New “Monsterverse” Moves Forward Without ‘Godzilla’ as Star

in Entertainment, Television


Credit: ITM

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) changed how projects were made within the film industry in the last decade. Other studios have tried to achieve the same level of success, but few have experienced the same profitability. However, Marvel was not the first to captivate viewers with a shared cinematic universe. One of the first major shared universes centered around the legendary Godzilla in the 50s. While there have been underwhelming attempts to create another “Monsterverse,” Apple TV+ has decided to construct its own without Godzilla as its star.

The Avengers original lineup featuring Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and Nick Fury
Credit: Marvel Studios

Godzilla is one of the most iconic creations in cinematic history. The character has remained a cornerstone in the disaster movie genre since its debut in 1954. The reptilian colossus was a Japanese creation inspired by the nuclear fallout of WWII. The city-crushing, atomic heat-blasting creature (or ‘kaiju’) became an global sensation who eventually transformed from a rubber-suited character performer to a brilliantly rendered CGI titan.

Credit: Toho Co., Ltd.

Tomoyuki Tanaka, along with Toho Studios director Ishirō Honda, created Godzilla not only as a parable for the consequences of nuclear pollution but they envisioned a deeper mythology built around these ‘kaijus.’ This began the Shōwa-Era where future installments such as Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Rodan (1956), Varan the Unbelievable (1958) and Mothra (1961) confirmed these monstrosities existed in the same universe.

Credit: Toho Studios

The Shōwa-Era “Monsterverse” hit its apex when Godzilla faced off against another cinematic monster icon, King Kong in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). The mashup was a hit with viewers as Toho proceeded to make more crossover faceoff movies. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) was the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice of its time. It set up the conflict between the two monsters until they joined forces later in the year to battle their nemesis in the movie, Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964).

Credit: Toho Studios

Toho’s built-in fanbase craved more ‘kaijus’ as the studio continued to churn out more extended universe movies like Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966),and the “Avengers: Endgame-level” team-up Destroy All Monsters (1968). The Shōwa-Era finally ended with the introduction the mechanical tyrant, Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975.

Credit: Toho Studios

Warner Bros.’ 2014 reimagining of Godzilla galvanized fans once more and created a new generation of ‘kaiju-lovers.’ The movie was a promising beginning as the movie grossed $529 million at the box office. This achievement eventually prompted the studio to up the stakes with the creation of another “Monsterverse.” Two sequels and one spinoff later, Warner Bros. has pulled away from making Godzilla its central character. Instead, they have partnered with Apple TV+ to create a TV series that will focus on the creation and evolution of the other ‘kaijus.’ 

Credit: Legendary Pictures

The streaming service presented glimpses of the new monsters with its trailer debut, but they now have released new footage showcasing all the various behemoths seeking to unleash their fury onto the world. Here is the latest glimpse into Monarch: Legacy of Monsters:

This new 10-episode series will examine an embattled family who must come to grips with their generational ties to a nefarious organization called Monarch. This company was linked to the creation of the ‘kaijus’ many years ago and they may misuse technology again to bring about another devastating catastrophe.

Credit: ITM

Some of the biggest monster standouts were the images of a ‘kaiju’ spider, a ‘kaiju’ wolf, a ‘kaiju’ star-nosed mole, a ‘kaiju’ crab, and a ‘kaiju’ bat. The series appears to delve deeper into the lore of Godzilla and his monstrous kin, but featuring a project without the King of Monsters as the main star could backfire. Either way, the show will be a stepping stone to setup the conflict for next Godzilla epic, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire next year.

Godzilla x Kong poster
Credit: Warner Bros.

Monarch: Legacy of Monster is set to premiere on Apple TV+ on November 17, 2023.

Are you excited for the prequel series? Will the show be a success without using Godzilla as the anchor to the franchise?

in Entertainment, Television

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