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5 kaiju who should appear alongside Godzilla in the Apple TV+ Monsterverse series
If any preexisting kaiju from the Japanese movies appear in the upcoming Monsteverse series (which is a big if), here are a few that we want to see.
It’s a giant monsters all-out attack! Apple TV+ and Legendary Entertainment announced last week that the Monsterverse — the film series that kicked off with 2014’s Godzilla and, most recently, reached a climax in Godzilla vs. Kong — will continue on the small screen. The as-yet unnamed series will focus on one family’s mission to uncover secrets about the Monarch organization — and, presumably, they will encounter plenty of the giant monsters known as Titans along the way.
But, which Titans (typically called kaiju by fans of the Japanese giant monster genre) should appear in the Apple TV+ series? To that end, which kaiju could appear?
Godzilla is a creation of the Japanese studio Toho, having first appeared in 1954’s Godzilla. The King of the Monsters has been loaned out to American studios on two occasions, first in 1998 to TriStar Pictures for Roland Emmerich’s reviled Godzilla and then to Legendary for the recent Monsterverse films distributed by Warner Bros. Legendary has also made case-by-case deals with Toho to get the rights to other kaiju that Godzilla has fought over the decades. Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, and Mechagodzilla have all appeared in Monsterverse movies (the first three in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs Kong). The rights to King King are famously complicated, but Legendary was able to use the Eighth Wonder of the World in Kong: Skull Island and GvK.
The Monsterverse series has also introduced several brand-new monsters, including the MUTOs from 2014’s Godzilla, the Skullcrawlers from Skull Island, and several lesser Titans from King of the Monsters whose names weren’t really explicitly dropped in the movie. It’s possible — likely, even — that the Apple TV+ show will feature kaiju originally created for the Monsterverse, as it avoids the whole issue of getting rights from Toho. But, if the new series were to bring back some of Godzilla’s old foes, we have some ideas. The preexisting kaiju who have already appeared in the series are A-list monsters, so we’d be looking at the B-list. Here are five beasts who could be a good fit for the series, in terms of their uniqueness, notoriety, and how well they might fit into the Monsterverse series.
One little note before we get to the monsters: According to Apple (via The Hollywood Reporter), the series is set “following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking new reality that monsters are real,” and it will explore “one family’s journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to the secret organization known as Monarch.” The battle that leveled San Francisco happened in 2014’s Godzilla, meaning it’s possible (though by no means confirmed) that the series could take place before the events of King of the Monsters or GvK. This would mean Mothra, Rodan, and Co. wouldn’t have wreaked havoc yet, which may or may not impact what level of Titan threat we’ll be dealing with in the series. Just something to consider!
This ankylosaurus-like kaiju holds the distinction of being the first monster that Godzilla ever fought.
After the King of the Monster’s solo debut in 1954’s Godzilla, he fought Anguirus in Godzilla Raids Again the following year. Anguirus is a pretty basic kaiju, boasting no laser beams or atomic breath. He’s just a big dinosaur with a spiky shell. In subsequent appearances, Anguirus would be one of Godzilla’s go-to allies as the Big-G transitioned from a villain to a hero. An appearance in the new series could position Anguirus as one of the Titans on Godzilla’s side.
Furthermore, it’s possible that Anguirus has already appeared in the Monsterverse — kinda. In King of the Monsters, when Serizawa travels to Godzilla’s submerged lair, there’s a brief shot of a skeleton that doesn’t not look like Anguirus. KotM director Mike Dougherty tweeted that the bones “might or might not be Anguirus,” so it was clearly intentional. However, it doesn’t appear that Legendary formally got the rights for Anguirus to make a proper appearance, so for now he’s just an Easter egg in the Monsterverse… unless the TV show changes that.
Hedorah, the Smog Monster, first appeared in 1971’s Godzilla vs. Hedorah, one of the weirdest movies in the entire franchise. (The movie has psychedelic musical numbers, cartoon segments, and Godzilla flies.) Hedorah has only appeared one other time, briefly, in 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, but the monstrous metaphor for pollution could fit nicely into the Monsterverse.
The franchise has made a big deal about the fact that the Titans are natural — that they are the keepers of the planet. King of the Monsters ends with the proliferation of Titans being a good thing, as they restore balance to the Earth’s ecosystem. Hedorah, a monster who is explicitly not natural, would be an interesting wrinkle to this dynamic.
Although Destoroyah only appeared in one Godzilla movie, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, the demonic-looking kaiju has frequently been put up there with King Ghidorah as Godzilla’s ultimate and most dangerous foe. Destoroyah was created as a result of the Oxygen Destroyer, the weapon that killed the first Godzilla in 1954. The superweapon created a lifeform that, 40 years later, emerged and attacked Japan. In an ironic twist, it was a new Godzilla that was able to stop this new monster, although Godzilla died in the process.
In addition to being “the monster from the movie where Godzilla dies,” which alone makes Destoroyah a more memorable foe than most, the monster would fit into the Monsterverse nicely. King of the Monsters evoked the Oxygen Destroyer, but it was kind of an aside — a glorified Easter egg that perhaps didn’t give the weapon the proper gravity it deserved. If the TV series wanted to explore the implications of using the Oxygen Destroyer willy-nilly like that, Destoroyah would be perfect. (Assuming the series doesn’t take place before the events of KotM, that is.)
Megalon, a beetle-like kaiju with drills for hands and the ability to spit bombs out of his mouth, is famous for being the titular monster in one of the dumbest Godzilla movies ever made. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is really cheesy. It’s kind of the nadir of the era where Godzilla movies were being made, cheaply, for children with low standards. And, for that, it is an iconic and only semi-ironically beloved entry in the franchise.
There’s not, like, a good reason for why Megalon specifically would fit in the Monsterverse franchise. It’s more that he represents a very specific and very influential era of Godzilla movies, and it would be a hoot to see that represented in the (comparatively more-serious) Monsterverse franchise.
Biollante has only made one appearance in the Godzilla series, in 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante, but she remains one of the more interesting and unique foes Godzilla has ever fought. In that movie, she was created when a grieving scientist combined Godzilla's DNA cells with those of a rose and his recently killed daughter. (An Easter egg in the KotM credits mentioned that Monarch was trying to develop “organic Titans” which some fans took to be a reference to Biollante but I doubt it means that much.)
The Monsterverse could (and probably should) drop this complicated backstory and keep the most interesting aspect of Biollante: She’s a giant plant monster with an alligator-like mouth filled with too many teeth who can attack with razor-sharp vines and also spit acid. I’m a simple man: I would like to see Godzilla fight Biollante again, perhaps on a TV series airing on Apple TV+.