After Godzilla kicked off the MonsterVerse in 2014, the franchise turned the clock back to the 1970s for Kong: Skull Island, where a joint U.S. military/Monarch expedition visited the eponymous location and crossed paths with the giant gorilla, among other creatures. Next year, we'll return to the present for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will see the reptilian beast colliding with Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. Given the amount of time that passes between Skull Island and King of the Monsters, it was unclear how closely the latter would connect to the former, but we've now learned that someone from Skull Island will appear in King of the Monsters, and some people are already speculating that it's James Conrad, who was played by Tom Hiddleston in Skull Island. Starting off, director Michael Dougherty said the following:
But we do bring back one character from Kong: Skull Island.
Just like in real life, five years will have passed since the events of Godzilla when Godzilla: King of the Monsters begins. With Kong: Skull Island being set in 1973, that means King of the Monsters, assuming it's set in 2019, takes place 46 years after the prequel. That's a long time, but it's still plausible that some of the Skull Island survivors could still be alive. Now some of you may be wondering why James Conrad, the former British Special Air Service Captain who served as the Skull Island expedition's hunter-tracker, is the character that's being theorized to appear in King of the Monsters following Michael Dougherty's revelation to Rotten Tomatoes. After all, Tom Hiddleston isn't expected to appear in the sequel, let alone in old man makeup. However, one of the King of the Monsters actors whose character still hasn't been identified is Game of Thrones veteran Charles Dance, and a popular guess floating around online (such as on ScreenRant) is that Dance is playing the older Conrad.
Charles Dance appeared at the end of the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer that was released this past Saturday during San Diego Comic-Con, saying "Long live the king." That alone isn't enough to guess who he might be playing, but this James Conrad theory is at least plausible. Tom Hiddleston was 34 years old when Kong: Skull Island began filming, while Dance was 70 during King of the Monsters' shoot. That's a only 36-year gap, but if you play around a little with the ages of Hiddleston and Dance's characters, then the math can broadly check out. More importantly, let's not forget that in the Skull Island post-credits scene, Conrad and Brie Larson's Mason Weaver were detained by Monarch and learned that there were other monsters living on Earth. It's entirely possible that Conrad has remained affiliated with Monarch since then, and his expertise is called upon during King of the Monsters. Maybe he's even the organization's leader!
For now, this is just speculation, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about Godzilla: King of the Monsters, including official confirmation about who the returning Kong: Skull Island character end up being. The sequel rampages into theaters on May 31, 2019, and in the meantime, don't forget to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.