For almost a decade, Godzilla, King Kong and co. have been rampaging across the big screen in the MonsterVerse. Now the sci-fi franchise is coming to Apple TV+ with a major live-action series
The lavish series blockbuster fall 2022 with The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon and Andor is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. Nevertheless, a series is starting today that can certainly compete with the enormous production effort of the aforementioned projects: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
The first live-action series from the MonsterVerse brings legendary movie monsters such as Godzilla to the home screen and brings together the story of four feature films. Here are the most important things you need to know before the sci-fi action adventure starts on the Apple TV+ streaming service
Read more: Our interview with Monarch director Matt Shakman
What is Monarch: Legacy of Monsters about?
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters focuses on the mysterious organization Monarch, which has already appeared in several MonsterVerse films. The story of the series takes place on two different time levels. The first storyline takes us back to the 1950s and tells the story of the first Godzilla encounter.
Watch the trailer for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters:
The second storyline is set in the present day, after humanity has felt the full extent of Godzilla’s destruction in the attack on San Francisco. Accordingly, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters picks up on many elements from Godzilla (2014), the very first MonsterVerse film
Who are the main characters in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters?
The ensemble is made up almost entirely of new characters. Only John Goodman’s Monarch founder Bill Randa returns in the opening sequence of the series, which immediately follows the events of Kong: Skull Island, which took place in the 1970s. The most interesting character, however, is a different one.
US soldier Lee Shaw appears in both time periods of the series. In the past, he is played by Wyatt Russell. In the present, Kurt Russell, Wyatt’s father, takes on the role. Shaw is one of the key figures in the founding of Monarch, but becomes increasingly alienated from the organization.
In addition, we meet a young version of Randa (Anders Holm) and the third Monarch founder Keita (Mari Yamamoto) in the 50s. In the present, we follow siblings Cate (Anna Sawai) and Kentaro (Ren Watabe), who are searching for their missing father, who is also connected to Monarch.
Which films and series belong to the MonsterVerse?
Four films have been released in the MonsterVerse so far. Together, they have grossed over 1.9 billion US dollars at the box office. The fifth part of the series will be released in cinemas next year.
Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)
Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts, 2017)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Michael Daugherty, 2019)
Godzilla vs. Kong (Adam Wingard, 2021)
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Adam Wingard, 2024)
In addition, Skull Island is an animated series that was released on Netflix in June 2023 and tells the story of a King Kong encounter in the 90s. However, you don’t need to have seen everything to understand the story of Monarch. The most important ones are the first Godzilla film and Kong: Skull Island
Who is behind the Godzilla series?
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters was created by Chris Black and Matt Fraction. Black has worked on series such as Severance, Invincible and Outcast in the past. Fraction is best known from the world of comics. He is the author behind numerous Marvel adventures featuring the X-Men and various Avengers members. The start of the series was directed by WandaVision director Matt Shakman.
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