With Godzilla: King of the Monsters arriving in theaters today, now seems like a good time to speculate on which, if any, of the classic Japanese monsters might eventually join the current MonsterVerse lineup. Since we know from the trailer that seventeen “titans” exist in total, and only six are accounted for so far (Rodan, Mothra, Godzilla, King Kong, King Ghidorah, and the MUTO from Godzilla 2014), it isn’t hard to imagine that one of the old Godzilla foes could make a surprise return as early as next year.
Listed below are ten kaiju that I’d like to see in a modern showdown with Godzilla.
Featured prominently throughout the Showa series, Anguirus maintains an iconic status among tokusatsu fans. Though usually a strong ally of Godzilla, even playing a pivotal role in the defeat of King Ghidorah on Mount Fuji (Destroy All Monsters), Anguirus first appeared as a primitive, destructive beast in Godzilla Raids Again. If reimagined as a prehistoric monster set loose in modern civilization (similar to his character debut in 1955), the Angilosaurus would make a worthy and realistic addition to the MonsterVerse.
In keeping with the MonsterVerse trend of bringing prehistoric megafauna into the 21st century, a giant winged insect (not counting the peaceful and elegant Mothra) could pose a fierce challenge to the new Godzilla. One kaiju that comes to mind is Megaguirus, a mutated dragonfly that evolved from 300-million-year-old larvae known as Meganulon (Rodan). Since Kong: Skull Island introduced giant arachnids (Mother Longlegs) and giant insects (Spore Mantises) to the MonsterVerse, a reimagined Megaguirus could feasibly show up in a future installment.
At the start of the Millennium series, Orga—an extraterrestrial kaiju submerged in the ocean for millions of years—grapples with Godzilla for control of the modern world. By revisiting the backstory from Godzilla 2000, the MonsterVerse creators could easily include Orga among the ancient titans referenced in the aforementioned trailer. The return of Orga would also open the door for other alien kaiju to enter the MonsterVerse, meaning that fan favorites such as Gigan, Hedorah, and Mechagodzilla might appear at some point in the series (more on this later).
Also known as the Smog Monster, Hedorah should be noted for its bizarre physiology and mutated appearance—similar to Orga listed above. Created in response to pollution concerns of the early 1970s, the Hedorah monstrosity could, if given a new origin story, result from a recent manmade disaster (the Fukushima Nuclear Accident seems like an obvious choice). That way, a modernized Hedorah might retain the toxic, nightmarish properties of the original monster while tapping into subconscious fears of an environmental horror in the 21st century.
6) Mecha-King Ghidorah
Constructed from the remains of King Ghidorah, the cybernetic Mecha-King Ghidorah sports a futuristic design while preserving the main look of his organic predecessor. It’s worth mentioning that unlike Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, a new film could utilize Mecha-King Ghidorah without relying on Dorats, Futurians, or a clumsy time travel plot to justify his existence. For example, if King Ghidorah sustains enough damage in his upcoming fight with Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan, the human characters might choose to “resurrect” the three-headed dragon and use him as a weapon against other kaiju.
Featuring a variety of partial/mutated Godzilla clones, the Heisei series deserves recognition for its unique and horrifying monsters. One such abomination, SpaceGodzilla, originates from a black hole and contains DNA of both the original Godzilla and a crystalline lifeform. With a few minor updates to his 1994 design, SpaceGodzilla—a malevolent, towering creature with fiery eyes and enhanced musculature—could eventually join the MonsterVerse and serve as the perfect foil for his terrestrial counterpart.
Another possible addition to the MonsterVerse is Biollante, whose piercing tendrils, radioactive sap, and regenerative powers make her a worthy opponent to Godzilla. In the Heisei series, Biollante emerges from a lab experiment in which the cells of Godzilla, a rose, and a human female are combined to form a single organism. A modern setting, in contrast, could have Biollante (or a similar monstrosity) result from the genetic tampering of a company like Monsanto, which might also exploit the real-life fears of cloning technology gone awry.
Spawned by the oxygen destroyer in 1954, Destoroyah is an evil, sadistic creature who enjoys inflicting pain and torture on his enemies (Godzilla vs. Destoroyah). While a malevolent kaiju might seem farfetched in a “realistic” monster movie, a reimagined version of Destoroyah could show up in the new series if Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Serizawa—similar to the original character from Gojira—creates an oxygen destroyer and uses it against Godzilla or another ocean-dwelling beast. In a follow-up film, a mutated crustacean might emerge and terrorize Japan—reminiscent of Destoroyah from the Heisei series.
Sporting steel claw hands, giant tail spikes, and a crimson cybernetic visor, Gigan earns his reputation as a fan favorite. Though initially depicted as a weapon controlled by alien cockroaches (Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. Megalon), Gigan benefits from a more intriguing origin (along with a redesigned suit) in Godzilla: Final Wars. In that film, a mummified Gigan resurfaces on Earth many thousands of years after his defeat against Mothra—the perfect setup for a MonsterVerse film, which would depict Gigan as one of the seventeen titans mentioned earlier.
Lastly, how many G-fans would love for Mechagodzilla to make an appearance in the MonsterVerse? The best thing about Mechagodzilla, other than his slick design and formidable arsenal of robotic weapons, is that he isn’t limited to a single origin story. Rebooted multiple times across all three Toho series (Showa, Heisei, and Millennium), Mechagodzilla could easily join the MonsterVerse if given a plausible reason for existing alongside Mothra, Rodan, Godzilla, and other “titans” from a bygone era.
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