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Godzilla has been a pop culture icon for decades, but when it comes to fully American productions centered around the monster, there have only been two undertakings. The first, in 1998, did not fare well either critically or commercially, thus eliminating any plans to spawn a series. Fortunately, the 2014 reboot was better received, ranking at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and collecting nearly $530 million worldwide. With a performance like that, it's understandable that shortly after the movie's release, a sequel was ordered: Godzilla 2, officially titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Godzilla has led multiple movies in Japan, but this marks the first time in the United States that the giant reptile's adventures will continue past one movie.

We're still a ways from seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters (which is shooting in Atlanta, Georgia) on the big screen, but there's a fair amount of information to chew on concerning the sequel in the meantime. That's why we've created this handy guide so you can browse through what's been announced about the blockbuster, from when it's coming out to who's working on it both on and off camera to how it will connect to a grander shared universe filled with other giant and powerful monsters.

Godzilla towering over building

What Is The Godzilla 2 Release Date?

Thankfully for Godzilla fans, the scheduling changes for Godzilla: King of the Monsters haven't been too drastic. It was originally supposed to come out on June 8, 2018, but after Legendary Entertainment moved production of Kong: Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., the giant ape was deemed to be the priority. Godzilla: King of the Monsters was subsequently moved to March 22, 2019. Now it's set for release on May 31, 2019, putting it up against Rocketman and Ma that opening weekend. As far as overall May competition goes, there's a lot packed in, including Detective Pikachu, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum and Aladdin. But when you're opening in the first summer movie month, thats expected.

Godzilla roaring

What Is The Godzilla 2 Rating?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters doesn't have an official rating from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) yet. However, it will presumably receive the same as Godzilla did: PG-13. The 2014 blockbuster was rated that way for "intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence." It's practically guaranteed that Godzilla: King of the Monsters will feature the same elements, but this is also a movie that can also be enjoyed by younger fans...but not too young. PG-13 is right in the sweet spot. Plus, that's what fellow MonsterVerse (more on that later) entry Kong: Skull Island has been rated, too.

Krampus movie girl in front of monster

Who Is The Godzilla 2 Director?

Gareth Edwards' directing credits include End Day and Monster, but Godzilla was the blockbuster that earned him widespread recognition. The original plan was for him to return for Godzilla: King of the Monsters after helming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. However, in May 2016, it was announced that Edwards would no longer direct the sequel, as he wanted to step back from overseeing big productions and focus on smaller-scale projects. It wasn't until January 2017 that his replacement was hired: Michael Dougherty, the man who directed Trick 'r Treat and Krampus. But that isn't the only way he's involved in the sequel...

X2: X-Men United Wolverine Storm Rogue Nightcrawler Mystique

Who Are The Godzilla 2 Writers?

Months before Michael Dougherty had been tapped to direct Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he had already been brought aboard to co-write the flick with Zach Shields. They succeed Godzilla screenwriter, Max Borenstein, who was originally supposed to return, but later dropped out. Dougherty's notable writing credits include X2: X-Men United and Superman Returns, while Zach Shields has previously worked with Dougherty on Krampus. Given the horror background these two have, there's a distinct chance that Godzilla: King of the Monsters will have scarier elements, though not to the point that the movie will rest comfortably in the horror genre. To be fair, watching a giant fire-breathing monster destroy cities is scary enough, but perhaps there will be added suspense to make Godzilla: King of the Monsters more captivating. A good sequel retains what made the first movie work so well, but also incorporates new material to keep things fresh.

Godzilla spiked back with helicopter

What Is Godzilla 2 About?

At this time, no specific Godzilla: King of the Monsters plot details have come out, so let's recap what happened at the end of the last movie to determine where the sequel might go. While it seemed like Godzilla was being set up as the main threat to humanity, it was actually the MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) that were the "real" villains. Granted, Godzilla is still a giant beast that breathes flame, creates tsunamis in his wake and has little regard for human life, but better he face off against the MUTOs than us. At first, it looked like the only way to defeat the winged monsters was to set off a nuclear warhead in their vicinity, but Godzilla arrived just in the knick of time to kill both of the MUTOs in San Francisco, and the nuke detonated out at sea away from the population. A lot of lives were lost during the MUTOs reign of terror, but they were finally defeated. As for Godzilla, he awakened after sufficiently recovering from the battle and returned to the sea.

Godzilla saved the day, but that doesn't mean he should necessarily be looked at as a permanent ally. The 2014 movie closed with a news headline referring to him as "King of the Monsters - savior of our city?" However, given that Godzilla barely interacted with humanity since the U.S. and Russian military forces tried to kill him with a nuclear bomb, it doesn't look like he's the monster who tries to make our lives awful. If we leave him alone, he'll leave us alone. So when Godzilla reawakens/resurfaces in the sequel, unless the military or Monarch has done something to piss him off, it's unlikely he'll be filling the antagonist role. Some other creature(s) will come to terrorize the world, and Godzilla will be around to rip them to shreds or incinerate them. All this being said, don't forget that he's still a dangerous monster as tall as a skyscraper. Just because he's more concerned with killing another monster doesn't mean that his actions won't result in many casualties.

Millie Bobby Brown Eleven Stranger Things

Who Are The New Godzilla 2 Characters?

The first actor who was cast for Godzilla: King of the Monsters was Millie Bobby Brown. She's best known for her breakout role as Eleven, nicknamed "El," on the Netflix series Stranger Things. In the show, she plays a telekinetic girl who was kept in a government laboratory and experimented on, and the scientists later learned she could make contact with the alternate dimension unofficially known as the "Upside Down." So yeah, Brown is well-versed in the realms of sci-fi and horror, but no details about her character in Godzilla: King of the Monsters have been revealed yet. Before Stranger Things, Brown's credits included recurring/guest roles on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Intruders, NCIS, Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy.

The only other actor who's been announced for the sequel besides Brown is Kyle Chandler, who will play the girl's father. Movie-wise, Chandler's credits include the 2005 King Kong remake, Super 8, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, The Wolf of Wall Street and Manchester by the Sea, while on TV, he's best known for playing Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights and John Rayburn on Bloodline. Since the sequel is coming out in the first quarter of 2018, rest assured, the other main cast members will be announced throughout the rest of 2017.

Godzilla Ken Watanabe Doctor Ishiro Serizawa

Who Are The Returning Godzilla Characters?

So far none of the actors who appeared in 2014's Godzilla have been confirmed to return for the sequel. Aaron Taylor-Johnson said back in 2015 that he was unsure if he'd be back, and that it would depend on whether director Gareth Edwards stuck around or not. Accounting for the deaths in the first movie and ignoring random side characters, there are three primary characters who are eligible to return: Taylor-Johnson's Ford Brody, Elizabeth Olsen's Elle Brody and Ken Watanabe's Dr. Ishiro Serizawa.

When Godzilla ended, Ford Brody had successfully blown up the MUTO nest, moved the boat containing the nuclear warhead out to sea and was rescued before being caught in the explosion. The next day he reunited with his wife, Elle, and his son, Sam, at an emergency shelter. While it was great to see the family reunited, it was an open-ended conclusion to their personal stories. Does Ford stay in the military? Does he leave so he can lead a quieter life and spend more time with his family? Does he go somewhere in the middle and take a job in the military that requires more paperwork and less bomb disposal? It's hard to say right now, but it is plausible that Ford would be brought back to provide insight and assistance given his experience years back with Godzilla and the MUTOs. On the other hand, it's not like either Ford or Elle are mandatory to the story. The main reason people are seeing this movie is for the monster clashing. Yes, the human element is important, but this can be covered through other individuals. Ford and Elle's story ended reasonably enough in the first movie, and while it would be interesting to see what happened to them, it's not absolutely necessary.

Then there's Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, who was the main representative from Monarch, the organization that studies Earth's monsters. He's a likelier candidate to return given how Monarch is the main connective thread of the MonsterVerse (more on that in the next section). Not only does Ishiro have experience studying Godzilla, but he can hopefully provide insight on the new monsters that emerge. Hopefully, Ishiro will become what Nick Fury and Phil Coulson are/were to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's not the focus, but he's integral to shedding light on these mysterious beings.

Kong: Skull Island King Kong MonsterVerse

How Does The MonsterVerse Fit Into Godzilla 2?

When 2014's Godzilla came out, it was a self-contained story that left room for a sequel later down the line. That's standard for many blockbusters, especially ones based on existing intellectual property. But with the rising popularity of cinematic universes, thanks to Marvel, Warner Bros. decided they wanted in on the action. Legendary Entertainment had already acquired the rights to creatures like Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah after Godzilla was released, but in September 2015, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island would be developed at Warner Bros. instead of Universal, and, the following month, it was confirmed that the giant ape lives in the same world as the fire-breathing reptile, which has been dubbed the MonsterVerse. Kong: Skull Island takes place in the early 1970s, four decades before the present day Godzilla events. However, there are several references to Monarch, which isn't surprising since it was only two decades earlier that those nuclear weapons were dropped on Godzilla.

So what does all this mean for Godzilla: King of the Monsters? Well, whatever happens in the sequel, you can count on Godzilla not dying. The following year, he's going up against Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong. No plot details for that crossover have been revealed yet, but this will be the first time these two have clashed in an American setting. It stands to reason that Godzilla: King of the Monsters' ending will pave the way for the epic battle. Who knows, maybe Kong himself might make a cameo appearance. There's also word that Kong: Skull Island has an after-credits scene, so whenever you see the movie, make sure to stick around to the very end. There may be something that leads into Godzilla: King of the Monsters, cluing in folks that don't follow movie news on a regular basis that these two monster series are connected.

Godzilla 2: What We Know So Far

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