The MonsterVerse is an American media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of monster films featuring Godzilla and King Kong, produced by Legendary Entertainment and co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The first installment was Godzilla (2014), a reboot of the Godzilla franchise, which was followed by Kong: Skull Island (2017), a reboot of the King Kong franchise. The next film to be released will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), followed by Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). With two films released to date, the series has grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
Official logo featured on tie-in comics
|Films and television|
Kong: Skull Island
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Godzilla vs. Kong
|Video game(s)||Various video games|
Legendary Entertainment confirmed at the July 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International that it had acquired the licensing rights to Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah from Toho and revealed concept footage with the closing title cards reading "Conflict: inevitable. Let them fight". In September 2015, Legendary announced that the film Kong: Skull Island would not be developed with Universal Studios. Instead, it would be developed with Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together.
In October 2015, Legendary announced plans to unite Godzilla and King Kong in a film titled Godzilla vs. Kong, set for a 2020 release date. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise "centered around Monarch" (the secret government agency which debuted in 2014's Godzilla) and that "brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new". Later in October, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island would have references to Monarch.
In May 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Godzilla vs. Kong would be released on May 29, 2020, and that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be pushed back from its original June 2018 release date to March 22, 2019, however, the film was later pushed back again to May 31, 2019. In October 2016, Legendary announced that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be filmed at its parent company Wanda's Oriental Movie Metropolis facility in Qingdao, China, along with Pacific Rim Uprising. That same month, it was revealed that Legendary was planning a writers room to create their Godzilla–Kong cinematic universe, with Alex Garcia overseeing the project for Legendary.
In early January 2017, Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary, resigned from the company but would remain as producer for the Godzilla–Kong series, which was revealed as the "MonsterVerse". In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Story by||Screenplay by||Producer(s)||Status|
|Godzilla||May 16, 2014||Gareth Edwards||David Callaham||Max Borenstein||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers||Released|
|Kong: Skull Island||March 10, 2017||Jordan Vogt-Roberts||John Gatins||Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Alex Garcia|
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters||May 31, 2019||Michael Dougherty||Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields||Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields||Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Brian Rogers, Mary Parent and Alex Garcia||Completed|
|Godzilla vs. Kong||March 13, 2020||Adam Wingard||TBA||Terry Rossio||Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, and Brian Rogers||Post-production|
The film reimagines Godzilla's origins in contemporary times and is set 15 years after a nuclear meltdown in Japan which subsequently awakens two giant parasitic creatures, known as "MUTOs". As the MUTOs ravage the countryside in order to reproduce, they awaken a larger ancient alpha predator, known as "Godzilla", whose existence has been kept secret by the U.S. government since 1954. The film introduces Godzilla, the MUTOs, and the Monarch organization to the MonsterVerse.
In 2004, director Yoshimitsu Banno acquired permission from Toho to produce a short IMAX Godzilla film which was in development for several years until the project was eventually turned over to Legendary Pictures. In March 2010, Legendary announced to have acquired the rights to Godzilla for a feature film reboot. In January 2011, Gareth Edwards was announced as the director for the film. The film was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures with filming completed in 2013 in Canada and the United States for release in 2014. Godzilla was released on May 16, 2014 to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $200 million domestically and $529 million worldwide against its $160 million budget.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)Edit
The film, set in 1973, follows a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific and encounter terrifying creatures and the mighty Kong. The film introduces King Kong, Mother Longlegs, Sker Buffalo, Mire Squid, Leafwing, Psychovulture, Spore Mantis, Ramarak, and the Skullcrawlers to the MonsterVerse and a post-credits scene introduces Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse.
In July 2014 at the San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary announced a King Kong origin story, initially titled Skull Island, with a release date of November 4, 2016, and Universal Pictures distributing. In September 2014, Jordan Vogt-Roberts was announced as the film's director. In September 2015, Legendary moved development of the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Bros. to create an expanded cinematic universe. Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii and Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was released on March 10, 2017 to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $168 million domestically and $566 million worldwide against its $185 million budget. The film received a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 90th Academy Awards.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)Edit
The Monarch agency struggles to ensure humanity's survival in an age of god-sized monsters. Three new monsters named Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah rise to challenge Godzilla for supremacy. The film changes the monsters' designation from "MUTOs" to "Titans" as the secrecy of their existence has been dispelled.
Prior to announcing a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong, Legendary originally intended to produce a Godzilla trilogy, with Gareth Edwards attached to direct all films. However, Edwards left the sequel in May 2016 to work on smaller scale projects. In January 2017, Michael Dougherty was announced as the director and co-writer for the film. Principal photography began on June 19, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia and wrapped on September 27, 2017. The film is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2019, in 2D, 3D, and select IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where it will be distributed by Toho.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)Edit
In an age when monsters reclaim the planet, humanity's fight for survival triggers the inevitable battle between Godzilla and King Kong, while Monarch unravels the origins of the Titans and a human conspiracy that threatens to destroy all the monsters.
The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary announced plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. The film's writers room was assembled in March 2017 and Adam Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hawaii and Australia and concluded in April 2019. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released on March 13, 2020 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where it will be distributed by Toho.
Cast and CharactersEdit
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
- An M indicates the character appears through use of motion capture.
- A Y indicates an appearance by an actor portraying a younger version of a character.
|Character||Released films||Upcoming films|
King of the Monsters
|Godzilla vs. Kong|
|Godzilla||T.J. Storm||Archive audio||T.J. StormM||TBA|
|King Kong||Terry NotaryM|
|King Ghidorah||Jason LilesM|
|Ford Brody||Aaron Taylor-Johnson|
|Ishiro Serizawa||Ken Watanabe||Ken Watanabe|
|Elle Brody||Elizabeth Olsen|
|Joe Brody||Bryan Cranston|
|Vivienne Graham||Sally Hawkins||Sally Hawkins|
|William Stentz||David Strathairn||David Strathairn|
|Sandra Brody||Juliette Binoche|
|James Conrad||Tom Hiddleston|
|Hank Marlow||John C. Reilly|
|Mason Weaver||Brie Larson|
|Preston Packard||Samuel L. Jackson|
|Bill Randa||John Goodman|
|Houston Brooks||Corey Hawkins|
|San Lin||Jing Tian|
|Mark Russell||Kyle Chandler|
|Emma Russell||Vera Farmiga|
|Madison Russell||Millie Bobby Brown|
|Sam Coleman||Thomas Middleditch|
|Barnes||O'Shea Jackson Jr.|
|Dr. Chen||Zhang Ziyi|
Box office performanceEdit
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||North America||Worldwide|
|Godzilla||May 16, 2014||$200,676,069||$328,400,000||$529,076,069||183||165||$160 million|||
|Kong: Skull Island||March 10, 2017||$168,052,812||$398,600,000||$566,652,812||268||144||$185 million|||
Critical and public responseEdit
|Godzilla||75% (312 reviews) ||62 (48 critics) ||B+|
|Kong: Skull Island||75% (356 reviews) ||62 (49 critics) ||B+|
|Godzilla: The Art of Destruction||May 13, 2014||Mark Cotta||The making of Godzilla|
|Godzilla – The Official Movie Novelization||May 20, 2014||Greg Cox||Novelization of Godzilla|
|Kong: Skull Island – The Official Movie Novelization||March 14, 2017||Tim Lebbon||Novelization of Kong: Skull Island|
|The Art and Making of Kong: Skull Island||March 21, 2017||Simon Ward||The making of Kong: Skull Island|
|Godzilla: King of the Monsters – The Official Movie Novelization||May 31, 2019||Gregory Keyes||Novelization of Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters||June 4, 2019||Abbie Bernstein||The making of Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|Title||Release date||Writer(s)||Illustrator(s)||Cover Artist(s)||Note|
|Godzilla: Awakening||May 7, 2014||Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein||Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah, and Lee Loughridge||Arthur Adams||Tie-in prequel graphic novel to Godzilla|
|Skull Island: The Birth of Kong||April 12, 2017||Arvid Nelson||Zid||Zid, Drew Johnson (issue #4)||Tie-in prequel/sequel comic to Kong: Skull Island|
|Godzilla: Aftershock||May 21, 2019||Arvid Nelson||Drew Edward Johnson||Tie-in prequel graphic novel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters|
|Godzilla: Crisis Defense||May 7, 2014||Legendary||Legendary||Tie-in web game to Godzilla|
|Godzilla: Strike Zone||May 15, 2014||Warner Bros. Entertainment||Warner Bros. International Enterprises||Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla|
|Godzilla: Smash 3||May 16, 2014||Rogue Play||Pipeworks||Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla|
In March 2019, when asked about the future of the MonsterVerse, producer Alex Garcia stated:
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