After about 10 months of uncertainty regarding the future of the Monsterverse, Legendary Studios relieved the Kaiju fans around the world with their latest announcement. After Godzilla vs Kong’s massive success at the theaters and HBO Max, the franchise will be continued by a Godzilla series launching on Apple TV+.
Legendary Television will be behind the production of this series with Chris Black as the executive producer. Hawkeye (2012) comic writer Matt Fraction will serve as showrunner alongside Black. Hiro Matsuoka and Takemasa Arita from Toho Company will also work on this project.
The plot synopsis has been revealed and according to this landmark deal, Legendary has brought the four-movie-old universe to the budding streaming service. While this might all be exciting news for the franchise’s lovers, the creators will have to be cautious with the production of this show. Because as good as the continuation of the Monsterverse sounds to us, the chances of getting disappointed are as high as anything. Let’s take a look at why the next project will prove to be a turning point for Legendary’s beloved franchise.
The Problem With Monsterverse Human Storylines
Lack of compelling characters has been a glaring issue with this franchise. And for a universe primarily set upon titular creatures, this problem keeps getting bigger. Yet what we don’t realize here is that the absence of engaging characters is not an actor’s fault, but the want of continuation in their arc. Take, for instance, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Ford Brody and his family from Godzilla (2014) or Brie Larson’s Mason Weaver and Tom Hiddleston’s James Conrad from Kong: Skull Island. With no future linked to these solid characters, the writers are missing out on connecting them with the audience.
As long as the fans won’t be able to relate to a human character or foresee a potential future for it, the Monsterverse will continue facing negative feedback. However, the plot synopsis that has been revealed might hint at the writer’s finally realizing their mistake.
Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking new reality that monsters are real, the series explores one family's journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to the secret organization known as Monarch.
A brilliant move here would be to center the story around the Brody family from Gareth Edward’s masterpiece. As this series will take place post the San Francisco fight between the Mutos and Godzilla, it would make for a great moment to carry forward the trauma set upon the couple of Ford and Elle Brody and their son, Sam Brody. Adding a family legacy linked with Monarch will help in not only setting up an existing bunch of profound characters, but also in discovering the roots of the influential organisation surveying titans.
Critical Streaming Service
Last year it was revealed that Legendary Studios were working on a Skull Island anime series to be released on Netflix. While fans were confident of the streaming service giant providing a natural boost to the series, the worries are now piling up. Apple TV+ is unarguably a lesser exposed streaming platform compared to its rivals, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and even HBO Max. Launching the next major Monsterverse project on the platform might significantly hurt its chances, unless the show itself turns out to be unmissable.
While it would have been better to have all their projects under one roof, Legendary still went with Apple TV+. On the contrary, Marvel now has most of its movies and series on Disney+, where it is easily accessible for the fans. This move has added an extra pressure for the show to be a massive hit, and has added more challenges and expectations. Provided it really does get a grand reception, a largely benefited Apple TV+ might just be their home in the long run.
Titans Screen Time
Even if the creators make their way around the issues with compelling human characters, a larger challenge stands in their way. Franchises like the MCU, DCEU or the Star Wars are reliant on humans and a bit of CGI. But for the Monsterverse, it is the animation and effects that plays the bigger role.
With every new movie, the fans do mercilessly demand more and more kaijus and titular action. Meeting their demands is however, a bit difficult, which is also why these films take a significantly longer time for production. Godzilla vs Kong certainly fulfilled the expectations as the two titans fought multiple times, along with the Mechagodzilla displaying his glorious dominance. The previous movies also did a fairly good job in portraying the kaijus at their best.
But if the measure of screen time between the titans and humans in the upcoming series is unbalanced, it will definitely spoil its reception. A proper allocation of screen time is necessary in order to carry the story forward on all fronts. Also, the addition of cliffhanging post-credit scenes after every episode (just like Marvel did) will serve the audience well.
Future Direction of the Monsterverse
Talking about the future of the Monsterverse, this series could very well begin the second chapter on a high. Godzilla might be joined by some existing titans (such as Behemoth, Methuselah and more) and we might get to see a couple of new faces. Also, the organisation of Monarch should be a major highlight of the show, outlining its establishment and the men behind its functioning.
Another issue that the creators should cater to is the lack of explanations for the Monsterverse fans. From Godzilla’s unknown inactivity after San Francisco to Monarch’s out-of-bounds power and Apex’s sudden rise in GvK to Kong’s unexplained Skull Island enclosure – there’s a lot that fans keep questioning about.
Now that the first wave of Monsterverse films are out, the best option would be to solve the mysteries and cover the loopholes of the first chapter, before moving onto fresher topics. Just like the MCU revisits its previous phases in its current projects, Legendary should look at putting forward its best display of the pre-existing universe, rather than adding new elements to it.
In the end, the newly announced Godzilla series can work out in a ‘do-or-die’ situation, where every step must be taken with caution. By learning from their mistakes and taking in the audience’s reviews, the creators can put up a fabulous show. The four Monsterverse movies have already shown their outstanding potential, and if this show will be created on that standard, then it’s a win for the universe. The creators should, at all costs, try to avoid turning it into a mediocre project that fans would prefer to leave out from the franchise. Anyways, we stand confident with the creators and hope to witness the expansion of the beautiful Monsterverse.
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