Kong: Skull Island – where now for the MonsterVerse?

Spoilers lie ahead for Kong: Skull Island as Den of Geek editor Simon Brew looks at the road ahead for the King Kong and Godzilla-centred MonsterVerse…

Kong: Skull Island was initially intended to be a King Kong origin story, set around 100 years ago and exploring the genesis of the titular character. But then director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer) was introduced to the project, and it became a story set in the 1970s, with the US government quietly, and reluctantly, sending a small team of people off to explore strange goings-on in a remote part of the world.

It’s little secret that Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros are cooking up what’s being called the “MonsterVerse”, a cinematic universe of films grounded in the world of two iconic film characters. We last saw the first of these back in 2014. That’s when Gareth Edwards – who went on to make Star Wars: Rogue One – put together a big, crashing reboot of Godzilla. Off the back of the success of that, Kong: Skull Island got its greenlight, and already a Godzilla sequel – Godzilla: King of the Monsters – has been inked in for 2019, before we get Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020.
Your Insider's Guide to Kong: Skull Island
Hints around what’s coming next are littered throughout Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, such as the existence of Monarch, the secret government agency that’s investigating the mysteries of the island and beyond. But the biggest clue exists in the post-credits scene of Kong: Skull Island. The surprisingly long scene reintroduces James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), and it’s made clear that Monarch has uncovered an awful lot more than we’ve been shown.

Several take-aways here. First, the suggestion – unconfirmed – that Hiddleston and Larson’s characters will be back (why else would they be taken through Monarch’s top secret discoveries?). Second, that core species in this MonsterVerse are to include – courtesy of the cave drawings we see – the three-headed kaiju King Ghidorah, along with Mothra and Rodan, each iconic characters in their own right.
2017 looks set to be the year Brie Larson takes on the multiplexes.

While the scene confirms elements of what’s coming up, it leaves behind just as many questions. Why is Monarch, for instance, being kept off the books? Godzilla’s roar is the very last sound we hear in Kong: Skull Island, a sound that suggests that he’s about to do battle with one of the Kaiju Monarch has discovered in the upcoming sequel. The title of the next film – Godzilla: King of Monsters – suggests that Godzilla might just prevail.

So far we’ve only had official confirmation of a further two films in the MonsterVerse, and inevitably Warner Bros will be monitoring the box office returns of its new release before booking a full return trip to Skull Island. But as we’ve already seen in Kong: Skull Island, there are creatures – and not small ones in some cases – that are part of that ecosystem that are waiting to meet the next batch of human explorers.

Monarch is going to need some good life cover policies for its employees…

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