The third and final trailer in the latest installment of the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has been released, now with added squeeing!
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) is an upcoming American monster film directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty. It is a sequel to Godzilla (2014) and will be the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary’s Monster-verse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.
If you are a Godzilla fan, you are literally breathless with anticipation. What do you mean you aren’t a fan of Godzilla, King of the Monsters? I’m gonna take your temperature. Your eyes look okay. What you need is some enthusiasm for the King. Go ahead, watch this trailer.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Final Trailer
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve seen those early movies. Yeah. Okay. I can understand that. His size, costume and special effects have evolved. While the early films were built around a rubber suit and tiny models which were blown up under slow-motion, we fans can admit, they were cheesy in the extreme yet this was part of their charm. Some fans think those are better because of the loving detail put into their creation.
Godzilla has, over the decades (yes, he has been a thing since 1954, take that Marvel Cinematic Universe), changed many times, sometimes not for the better. But true fans know Godzilla not only earns his name King of the Monsters, but defends his title vigorously against any and all comers. Since 1954, there have been a lot of challengers to the title. So many rubber monsters, so little time…
- Godzilla (1954)
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966)
- Son of Godzilla (1967)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969)
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
- The Return of Godzilla (1984)
- Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
- Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
- Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
- Godzilla (1998)
- Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)
- Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
- Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
- Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Godzilla (2014)Shin Godzilla
- (2016)Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)
- Mecha-Godzilla Appearance; Ready Player One (2018)
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Modern special effects have been very kind to Godzilla and his kaiju kin and this recent vein of kaiju nostalgia was first mined in the classic Godzilla film, “Destroy All Monsters” (1968). If you are a fan, you are probably experiencing a warm glow as you remember the first time all of Toho’s monsters came together in what was the biggest and best kaiju battle featuring these legendary monsters.
If we are being honest, watching Godzilla fight other monsters is really what this franchise is all about. The people don’t really matter. In these films, we spend a great deal of time watching Humans react to the kaiju, proving how puny and insignificant we are against the threat.
The military sends wave after wave of missiles and tanks whose effects are scarcely noticed. Sometimes, a plucky group of scientists will cobble together something at the last minute and slow the kaiju down. (Plucky scientists are a thing in these movies.) Kaiju fighting kaiju (the Japanese word used to define the giant monsters and the genre) is literally what has come to define almost any movie featuring every’s favorite bio-plasmic producing uber-lizard.
After the first two movies where Godzilla terrorizes an impotent Tokyo, whose military might may as well have been mentholated mints, the defining aspect of almost every Godzilla film has been a monster getting is ass handed to it by Godzilla. Now to be fair, most monsters give a good accounting of themselves and those that did, often got a chance to reappear in later movies. You know these stars because they appear in more than one film.
Godzilla’s first foe was the simian re-imagining of King Kong, where he and Godzilla mix it up in the seminal Godzilla versus King Kong (1962). Yes, it is as terrible as you imagine it to be, but at the same time, there is something about the camp which beats at the heart of every child who imagined their monster toys duking it out in a sand box, complete with sound effects and the trademark Godzilla-fighting music which every fan knows by heart. After this legendary battle, Tokyo was off the hook as a sparring partner as Godzilla’s contenders increased in size and ferocity.
Don’t be mistaken. Tokyo still had plenty of gratuitous destruction happening in it. Generally, Godzilla worked to prevent as much destruction in later years, eventually even being seen as an ally to humanity against other less friendly Kaiju. People even cheered for him as the franchise progressed. Yes, he was a kaiju, but he was OUR kaiju. Other Kaiju who were being featured in their own movies, would line up to battle what was already turning out to be a series of movies which would develop a fandom spanning decades.
Fan favorites include the lovers of terrifying pupae capable of encasing anything in a steel-like cocoon, as well as transforming into the mother of all moths, represented by the florid and flamboyant gale-force wind flourishes of Mothra whose first appearance in 1964 electrified viewers and ensured her eventual battle for the crown. To be fair, Mothra tends to be considered a lightweight in the monster wars but still manages to have fans anyway.
For those of the Pterodactyl Fanciers Union #34 since 1956, Rodan, winged master of the skies with the power to blow your army, tanks and all clearly off the field of battle. I did mention he can fly fast enough to catch fighter jets? Rodan’s not shy about crashing into you at mach speeds to prove a point. Lacking any energy powers, Rodan gets by with sheer brute strength and tenacity.
For robot lovers, there was the menace of Mechagodzilla, a giant-size robot designed to be the ultimate in Godzilla-stopping technology made its appearance in 1974. Yeah. Mega-Godzilla started strong but lacked staying power against Godzilla, who like the Hulk, the longer he fights, the stronger he gets. By the end of a battle, most enemies are just trying to get away. Godzilla doesn’t usually allow this, but if he does, its not without a patented nuclear-plasma blast pushing them along.
All of these monsters and many others have tried to take the crown but truthfully only one kaiju has ever been consistently the contender to beat. Sometimes he has alien backers and other times he’s supported by other monsters. But no matter whose behind him, he is the three-headed, invader from space, whose powers of flight, mastery of wind, incredible physical prowess and patented lightning powered energy discharges guaranteed to shred anything it touches, including Godzilla, has managed to earn the title of KING: In this corner is King Ghidorah! He is THE monster to beat.
If Godzilla wasn’t on the map, King Ghidorah would own this planet. Tank proof, missile proof, bomb-resistant, and in this next movie appearance in Godzilla: King of All Monsters, I’m betting he’s nuke-proof. In my estimation, someone will have to mention nuking the kaiju in this coming film, just to show how tough they are to a modern audience.
Will this movie follow the time-honored traditions of its fore-bearers? Trailer says: Yes.
Will there be impotent military officers sending their troops in against impossible odds. Trailer says: Yes. Though they look more gun-ho than in previous movies.
Will there be kaiju swarming across the planet? Trailer says: Yes, there was a mention of at least 17 at one point in the movie. I doubt we will get to see them all, but the fact they decided to create a number that high means we may get to see other (read that as new) kaiju in the future, assuming King Ghidorah doesn’t kill them all.
Will King Ghidorah grace us with his presence? You betcha, it isn’t a monster party unless you invite the KING. Ghidorah is here in all his majestic three-headed glory. He is seen bringing the battle to Godzilla, a triple threat.
What we have here is a movie franchise which has come to the realization, what made Godzilla interesting was not his interaction with the people. Yeah, they need something to relate to so you have to have SOME people in the movie. People are in the theater for only one thing. KAIJU FIGHTING KAIJU! The best thing that could be done for Godzilla in my opinion was to bring his co-stars to the screen with modern appearances and the benefits of computer generated animation, 3D optimization, with state of the art sound effects and complete with Smellovision™ making these battles of our childhood look like we imagined them to. Full of sound and fury and signifying that Godzilla is the goddamn King! Godzilla has been 65 years as the reigning monarch of the kaiju. Now he’s got special effects to match the spectacle of monsters larger than buildings destroying puny Humans beneath their feet. I can’t wait.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters comes out on May 31.
The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi. It is one of Yoshimitsu Banno’s last films as executive producer, as he died on May 7, 2017.
Evolution of Godzilla – Evolution Television
For your Godzilla viewing pleasure we have included a second video by EVO which collects the visual representation of famous characters over the decades. They give us a wonderful recap of Godzilla and the rest of the Monster-verse over the last 65 years.
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.