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Godzilla Sneaks Up On Me (Again), With ‘Monarch’ Spinoff in Hollywood’s Most Low-Key of The ’Verses

I have a fun time when I open YouTube and there’s some fresh trailer waiting for me.

Well, I have to say it’s not much fun using YouTube anymore, given the rampant ads interrupting everything and the platform being overrun with reactionary grifter chuds further polluting any kind of criticism or fan discourse with their go-woke-go-broke tomfoolery.

Also, the clickthrough windows that cover up the final frames of all videos killed the absolute best part of the music video for “Beautiful Liar” by Beyoncé and Shakira.

Oh, and I finally got the algorithm to stop sending me fan-made trailers. Get that mess off my page! Trying to fool us.

But when I do get a fresh new trailer, hooray. I recently saw the teaser trailer for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, which premieres November 17.

This is the latest entry in the “MonsterVerse” of Godzilla-related kaiju movies made by Legendary Pictures beginning in 2014 and continued with Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021).

Did you even know these movies are all connected in, sigh, a shared cinematic universe? I saw Kong: Skull Island in the theater, and I was pleasantly surprised when the Monarch stuff popped up. “Oh, these are connected,” I thought, and then stopped thinking about it.

I didn’t even know they were making more of these. Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire is slated for next year. (Writers and actors, still on strike, laugh at such scheduling.)

But that’s the fun of the MonsterVerse.

What began at the height of everyone chasing the Marvel Cinematic Universe will outlive every other inorganic “cinematic universe” attempt. Godzilla and his titans will outlast the DC Extended Universe, the Dark Universe, all the ’verses.

So the teaser trailer drops for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, and my reply was, “Oh cool, they made another one.”

How’d they do it?

Godzilla was good but took itself a little too seriously, but after that they leaned harder into the gonzo destruction and pulpy human opera of it all. Kong: Skull Island had Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly squaring off against Samuel L. Jackson while Kong is knocking everything silly, in 3D! (Shit, they’re all in the MCU.)

I missed King of the Monsters in the theater, but it really sent me watching that apocalyptic vision in spring 2020, during COVID shutdowns and amid dread about the upcoming presidential election. (Did I compare the Biden/Trump election to that movie? Of course I did.)

For me, the MonsterVerse’s success comes partly because they barely bring up that these things are connected or that you have to keep track of all this lore. Who cares? Just find me giant monsters and let them fight.

And now you’re adding Kurt Russell to the mix AND you cast his son to play his character as a young man? Oh, come on!

Kurt and Wyatt Russell

I’m looking forward to more wacky adventures of secret societies and glimpses of titans, done in a way that feels low-key?

Amid studios’ money-hungry bombast of failed, thirsty franchise swipes, ginned-up culture war buffoonery, and modern fandom’s requirements of tracking corporate ownership and executives, I’m happy to just live my life and then another Godzilla/Kong entry just shows up.


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