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Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the sequel to 2014's Godzilla but the character has been in so many different movies over the years, how do you explain how this particular Godzilla movie, and franchise, are different? Well, you put it in terms of another movie franchise that people will understand. Godzilla: King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty recently did just that when he explained that the upcoming sequel is a lot like Aliens, if you look at Gareth Edwards previous film as Alien. According to Dougherty...
Well, I hesitate to say it, but I would call it the Aliens to Gareth’s Alien. So it’s a bit more of an ensemble film. Whereas the first movie was really about Brody’s character kind of weaving his way through that adventure and Monarch kind of was the backdrop for that. Here Monarch is the focus, because I find that concept really fascinating. The idea that there is a secret agency that tracks giant monsters – that is a dream come true for me too. I think if the government said to me, ‘Tomorrow you have to fake your own death and abandon everyone you know to go hunt the paranormal,’ I would be gone in a heartbeat.
Comparing your movie to a science fiction classic before it has come out it a bold statement, and Michael Dougherty clearly understands that when making these comments to Collider, but he's not going so far as to say his sequel will meet Aliens in quality (though one assumes he hopes so), simply that the structure works in a similar way.
The original Alien dealt with a small group of people, and mostly just a single one of them, who were placed in an unusual and dangerous situation and had to figure out how to deal with it. Aliens sort of pulled the lens back to reveal a larger world. More people were aware of the creatures and interested in learning about them. The team sent back was more of a real team with multiple characters we were meant to care about, not just the one hero and a lot of fodder.
Of course, there was another significantly major change between Alien and Aliens which was the sequel was a lot more action heavy that the more horror-focused original. Both movies are generally viewed by fans as being excellent, but which one is seen as the better film by those fans frequently comes down to which genre the fan tends to prefer.
Whether we'll see a similar shift in Godzilla: King of the Monsters we'll have to wait and see. If there was a major complaint about the previous Godzilla it's that there wasn't quite enough "giant monsters destroying things" action, and the trailers have certainly given us the impression that won't be a problem this time around.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters in May.