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Godzilla: King of the Monsters Film's Monster Design Concepts, Figures Unveiled

posted on by Egan Loo
Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah's preliminary designs & Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts figures

Michael Dougherty, the director of the international sequel film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, presented concept designs for three monsters from the film at the film's Tokyo Comic Con panel on Saturday. Dougherty emphasized that these designs are not the finalized designs, and the ones that will appear in the film are more refined.


Dougherty explained that it was difficult to refine the design of what is essentially a giant insect, but he wanted to have a design that would look like it could battle the other monsters. Mothra's spots are designed to resemble Godzilla eyes.


Dougherty emphasized that unlike this concept design, the final design for Rodan in the film does not feature feathers. He added that the final design has a burgundy red color with a rocky, scaly texture due to the monster evolving to live in a volcano.

King Ghidorah

Dougherty noted that film employed three separate actors to portray King Ghidorah in motion capture. This ensured that the monster's three heads were distinctive, with one more clever head and two less smarter heads.

For the titular monster, Dougherty said he appreciated the design in Gareth Edwards' 2014 film, but he wanted to enhance it with the dorsal spikes from the first Godzilla monster in the original 1954 film. For each monster's distinctive sounds, he used the original monster sound effects as a base, and enhanced them with sounds of real animals.

Dougherty noted other ways his film will pay homage to TOHO's original films. He confirmed that the iconic Godzilla Theme and Mothra Song will appear in the film. As in the 2014 film, actor Ken Watanabe uses the Japanese pronunciation (Gojira) for Godzilla's name. Dougherty explained that in the story, the English pronunciation is the nickname, while the Japanese pronunciation is the scientific name.

The panel also teased footage for a new trailer that will debut worldwide next week. After the panel, Bandai opened a section of its Tokyo Comic Con booth dedicated to the film and the company's S.H.MonsterArts figure line. The booth presented display models for the film's Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, although only Godzilla has confirmed release plans and a pre-order window (January 9).

The film was originally slated for March 22, 2019, but is now scheduled to open on May 31, 2019. The film will also open in Japan on May 31.

Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Conjuring, Bates Motel), and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) will star in the film as a father, mother, and daughter.

Other cast members include:

  • O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton)
  • Aisha Hinds (Underground, Shots Fired, Under the Dome)
  • Anthony Ramos (White Girl, Hamilton musical)
  • Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley)
  • Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Get Out, Transparent)
  • Zhang Ziyi (Memoirs of a Geisha, Hero, The Grandmaster)
  • Elizabeth Ludlow (The Walking Dead)

Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima, Inception) and Sally Hawkins (Paddington, Blue Jasmine) are returning from the 2014 film.

Warner Bros. describes the film:

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance.

Michael Dougherty (Krampus) is directing the sequel, after co-writing the script with his Krampus writing partner Zach Shields. Dougherty previously led the writing room collaborators who brainstormed how to unite the current Godzilla and King Kong projects under Legendary's "MonsterVerse" franchise.

The film will receive a companion graphic novel in spring 2019 titled Godzilla: Aftershock.

The planned Godzilla vs. Kong crossover film from director Adam Wingard is slated for May 22, 2020.

Source: Tokyo Comic Con panel

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