Why Godzilla Chose Its Three Main Villains For King Of The Monsters

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters

When Godzilla returns to the big screen in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he'll go up against three new (for this franchise) threats in Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. While there were any number of other giant monsters that Godzilla could have battled from his decades long film history, King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty told CinemaBlend during a recent Q&A in Japan that these three were chosen because they were the best known, even among those who don't necessarily know Godzilla. According to Dougherty...

They are the crown jewels of the Toho universe. They are the ones that I feel like most Godzilla fans, and non-Godzilla fans, are the most familiar with. So as much as I love King Caesar and Gigan and those guys, they're a little bit more obscure.

As pragmatic as it is, it certainly makes a lot of sense. The reason that remakes and sequels are so popular is because audiences tend to be attracted to stories and characters that they are already comfortable with. So if you want to get people interested in a Godzilla movie, give them the monsters they love the most.

I certainly fall into the category of somebody who isn't a major Godzilla fan. While I've seen a few the films I'm far from an expert, but I do know the names of Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah. This is exactly what the new production is counting on.

While the name recognition was part of the reason that these three were chosen to appear in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Michael Dougherty says there's another reason they were used. The four characters have a connected history in the past of the Godzilla franchise. The director goes on...

But [these are] also the first ones who kind of teamed up. There's a key point in Godzilla history when Mothra, Rodan and Godzilla put aside their differences and decided to team up against King Ghidorah. It's an amazing scene, by the way. I strongly suggest you go back and watch that movie. But there's, there's literally a scene where Mothra goes to Rodan and Godzilla and says, ‘Hey, this new asshole just showed up and he's going to mess everything up if we don't stop him.’ And the two twin fairies are translating for the monsters, so the humans can understand what the monsters are talking to her about. But they're actually having dialogue. Rodan and Godzilla are like, ‘Fuck the humans! They bully us. Why should we help them?’

The movie in question is 1964's Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. The sequence is an important one in the history of the the Godzilla franchise because, according to Dougherty, it's the first time that the giant monsters are seen as anything other than, well, monsters...

And suddenly, for the first time as a kid, that was where you suddenly saw things from the monsters’ point of view. Where the monsters saw us as the monster. The monsters saw us as the bullies that we're trying to prevent them from having happy lives. But anyway, they were the first giant monster team up, box and I feel like their truly the most iconic of the Toho universe. So it made sense that they should be the first ones to get adapted to the big screen for Hollywood.

Could we see any of the other, more obscure Godzilla antagonists appear in future films? At this point, it's hard to say. The only film in this particular franchise that we know is coming is Godzilla vs. Kong, which, based on the title, is unlikely to include any other giant monsters, though it certainly could. And depending on the outcome of that battle, we could still see more Godzilla films in the future. So if you're a serious fan of Megalon the giant beetle, don't lose hope.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.