Why One Kong: Skull Island Character Is Important To Godzilla's MonsterVerse

Kong: Skull Island Houston Brooks thinking as he watches Monarch footage

Warning: spoilers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and would like to remain unspoiled, please head to another story and come back once you’re caught up.

The wide-ranging MonsterVerse that’s supposed to tie together the worlds of both Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island was merged a little bit more when Godzilla: King of the Monster decided to include a character that you’d miss if you happened to blink at the wrong time. Making somewhat of a cameo that puts those two worlds into context was none other than Dr. Houston Brooks, a character played by Corey Hawkins in Kong: Skull Island and by Joe Morton in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

While this is a pretty cool cameo that shows just how much the MonsterVerse is starting to come into its own, it’s also a pretty important tie that marries the past of this cinematic universe with its future. After all, Godzilla vs. Kong is set for theatrical release next year, and Dr. Brooks is one of the threads that hopefully will continue to run through this series’ fabric as time goes on.

Just in case you’re in need of a refresher, here are the reasons why Dr. Houston Brooks is an important figure in the Godzilla/Kong MonsterVerse:

Kong: Skull Island Young Houston Brooks looking defiant on Skull Island

Dr. Houston Brooks’ Previous History With Monarch

As a young man, Dr. Brooks created a theory that was so revolutionary people naturally thought it was mad. With his “Hollow Earth” theory, Houston found himself short on allies, and even shorter on ways to prove his work. That was, until he teamed up with John Goodman’s William Randa, one of the earliest Monarch representatives we see in the MonsterVerse, who drafts him into the clandestine cryptozoological organization.

Working with Monarch, Dr. Brooks proved his theory with the Kong: Skull Island expedition mainly intending to do just that. Though after the adventure with Kong and the various creatures of Skull Island, Brooks and his surviving compatriots decide that the island’s existence is best covered up -- a longstanding strategy we would see used throughout the rest of Monarch’s operations.

One more important contribution that Houston made to Monarch was in the befriending and hiring of Bradley Whitford’s Dr. Rick Stanton, a crypto-sonographer who would eventually become a part of the team that would track and assist Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Thanks to Dr. Stanton being such a fan of Dr. Brooks’ work, we found even more proof of his Hollow Earth theory in that very film.

Kong: Skull Island Dr. Brooks and Conrad watch footage of Monarch expeditions

The Hollow Earth Theory

The importance of the Hollow Earth theory is, quite simply, that it explains how we haven’t seen some Titans in the course of time between Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Dr. Houston Brooks’ Hollow Earth theory basically dictates that throughout our planet, hollow conduits exist that provide easy access from one end of the world to another. Think of it as a shortcut that runs through the Earth itself, and along the way are pockets where civilizations and creatures could, and have, existed undetected.

That theory was not only key to Kong: Skull Island’s top secret Landsat mission, it was also how Kyle Chandler’s Mark Russell and a handful of Monarch operatives revived Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Without the Hollow Earth hiding place Godzilla snuck off to, he would have never been able to recharge in order to fight King Ghidorah. And it’s all thanks to Dr. Rick Stanton being obsessed with Dr. Houston Brooks’ work.

Justice League Joe Morton Dr. Silas Stone worried in one of his lab's corridors

Why Dr. Brooks Is Important To The MonsterVerse

While we don’t see much of him in his modern incarnation, Dr. Houston Brooks is important to the MonsterVerse on the whole because, quite simply, it’s his scientific breakthroughs that have helped the franchise out in its darkest hours. Not to mention, with his early career involving the earliest scientific expedition depicted in Monarch’s cinematic history, he’s been a crucial part of the organization for some time.

Dr. Brooks’ work ties together the past and the present of the MonsterVerse, with his continued presence in the franchise bringing the knowledge he’s gained from Kong: Skull Island to Godzilla: King of the Monsters to the forefront. While there’s a lot that Houston has brought to the table so far, there’s so much more that he could be bringing in the future, should certain details from Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ end credits teases pay off.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Dr. Stanton sipping his coffee while saying something snarky

Where The MonsterVerse Could Go With Dr. Brooks

As we learned at the end of the most recent Godzilla movie, expeditions have been, and probably will continue to explore the “Hollow Earth.” This opens up limitless potential to discover brand new Titans and civilizations, as well as possibly find a way to use this as a transport corridor that could benefit humanity.

The balance between those two factors will, as always, be a key determination in relations between humanity and Titan-kind, so clearly there will need to be someone who’s experienced with the Hollow Earth theory on hand to steer these expeditions right. Lo and behold, Dr. Houston Brooks should definitely be involved with those sorts of expeditions, and so should Dr. Rick Stanton.

In a future MonsterVerse movie, we could, and totally should, see Dr. Brooks and Dr. Stanton swapping notes and venturing through the Hollow Earth pathways, and perhaps even make a trip to Skull Island. While Godzilla vs. Kong has already wrapped production, and we don’t know if these two will make an appearance, we do know there's a possibility the film will be delayed.

Should this be true, there should be greater thought given to the prominent inclusion of Dr. Houston Brooks, a leading figure in the Monarch community who has proven his worth in the organization. If you really want to understand Kong, his surroundings, and the Hollow Earth in general, Dr. Brooks is the most important person in the MonsterVerse, as he possesses extensive knowledge pertaining to all of the above. And understanding is what separates those who truly want to coexist with Godzilla and his friends, and those who would wish to control/destroy them; two very important themes that have always been at the bedrock of the Godzilla universe.

We’ll see just how much importance is visited upon Dr. Houston Brooks’ life and work if and when Godzilla vs. Kong smashes into theaters on its intended March 13, 2020 release date. Meanwhile, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in theaters now, awaiting its audience with open arms and atomic breath.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.