping both Emma and Madison. Mothra was the only one who manages to escape before Jonah and his cronies can capture her and cocoons herself underneath a waterfall miles away from the site. Meanwhile, Monarch's top scientists Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and his assistant Dr. Vivienne Graham along with Mr. Sam Coleman are attending a senate hearing regarding the government's plan - the senators, and implicitly the military figures in attendance including Admiral Stenz, want the military to hunt down and exterminate the Titans, despite Monarch's arguments that the Titans are essential to the maintenance of Earth's ecosphere and that some of them are capable of peacefully coexisting with humans. When the three get news of the incident in China, they immediately leave.
Serizawa, Graham and Coleman seek out Emma's ex-husband and Madison's father Mark, who has been living in solitude in Colorado since splitting from the rest of his family, and they convince him to help rescue Emma and Madison. Though Mark is hesitant at first since he has previously resigned from Monarch to pursue his passion as a wildlife photographer and has hated Godzilla and by extension all Titans over the death of his son for the last five years, he reluctantly rejoins the team. Initially, Monarch's military G-Team is focused on China, believing Jonah intends to capture Mothra, but Mark is convinced it is a decoy. After Godzilla displays uncharacteristic agitated behavior which Mark notes indicates he is feeling threatened by something (assuming it to be the ORCA), he and Monarch calculate that Godzilla is heading towards Antarctica. Monarch have built an outpost in Antarctica, where a three-headed draconic-like Titan long encased in the ice called "Monster Zero" is located, believed by Monarch based on their limited data to be a rival apex predator to Godzilla, who battled the latter for dominance over the other Titans. Meanwhile, Jonah's team, Emma and Madison are already on their way to the same outpost in an Osprey that Jonah and his group had stolen from Monarch. There, Jonah's men swiftly massacre the Monarch staff, and begin drilling holes in the ice before planting charges in them to free the frozen Monster Zero from the glacier.
Once Monarch reach the outpost, the G-Team engages in a firefight with Jonah's team while Mark runs in to save his family upon noticing a video feed of them inside the outpost. During the firefight, G-Team's leader Col. Diane Foster kills Jonah's assistant Asher, who was carrying a detonator ready to set off the charges, and Mark encounters Madison and Emma on a catwalk while holding Jonah at gunpoint. But before Madison can come to her father, she is suddenly stopped and called back by Emma. Though hesitant at first, Madison reluctantly obliges and comes back to her mother, who sets off the charges herself with the detonator that had fallen out of Asher's hand before retreating with Jonah and his men amid the resulting chaos. While fleeing, Madison exclaims that they need to go back for her father, whilst Jonah orders Emma to use the ORCA to awaken Monster Zero and she obliges. Soon, Monster Zero emerges from his icy prison and upon noticing several of G-Team's soldiers on the ground below, he disintegrates them with golden beams of powerful bio-electricity in sheer aggressive malice before turning his attention to the rest of the group, who retreat to their Osprey and attempt to escape, but are unable to take off due to damage. Fearing for Mark's life as she witnesses Ghidorah approach the Osprey with her father inside, Madison snatches the ORCA out of Emma's hands and sends out amplified sonar pulses which disorient Monster Zero, intending to distract him in order to save Mark and the others, only to be overpowered, restrained and dragged away by Jonah while Emma reclaims the ORCA and turns it off before Monster Zero can attack. As Monster Zero resumes approaching the group's Osprey and starts toying with them inside, Godzilla suddenly erupts from the ice to confront him and the two Titans engage in battle, decimating the outpost. During the clash, Godzilla is overwhelmed and Graham is devoured by Monster Zero, who is then being bombarded by missiles from Monarch's warjet, the Argo. Mark is knocked unconscious after a stray missile exploded near him while Monster Zero promptly flies off before Godzilla has the chance to retaliate, leaving the Monarch team to regroup.
After Mark recovers sometime later in the sickbay, he and Monarch find out that Jonah's next target is Isla de Mara, Mexico. They are contacted by Emma, who confirms that she was in cahoots with Jonah the whole time and reveals she intends to free all the Titans to cull the human population and restore natural balance to the world, explaining that the after-effects of Godzilla and the MUTOs' rampages (which have caused floral ecosystems to flourish in the ruins of Las Vegas and San Francisco) have revealed that the Titans have a regenerating effect on the Earth's ecosphere and that the creatures act as antibodies for the planet. Regardless, Monarch are universally disgusted at Emma's willingness to knowingly cause so many deaths on a global scale and her recklessness in meddling with the Titans without fully understanding them, while Mark chastises her for endangering her daughter, for deciding she has the right to decide on her own what's best for the world, and above all for reacting in such a drastic fashion to Andrew's death. Unable to reason with Emma after being warned by her to seek shelter as she signs off, Monarch decide to focuse on evacuating the people, but before it is complete, Emma is ordered by Jonah to awaken another Titan located in Outpost 56, remotely before Monarch manages to lock them out of the outpost's systems. Having overheard Emma's entire argument with Monarch and Mark, Madison pleads with her mother to reconsider or at least give Monarch more time to get the islanders to safety, but a disheartened Emma apologises to her and, under orders from Jonah, activates the ORCA, with the sonar being broadcast through the speakers at Outpost 56. No sooner had Emma activated the ORCA, a flaming pterosaur-like Titan known as Rodan immediately emerges from a deactivated containment chamber, causing the island's volcano to erupt as he does so, and moments later, Monarch's sensors reveal Monster Zero, having generated an unnatural typhoon around himself, is now headed straight for the island in response to Rodan's awakening. Mark proposes Monarch's fleet attract Rodan's attention and lure him away from the island towards Monster Zero, hoping they'll fight each other. Monarch sends a fleet of fighter jets to open fire on Rodan, enraging him to the point he takes flight and pursues them, despite causing destruction to the city below with shockwaves caused by flapping of his wings as he passes over. As Monarch head straight towards Monster Zero's typhoon, Rodan engages in a dogfight with the jets to the point he easily annihilates them one by one and is on the verge of destroying the Argo when he suddenly encounters Monster Zero. The two Titans viciously clash in the sky while the Argo narrowly gets clear of them, but Monster Zero quickly defeats and overpowers Rodan before sending the airborne Titan plummeting into the ocean below.
In the meantime, Mark opens the jammed hangar doors by destroying one of the Ospreys so that one that is carrying the G-Team and several civilians can enter. However, Admiral Stenz contacts the Argo and informs Monarch that the military has launched a prototype weapon known as the Oxygen Destroyer towards them in an attempt to kill both Titans, warning them to stay out of the way. Having beaten Rodan, Monster Zero turns his attention to the Argo, but Godzilla emerges from the ocean before he can destroy it and tackles him into the water, where he gains the upper hand against Monster Zero below the waves, ripping off one of his heads in the process. At that moment, the Oxygen Destroyer missile strikes, killing all marine life within a two-mile radius. Godzilla's vitals flatline and he is presumed dead by Monarch, but Monster Zero emerges from the ocean completely unharmed by the weapon. A dismayed Serizawa softly but scathingly calls Mark out on his vindictiveness by noting Mark has gotten his wish at a terrible cost. Monster Zero flies to Rodan's volcano where he first emerged and he rapidly regenerates his missing head by absorbing energy. With Godzilla unable to oppose him, Monster Zero takes his role as the new reigning alpha Titan and promptly lets out a piercing shriek, awakening all the dormant Titans and furthermore directs them to attack human cities and actively unleash natural disasters of apocalyptic proportions (such as massive wildfires, mass die-offs, volcanic eruptions polluting the atmosphere with gigatons of ash and volcanic gases, etc.) around the world. At that moment, a recovered Rodan lands at the foot of the volcano and acknowledges Monster Zero as the new alpha, becoming his vanguard. Horrified at witnessing the destruction and countless deaths the Titans are now causing, Madison, disgusted by her mother's actions, coldly disowns Emma before turning her back on her and walking away. While arguing with Emma about releasing the Titans and restoring balance, she poses an emotional question by asking her mother if Andrew would really want what she has done before locking herself away in an old radio room. Meanwhile, as Monster Zero's storms spread around the world, Mothra emerges from her cocoon in her imago form.
In the wake of the global apocalypse, Monarch contemplate Monster Zero's numerous unnatural characteristics. Dr. Ilene Chen has pieced together from mythological texts that Monster Zero, now named Ghidorah by the ancients, is actually an extraterrestrial in origin, meaning he is an ecosystem-destroying invasive species on Earth rather than an enforcer of its natural order, and Dr. Rick Stanton speculates that the apocalypse's purpose could be to xenoform the planet to suit Ghidorah's own liking. In any case, it's clear that without Godzilla to keep him in check, Ghidorah's actions will ultimately create a rapid extinction event instead of replenishing the biosphere. Monarch and Mark return to Castle Bravo, where they find the entire U.S. Army waiting for them. Mark makes Admiral Stenz aware that Ghidorah is directing the global Titan rampage, but Serizawa also grimly confirms that without Godzilla, there is no other Titan on the planet that can stop Ghidorah. Meanwhile, in Jonah's bunker, Emma has likewise realized that Ghidorah's actions threaten to destroy the planet's biosphere if he isn't stopped before he goes too far, and she proposes that since their bunker is located within a spitting distance of Boston, they can hook the ORCA up to Fenway Park's speaker system which will give the ORCA's signal an amplified global reach to disrupt Ghidorah's control over the other Titans. However, Jonah refuses since all he cares about is letting Ghidorah and the Titans do what they want and is more concerned of staying safe from Monarch and the apocalypse. Unbeknownst to either of them, Madison has overheard her mother's entire proposed plan and she takes it upon herself to set things right, stealing the ORCA unnoticed and escaping from the bunker towards Boston (which is already being evacuated by the military) without being caught. There, she makes her way inside Fenway Park's pressbox and uses the ORCA to broadcast sonar pulses through the speakers, causing the Titans, except Ghidorah, to suddenly cease their rampage and become docile, but also attracts all of them to its location.
At Castle Bravo, Mark is about to leave intending to find Madison on his own when Mothra arrives, dispersing Ghidorah's spreading storm clouds. Monarch discover that Mothra is communicating with Godzilla, who is in fact still alive and is recuperating underwater. Monarch and Mark set out by submarine to find Godzilla with the aim of reviving him with a nuke, with Mothra as their navigator using her bioluminescence as a beacon. Meanwhile, the G-Team and all four branches of the military set out to attack Ghidorah, who has completely destroyed Washington DC and turned it into a nest to keep him distracted dealing with them as he and Rodan quickly annihilate the majority of the fleet. Mothra ultimately leads Monarch's submarine to an underwater vortex, which apparently sucks them into the Hollow Earth tunnels running through Earth's crust and mantle, and they discover ancient ruins of a civilization whose hieroglyphs indicate they peacefully coexisted with Godzilla and other Titans millennia ago. Godzilla is located resting in his lair, a highly-irradiated volcanic chamber in the ruins that has an air pocket, feeding him energy which is slowly recharging him. Unfortunately, Dr. Chen and Serizawa realize the natural process could take years to recharge Godzilla, meaning they have to detonate the nuclear weapon if Godzilla is to recover in time to stop Ghidorah's rampage. However, due to earlier damages the submarine suffered from the vortex, the weapon system is offline, meaning someone will have to place and manually arm the warhead next to Godzilla, although if the heat doesn't kill them, then the fatal dose of radiation exposure will. Seeing no other option, Serizawa volunteers to manually detonate the weapon himself, despite Monarch's protests. After donning a diving suit, saying his final goodbyes to his team and entrusting his notebook to Mark, he boards a miniature submarine and travels into the air pocket where Godzilla is resting. After arming the nuclear weapon, whilst it counts down, Serizawa approaches Godzilla, who slowly opens his eyes and sees him with curiosity. After placing a hand on Godzilla's face, Serizawa says farewell to his old friend before accepting his fate just as the warhead detonates, obliterating Godzilla's lair along with the rest of the sunken city, thus killing Serizawa in the explosion. Moments later, Godzilla emerges from the ocean next to the submarine, completely fully rejuvenated by the nuclear blast. After briefly inspecting the group and realizing that they revived him upon seeing that they posed no threat to him, Godzilla makes his way to battle Ghidorah and secure his position as the true alpha Titan, prompting Mark to realize where to find Madison and the ORCA. He and the others are able to pinpoint the device's signal by combining the sonar patterns of Godzilla and a human before resolving to follow Godzilla and join in the fight alongside what is left of the military.
In Boston, Madison is on the lookout for the Titans' arrival when Ghidorah's hurricane suddenly sweeps into Boston before Ghidorah himself arrives at the stadium and tears down the speakers while searching for the sonar pulses' source. Madison hides and attempts to disable the ORCA, only to be caught by Ghidorah, who attacks her as he believes Madison used the ORCA to foil his plans. Evading Ghidorah's attacks, Madison escapes the stadium, but comes face-to-face with Ghidorah on the field and throws the ORCA at him, believing it to be useless before Ghidorah smashes the device under his foot. Just as he was about to kill Madison, Godzilla, accompanied by Monarch and a full military escort, arrives just in time to knock Ghidorah off his feet with a blast of his atomic breath, saving Madison's life in the process. Madison flees into the city as Godzilla and Ghidorah clash for the kingship, with Monarch's military support aiming to distract Ghidorah with cover fire. Monarch learns that the warhead's radiation overcharged Godzilla: while it did make him powerful and stronger, he will overload and emit a thermonuclear explosion in roughly twelve minutes. As Godzilla and Ghidorah's battle continues, Mothra arrives to support Godzilla by glueing Ghidorah's heads to the side of the John Hancock Tower with her silk, giving Godzilla the opportunity to tackle his nemesis through the building and knock him to the ground. However, Ghidorah calls out to Rodan for assistance as the winged Titan shows up and intercepts Mothra in order to prevent her from intervening and take her out of the fight. Though severely wounded in her fight against Rodan, Mothra manages to defeat him by impaling Rodan with her stinger, rendering the Titan motionless. At the same time, Godzilla's strength is slowing down as Ghidorah absorbs electricity of the Boston power grid's supply directly from a transformer, enabling him to launch arcs of lightning from his wings which singe Godzilla and decimate the military to the point that the survivors are forced to retreat while Ghidorah regains the upper-hand against Godzilla.
Meanwhile, Mark leads the G-Team into Boston to search for Madison so they can rescue and evacuate her before Godzilla overloads, but she is nowhere to be found and only finds the wrecked remains of the ORCA before meeting up with Emma, who suddenly pulls up in a jeep upon having defected from Jonah when she discovered that Madison has escaped and taken the ORCA with her. Upon learning that Madison has fled to seek refuge, Mark and Emma, with help from G-Team member Jackson Barnes, track down their daughter to their old hometown on Beacon Street, where they reach their destination at their abandoned house, only to find it in ruins. While frantically searching for Madison through the rubble, they eventually find her lying unconscious in a bathtub, buried under some debris. At first, she appears near-death until she regains consciousness before the family share an emotional reunion, proving that they have finally reunited at last. Across the city, Ghidorah carries Godzilla thousands of feet into the Earth's troposphere and drops him, badly injuring Godzilla once he hits the ground below. As Ghidorah prepares to kill an immobilized Godzilla lying on the ground, Mothra comes to his aid and defiantly charges at Ghidorah in defense of her ally, though he promptly vaporizes her with his lightning beams. However, Mothra's ashes shower down onto Godzilla and transfer her energy into him, preventing Godzilla from overloading as he roared in grief over the loss of his companion. Though Godzilla is still vulnerable, Ghidorah closes in and begins torturing Godzilla by sucking the energy out of his body through his bites.
Mark and Emma, seeing that Godzilla is in danger, work together to repair the ORCA, hoping to use it as a distraction to draw Ghidorah away from Godzilla long enough for him to turn the tide. Once the ORCA is fixed and activated, Ghidorah immediately abandons Godzilla as he begins making his way in the group's direction before an Osprey with Monarch inside arrives to evacuate them. While they prepare to evacuate just as Ghidorah draws closer, Emma, realizing she won't be able to escape with her family and Monarch because Ghidorah would end up destroying both the ORCA and the group's aircraft if he isn't kept distracted for longer, instead stays behind and takes the ORCA before driving away into the destroyed city with it in her jeep, drawing Ghidorah's attention away from the group and allowing him to chase after her while the Osprey takes off with a devastated Madison and Mark still on board. As the two watch helplessly from above, Ghidorah catches up to Emma as he continues to pursue her, eventually overturning and damaging her vehicle with his lightning beams, leading to the ORCA getting destroyed and Emma receiving grievous injuries. As Ghidorah closes in for the kill on a wounded Emma while she lays dying on the street, Godzilla suddenly reappears behind him, glowing a burning red and emitting intense heat thanks to the energy Mothra had bestowed upon him when she died. In his burning form, Godzilla unleashes a series of thermonuclear blasts which take the shape of Mothra's wings, completely bombarding Ghidorah with atomic pulses that incinerate his wings and two of his heads (along with Emma's body) before penetrating his enemy's chest with a stomp, creating a ginormous explosion which consumes all of Boston. Once the dust has cleared, Godzilla, now reverted to normal, emerges from the debris holding Ghidorah's bodiless, but still alive remaining head in his jaws. After a struggle with the head as it is frantically trying to escape, Godzilla disintegrates it permanently with his atomic breath, finally killing Ghidorah once and for all and ending his reign of terror, thus avenging the deaths of Mothra, Graham, Emma and countless others whom Ghidorah had previously killed.
Having defeated his rival, Godzilla suddenly finds himself cornered by the other Titans who had answered to Ghidorah while Rodan, having recovered from being impaled by Mothra's stinger despite having a gaping wound in his chest, approached Godzilla. However, Godzilla merely stares Rodan down, causing the flying Titan to quickly back down and submit to him. The other Titans each did the same, bowing to Godzilla one by one as their new respected alpha while Mark, Madison and Monarch watch on the departing Osprey. Now that Ghidorah is finally dead, Godzilla roars triumphantly, declaring himself as the "King of the Monsters". Later, it is shown with the Titans becoming benevolent under Godzilla's reign and have helped to rebuild the world's ecosystems. Rodan has nested in another volcano near Fiji, while Monarch has uncovered a new egg that could be 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 his home under control, while a news article cites a source claiming that Monarch is building a "mechanized Titan" on the island. Finally, it shows an ancient painting displaying Godzilla and Kong (or at least members of their respective species) battling each other for dominance.
Meanwhile, Jonah and his men enter a secret warehouse in Isla de Mara, where fishermen have completely lost their livelihood due to the Oxygen Destroyer's effects. They show Jonah that they've also managed to find and dredge up Ghidorah's leftover severed head (which is now discolored and swarming with flies) from his earlier battle with Godzilla underwater. After observing the head with diabolical intent, Jonah declares that he should "take it."
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Michael Dougherty
- Screenplay by Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields
- Story by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty, and Zach Shields
- Produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Brian Rogers, Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia
- Executive Producers Zach Shields, Barry H. Waldman, Hiro Matsuoka, Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Yoshimitsu Banno (posthumously), and Kenji Okuhira
- Casting by Sarah Halley Finn
- Music by Bear McCreary
- Director of Photography Lawrence Sher
- Film Editors Roger Barton, Richard Pearson, and Bob Duscay
- Production Designer Scott Chambliss
- Special Effects Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron
- Costume Designer Louise Mingenbach
- Art Department
- Sound Designer Erik Aadahl
- Motion Capture Consultants
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Gareth Edwards stated that he wanted Godzilla to work as a standalone film with a definitive ending, and opposed suggestions that the ending should leave the film open for a sequel. While Edwards wasn't against the possibility of future sequels, his main concern was delivering a satisfying experience with the current film; "I want a story that begins and ends, and you leave on a high. That's all we cared about when we were making this; just this film. If this film is good, the others can come, but let’s just pay attention to this and not get sidetracked by other things."
On May 18, after Godzilla's successful opening weekend, a sequel was officially given the green light from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Edwards was confirmed to be directing the sequel but it was unknown if any of the previous cast would be returning. In a previous interview with Gareth Edwards, he said that if the film were to have a sequel that he would like to do a Destroy All Monsters-like film.
A piece of "Classified Monarch Footage," a teaser for Godzilla 2, was shown at Comic-Con 2014. According to eye-witnesses, it looked like it was put together in the 1960s, with audio of John F. Kennedy talking about threats and dangers. Text comes on the screen saying that there was one more secret: "There were others." A pterosaur-like shadow and "CODENAME: RODAN." An extreme close-up of a giant moth creature and "CODENAME: MOTHRA." Then a silhouette and quick cuts around a dragon-like shape figure and "CODENAME: GHIDORAH." Finally, "THREAT ASSESSMENT: CONFLICT INEVITABLE," followed by "LET THEM FIGHT.
On Thursday, August 14, a release date of June 8, 2018, was set for Godzilla 2. The four-year gap between Godzilla and Godzilla 2 was due in part to Gareth Edwards directing the film Star Wars: Rogue One and as a result being unavailable to begin work on Godzilla 2 until 2016.
On December 8, Toho announced production of a new Japanese Godzilla film for 2016. Then, on August 18, 2016, Toho announced the production of another Japanese Godzilla film for 2017. Despite being released between Legendary's Godzilla films, the new films, Shin Godzilla and the 2017 anime trilogy will not be connected to Legendary's series, being a part of their own series, and will not affect the production of Godzilla 2.
On July 9, Legendary Pictures' spokesperson at Comic-Con, Barnaby Legg, told Dread Central that Legendary was aware of fans' complaints about Godzilla's lack of screentime in the 2014 film and that the sequel would give fans "exactly what you're hoping for."
In an interview with Collider conducted in early August 2015, writer Max Borenstein revealed that he is currently writing the script for the film, and promised that the sequel would do "bigger and even better things" than the first film. Borenstein also expressed his excitement for the film, and enthusiasm for working with Gareth Edwards once again.
On October 14, Legendary Pictures officially announced the production of a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla titled Godzilla vs. Kong set for release in 2020. The film will follow both Godzilla 2 and Legendary's Kong: Skull Island.
On May 10, an article revealed that the release dates of both Godzilla 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong had been changed to March 22, 2019, and May 29, 2020, respectively. Only three days later, it was reported that Gareth Edwards had left the film to pursue other projects.
On October 20, after a few months after the loss of Gareth Edwards, an article revealed that Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields (the writers of Krampus) would be writing the script for Godzilla 2.
On December 14, the official title of the film was revealed. The film's title was announced to be Godzilla: King of the Monsters, however, it is not related to the 1956 film bearing a similar title. 
On January 8, it was reported that Godzilla: King of the Monsters will film in Atlanta, Georgia as well. On January 17, 2017, it was reported that Thomas Tull (who founded Legendary Entertainment) resigned from the company but will remain as producer for Legendary's Godzilla and King Kong film series, which was revealed to be officially titled "MonsterVerse". On January 23, 2017, Michael Dougherty was officially confirmed as the director for the sequel.
On March 27, it is reported that O’Shea Jackson Jr. was confirmed for a key role in the film.
On April 18, it was revealed that Aisha Hinds had joined the cast.
On May 1, Anthony Ramos was cast in a role.
On May 26, Randell Havens had joined the cast of the film.
On May 31, Thomas Middleditch had joined the cast of the film.
On June 2, director Michael Dougherty tweeted out that Godzilla "is evolution in the flesh" in response to a user asking if the classic monster would receive a redesign for the sequel. That same day, it was reported that Bradley Whitford had joined the cast of the film.
On June 8, Zhang Ziyi is cast in a significant role within the covert Monarch organization established in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, and she’ll no doubt appear in future entries in this cinematic universe.
On June 18, Collider engaged in an interview with Sally Hawkins about returning for the sequel. Hawkins expressed how it was nice to be asked back to play a part in the film, and spoke on how Dougherty seems smart and excited about the film. She also spoke on how she didn't know if she'd make the final cut for the film.
June 19 marked the date of the beginning of principal photography. With that came a press release for the film which provided a new synopsis for the film, as well as an updated cast list, which officially confirms Ken Watanabe's presence in the film. Principle photography is to take place primarily in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was also on this day that the film's working title of Fathom was revealed, as per director Michael Dougherty's Twitter.
On June 26, the director released a call sheet for the film on his Twitter account, revealing the names and statuses of the various kaiju. Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Rodan are listed with an "R", referring to "rehearsal", meaning the monster will be working on the set, but not filmed in this case. Mothra is listed with an "SW", referring to "start work", which means it's the character's first day of work.
On July 3, some images from the film's production were leaked onto the internet. According to bystanders of the shoot, there were sound effects for the monsters playing, and overturned cars and flames were present as well. The shoot occurred in and around Inman Village Parkway in Atlanta.
July 8 provided more leaked images of the film's production. In this case, however, a temple set was revealed and photographed. A video was posted as well, however, it was blocked shortly after by Warner Bros. Entertainment on the grounds of copyright infringement.
On July 10, it was announced that The Walking Dead star Elizabeth Ludlow had joined the film's cast.
On July 28, a teasing image of the set for King of the Monsters was shared on Instagram by Thomas Middleditch.
A casting call for the film went out on July 30. The call requested extras that could act as military members, scientists, mercenaries, and janitors for shoots that will begin in August.
On August 11, Thomas Middleditch was photographed on the set of King of the Monsters.
On the 13th, it was noted that King of the Monsters may have potentially been shooting in Atlanta City Hall, following reports of a film crew barricading the downtown area off shortly after signs for Fathom were seen.
Additionally, a casting call for the film went out for the same date. The shoot was to recreate Japan, with the set-piece itself being a noodle shop. The casting call itself called for Japanese individuals. Wardrobe fitting was to be on the 10th, 11th, and 12th, with filming commencing on the 13th. A tweet from Atlanta Filming on Twitter was vague, but also confirmed the shoot.
August 14 began with a chilling tweet by director Dougherty, who tweeted an image of the famous Oxygen Destroyer. Later, it was implied that the Oxygen Destroyer would either make a cameo in the film or could be a potential plot device, as per an article by Ain't it Cool News. Neither was explicitly confirmed. It was later confirmed by Dougherty that the Oxygen Destroyer will indeed appear in the movie as an integral plot device, rather than as a mere cameo.
On August 15, an announcement for a three day shoot in Mexico was confirmed in a presentation.
August 17 began with some prep for shoots in Mexico City, beginning on the 19th, or Saturday, and ending on the 22nd, or Tuesday. Props seen included that of an aircraft's hangar bay. Fans of the franchise were spotted sporting figures of the 2014 incarnation of the monster, taking shots of, and standing by the sets. Around 700 extras were utilized for the shoots around this region.
One shoot was described as "terror and screams" in the historical center of Mexico City, where extras were seen running, amidst smoke and screams.
Another shoot on the 20th had an estimated 700 extras seemingly running from a monster in Plaza de Santo Domingo.
An interesting few photos were taken of groups of civilians pointing and looking up at something unknown.
Some videos of the Mexico shoot were also taken. One video includes a large crowd running in terror, and then standing in awe as a crew member improvises the roar of one of the film's monsters. Another has military members and civilians running into the cargo bay of an unknown, docked aircraft.
Alongside the news and reveals of the Mexico shoot, a bid for a visit to the Godzilla set was announced. Winners of the bid would be able to meet Kyle Chandler and get an exclusive behind the scenes visit of the set for the film in September. Dates for the visit ranged from the period of the 11th to the 19th. Winners would be able to take a photo, bring something small to sign, and as the event was valid for two people, would be able to bring someone with them.
Money given to the bid was donated to the World War II Foundation, and the estimated value of the event was put at $5,000. The bid ended on August 31.
In an interesting twist, a casting call released on September 15 called for two Korean twins who will take part in a "very featured role". It was also noted that said casting would be done for the film's final week of filming, sometime around the end of September.
On September 18, another casting call went out for the film. It called for photo doubles, military, and medical members, and pilots, among other potential roles.
On September 22, director Michael Dougherty tweeted out the first official image of Godzilla on his Twitter. The image was a low-resolution reference for an actor to view whilst sitting in the nearby vehicle prop seen in the same image.
On September 26, Michael Dougherty tweeted once more. The tweet said nothing but "Last day", essentially confirming principal photography ended on the date.
Legendary posted a congratulatory message on their official Facebook page following Dougherty's tweet, alongside an image of the Fathom clapperboard.
|“||In the last scene between Godzilla and King Ghidorah, I promise you, you will never forget it, in your life... as a nerd, I am foaming at the mouth to get like in the editing room... Godzilla will be the number 1 movie.||„|
— O'Shea Jackson Jr.
He would then go on about the conflict, stating:
|“||The way that him [Godzilla] and Ghidorah fight... man... Kong better bring some shit.||„|
— O'Shea Jackson Jr.
Following this news, on the 7th, early reactions to the film implied similarities between it and 2017's Kong: Skull Island, noting that the monster fights were epic, while human characterization took a backseat. Overall, it was compared more to Skull Island than to its 2014 predecessor. According to a Redditor known as Preskomesko12345, 40 minutes of the film with unfinished effects were shown. Answering questions about the footage from other Redditors, Preskomesko12345 mentions several points: Godzilla's design change appeared to be only slight with some red being visible on his skin, Godzilla and the other monsters have a lot of screentime, the detail in the colors and fur on Mothra's wings were standouts, the return of Mothra's pollen dust, the film has more action, it's more colorful and feels more fun than the original, and that it ties into Skull Island.
On the same day, a leaked CGI design of King Ghidorah was reportedly accidentally shown to the public in a montage video released by Amalgamated Dynamics, the studio responsible for the 2014 Godzilla's visual effects. This was confirmed to be false by the studio and director Mike Dougherty.
On April 26, it was announced that Jason Liles, who starred in Rampage would be joining the cast of King of the Monsters for motion capture purposes regarding Godzilla's arch-nemesis, King Ghidorah. He will be one of several actors mo-capping the monster. It was later clarified that Jason will portray Ghidorah's middle head, with Alan Maxson playing the right, and Richard Dorton portraying the left, while unnamed colleagues play the monster's body.
On May 18, a vague tweet was posted by director Mike Dougherty, who posted an image of a snake with a boom mic set up nearby. The tweet simply reads "Just another day at the office."
On the 22nd, Mike posted a new tweet, reading "Today’s weather." The image alongside the tweet has a large hurricane present on thermal imaging, with the bold text "Monster Zero" above it.
News of another shift in release dates came on May 23rd, which saw King of the Monsters shift from a March 22nd release, to May 31st.
In late May, the Licensing Expo 2018 event occurring in Las Vegas possessed some new stills for King of the Monsters, including a silhouette of Godzilla and a brighter version of King Ghidorah's silhouette.
On July 5, Michael Dougherty confirmed that the film's first teaser will head to Hall H at SDCC 2018.
On July 10, Vera Farmiga revealed new information about her character, Dr. Emma Russell, in an interview.
|“||She has figured out a way to communicate with the creatures and potentially control them using their bioacoustics on a sonar level. So she is like a DJ for the monsters...I play a paleobiologist.||„|
— Vera Farmiga
On July 12, the first two new official images of the film were revealed by Entertainment Weekly in a first look article. One notably depicts Godzilla firing his atomic breath into the sky.
July 18 featured a slew of new information with regards to the upcoming sequel. A Twitter, official, and tie-in site were properly launched. The film's logo was officially unveiled, alongside its tagline, the former being blue, over the 2014 film's red, with the tagline being "Their reign begins". Additionally, a 40-second snippet of the film was shown, with Millie Bobby Brown's character, Madison Russell, calling for Monarch over a radio. Just then, a roar of an unidentified monster can be heard.
Three days later, on the 21st, the first trailer for King of the Monsters dropped at San Diego Comic-Con. The trailer revealed the film's basic premise and teased all three new monster designs. Additionally, it was announced that Bear McCreary would score the film and use the classic Godzilla theme by Akira Ifukube.
Additionally, in an interview with IGN at Comic-Con, Michael Dougherty confirmed that there will be more than four monsters in the movie.
On September 6, a listing appeared on Amazon for an official prequel graphic novel to be released on April 16, 2019. It will be illustrated by Drew Johnson and written by Arvid Nelson, who previously wrote all four issues of Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, the prequel/sequel graphic novel series to Kong: Skull Island.
On September 18, Ken Watanabe revealed a theme that the film will focus on:
|“||It’s different because in ‘Godzilla: King Of The Monsters,’ the scientists play a central role, so rather than a story about how humans fight with the monsters, it is about how humans can coexist with them.||„|
On November 16, Michael Dougherty announced on Twitter that post-production on the film had wrapped.
|“||It is done. With love and gratitude to the thousands of talented people all around the world who helped make this lifelong dream a reality. In Godzilla we trust.||„|
— Michael Dougherty
On December 1, with Tokyo Comic-Con underway, a teaser reveal for the film took place, as did a reveal of the film's trio of new kaiju, and the redesigned Godzilla. It was also revealed that a trailer for the film would be released the following week.
The second trailer for King of the Monsters dropped on the 10th, alongside a new poster for the film, which showcased Godzilla's enormous size in comparison to the film's child protagonist, Madison Russell.
On March 21, new plot details were revealed by IGN, which reportedly features a terrorist organization searching for the "ORCA", a device that's used to speak with the Titans.
On April 25, two tracks from the soundtrack were released by WaterTower Music; both orchestrated by McCreary, "Old Rivals" and a cover of Blue Öyster Cult's Godzilla with vocals performed by Serj Tankian and members of Dethklok contributing. It was also revealed that McCreary incorporated Yuji Koseki’s Mothra Song into the film.
On May 31, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released in theaters.
- The first Godzilla film, either by Toho or a Hollywood studio to be released during Japan's Reiwa Period (令和時代 Reiwa jidai) and the reign of Emperor Naruhito, after the end of the Heisei era.
- The five-year period between the release date of Godzilla in 2014 and this film is the longest gap between the release of the first and second films in a new series of Godzilla films, with the five-year gap between the releases of The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Biollante to start the Heisei period being the second-longest.
- The first American-made Godzilla film to include music originally composed by Akira Ifukube (not counting the 1956 American release of Gojira) and Yuji Koseki.
- The release date of the second trailer, December 10, 2018, marks the 5th anniversary of the release of the 2014 film's teaser trailer, which was released on December 10, 2013.
- This is the first sequel to a Godzilla film made by Hollywood.
- This marks the first time that Blue Öyster Cult's 1977 single, "Godzilla", is used in a Godzilla film.
- Originally the movie was supposed to be 2 hours and 40-45 minutes long but it was cut and dropped to 2 hours and 12 minutes.
- For the scripts, dialogue was written for some or all of the Titans to make their interactions more clear to the motion capture actors and the animators.
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