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Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talkback • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan - Archive Only

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talkback

This is the place to discuss Legendary Pictures' Godzilla film and upcoming sequels, as well as Kong: Skull Island and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong!! Let everyone know what you think and discuss your thoughts and ideas about the upcoming films!!!!

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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby Kailem » Mon Jan 15, 2024 2:17 pm

*Spoilers ahead, just in case anyone is checking this who hasn't finished it yet*


Overall I liked it. There ended up being exactly as much Godzilla/monster action as I expected, given the budget and scale of the show, so on that level I wasn't disappointed. Like you say Dai, when the audience for this kind of show demands movie quality special effects, we were never going to get Ultraman levels of monster action every episode. Unless I'm remembering wrong we got at least one monster scene in each episode (even if some of them were short and fairly incidental), which was more than I feared we might get.

I agree about some of the story elements never quite feeling like they materialised though. The last few episodes had been building to some sort of potentially cataclysmic monster emergence event, but then the final scene of the show jumps forward in time (as expected) by two years, so it can't have been that big of a deal after all. Sure we know that certain things are going to be constrained by the continuity of the movies, but I was still expecting to see them actually tackle and defuse this big crazy world-ending threat in some way, and they just...didn't. Likewise the story with the dad didn't seem to have as good a resolution as I was hoping for. So the reason he had two secret families is just......he's a dick, I guess? To be fair short of introducing a surprise twist with him actually having a twin brother I don't know how else they could have explained that, but still it just kinda felt a little anti-climactic.

I much preferred the past timeline characters to the "present day" ones. The scene where Lee told Keiko what year it really was was unexpectedly heartbreaking. Ditto that final scene where she finally reunited with her son. I wasn't expecting that last episode to be as emotional as it was, so that was great. I expected we'd get a "heroic sacrifice" from Kurt Russell given that he's a big name star and would probably be really expensive to get back for season 2, but I felt like they could have gone about it a little better. At least it potentially leaves the door open for his return though, so fingers crossed that's not *really* the last we see of him, because more Kurt Russell in anything is always great.

I also liked all the worldbuilding aspects of the show. I'm a sucker for good worldbuilding, and having this show explore a bit more of Monarch's history and global presence was one of the things I was really looking forward to, and I'm happy with what we got. And hey, Kong! I figured we might end up with a Kong cameo to bring things full circle, given that it started on Skull Island. I wonder if a second season might revolve more around him than Godzilla? It could make for an interesting change, depending on how much they want to play up the importance of that apparently Apex-run facility at the end there.

So yeah, while I obviously would have been very happy with more monster action, it delivered the amount I expected given the show's requirement to have that level of SFX, and it had enough characters that I liked that I definitely enjoyed it overall. I guess while a second season hasn't been *officially* confirmed yet, it's apparently done really well for Apple and word around the campfire is that we will be getting one. And on that note, Dark Horizons posted some excerpts from one of the producers about what we might be in store for; including dropping some familiar names for potential appearances! :D

==========================================================================================================================================

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” wrapped its run this week and showrunner Chris Black has spoken about the finale and the possibility of the series scoring a renewal.

First up, in regards to a second season Black tells TV Line: “We do not have a Season 2 order. This show has done very well, so we’re optimistic and excited. We feel we have more story to tell.”

Signs are good though as the series debuted as the top first-season drama for Apple TV+ in November, beating out the likes of “Silo,” “Slow Horses” and “The Morning Show” – all of which scored renewals.

Asked if the second season would have more of a singular timeline, as opposed to spreading things out between the 1950s and 2015, Black says:

“I don’t know. Matt Faction and I are kind of having those conversations now, like, ‘What would be a story we could tell if we’re given the opportunity to tell it?’

I think we really like the idea of running parallel timelines. I think it worked as a conceit in the first [season], and Monarch, as we said, has a long history, there are other eras to explore.

If Monarch runs from the late-1940s to the present day, what was it like in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s…? As a mechanism to tell the history of Monarch and the Randa family within it, I personally enjoyed it. I would love, if we are given the opportunity, to exploit it more. I thought it was fun.”

He also goes into a deeper bench of monsters they would be able to use should they go forward – and not just the ones we’ve seen in Legendary’s Monster-verse thus far:

“Moving into a potential second season, there are a lot of other great [monsters]. There’s Kong, there’s Rodan, Mothra…. And Toho has a deep bench, too, of lesser-known characters – Ebirah, Biollante, Hedorah…. It could be any of these characters.”

Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, Joe Tippett, Elisa Lasowski and Christopher Heyerdahl co-star in the series which is now available on the Apple TV+ service.

https://www.darkhorizons.com/monarch-producers-on-season-2-chances/
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Jan 19, 2024 2:13 am

*full spoilers ahead*


- - - - - - - - - - - -


I don't think the final episode was anticlimactic at all. Everything about Keiko's survival down in Axis Mundi was the surprise climax of the story that this season was telling, from her reunion with Shaw to his eventual sacrifice and her reunion with her son. I think the notion of impending global peril throughout the season was all a matter of perspective regarding the various underground portals to Axis Mundi, which we see from the perspectives of all of these different characters. Shaw believes that the mere existence of the portals amounts to an imminent threat of monsters raiding all over the surface world at any moment, and he believes that the only way to prevent that is to seal the portals one by one, thereby aiding Godzilla's effort to keep the rest of the world's monsters down below. Monarch believes that Shaw might actually be increasing the chance of such a global disaster emerging from the portals, based on how the gamma levels spiked at all of the other portals after he sealed the one in Alaska, and maybe they're right about that. Shaw tells Cate that Monarch can cherry-pick whatever data they want in order to justify doing nothing, and maybe he's right about that, because other than try to stop him personally, Monarch never does develop a plan of action regarding the portals, not even when they know there are people trapped down there. Tim ends up quitting Monarch for that reason.

It's messy and it's complex, just like the family dynamics between the characters, which is what the show is really about. Monarch is a legacy of monsters in more than just the literal sense. Shaw, Keiko and Bill founded Monarch together but they also inadvertently made Hiroshi into the monster he grew up to be, first by making that boy lose his mother, then his uncle, and finally his father. That boy grew up to be the man who initiated Monarch's decadeslong imprisonment of Shaw, and Monarch grew into an organization that hid monstrous discoveries from the public for years with coverups like Janjira but ultimately failed to prevent G-Day from happening. Hiroshi seemingly compensated for the loss of his childhood family by forming two different families as an adult, without regard for how he was betraying both of them by doing so. Only when Cate learns the truth about her father does she realize that she inherited his penchant for being faithless in relationships, which dovetails with her learning about Monarch's existence and how deeply it has always affected her life. All of that comes to a head when Keiko is revealed to still be alive down in Axis Mundi. When Keiko speaks with Shaw and finally sees him again, when she realizes that Cate is her granddaughter, when Shaw tells her about how times have changed and when Cate refuses to let Keiko stay behind are all profoundly moving scenes, as are when Shaw stays behind to help them escape and when Keiko reunites with Hiroshi. Strong acting all around.

Even though the show doesn't have as much monster action as something like Ultraman, it more than makes up for it in atmosphere and worldbuilding, and of course in the top-notch quality of the monster action scenes and visual effects that the show does have. Godzilla doesn't appear in every episode but his presence is felt constantly. This is a series that takes place in the thick of this world where people are adjusting to Godzilla's existence. This series has not one but two big sequences of mass evacuations from giant monsters that turn out to be false alarms with no monsters present, and it isn't even unsatisfying because each of those scenes provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the MonsterVerse after the events of G'14.

One thing that keeps the series fresh from start to finish is how each episode features distinctly unique content. Episode 4 takes place in Alaska and also includes backstory for Kentaro and May. Episode 5 shows what became of the damaged areas of San Francisco and also depicts Cate's life leading up to G-Day. Godzilla's emergence from the Algerian desert sand in episode 6 is both a wonderful homage to Mothra vs. Godzilla and one of the MonsterVerse's most thrilling action sequences. The characters struggle to survive as Godzilla creates a landslide and takes out a helicopter just by standing up, and the whole sequence is beautifully shot. The depiction of the Castle Bravo nuclear test in episode 3 fixes the most unsavory aspect of G'14, that being the implication that nuclear tests were some sort of valiant or necessary effort for the greater good of stopping a destructive monster. This show makes it clear that Godzilla was not an imminent threat to anyone at that time and the US government was co-opting the situation for the purpose of testing a nuclear weapon.

Although I was hoping to see the 1943 attack on the USS Lawton that Bill Randa survived, I'm just glad that this show touched base on that at all in episode 2. It was cool to see that Bill Randa found the ship again and it was awesome to see that it was destroyed not by Godzilla but by a brand new bat dragon monster. That made Godzilla's brief and brutal battle with the bat dragon in the final episode play like Godzilla was getting revenge for being blamed for sinking the Lawton by fans ever since Kong: Skull Island.

I really hope this show gets released on blu-ray, and I also really hope that we get a second season. To mirror the structure of the first season, I think it would be cool if they incorporated the Monarch scientist Houston Brooks, who was played by Corey Hawkins in Kong: Skull Island and then played by Joe Morton in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. If both actors would agree to reprise the role, the second season could explore Monarch's history in the 1970s after the Skull Island expedition along with a parallel story beginning in 2017 set at least partially on Skull Island, with Brooks as the character played by two different actors in each era. That could shed more light on how Kong came to be contained by Monarch on the island prior to Godzilla vs. Kong.
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby Kailem » Thu Apr 11, 2024 3:52 pm

As expected, season 2 has officially been greenlit; along with spinoffs!

https://x.com/AppleTV/status/1778498331829821502

No word yet on what they'll be focusing on or how many they'll be, but either way I'm excited to see that the Monsterverse will officially be continuing! :D
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby Dai » Thu Apr 11, 2024 4:15 pm

[quote]No word yet on what they'll be focusing on [/quote]

- Doug Life
- Suko Does Sudoku
- Kaiju Dentist (Dragon Dentist is already a thing, so I'm not sure if this qualifies as a joke)
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby lhb412 » Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:02 pm

Ha! I suppose I should actually watch season 1, huh!
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Apr 12, 2024 11:19 pm

Great news! This show is the best sequel to G'14.

I'm still hoping that the second season will have parallel stories set in the post-K:SI 1970s and in the years between season one and G:KotM, with Corey Hawkins reprising his role as Monarch scientist Houston Brooks in the past and Joe Morton reprising the older version of the character in the modern setting. It could explore what Monarch was doing in the later '70s, maybe a return expedition to Skull Island, and it could show Monarch discovering the hibernating Titans around the world and building Kong's containment facility on Skull Island.
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Re: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters first images revealed + Talk

Postby XvGojira » Mon Apr 15, 2024 6:10 pm

The announce of unnamed spin-offs made me remember that Godzilla BC idea that I think Dougherty wanted to do. Doing that like Gendy's "Primal" show would fit perfectly. A purely visual series set so far back in the timeline they could make countless new Titans without ever really undoing the canon of the series. It could explain the whole "the monster who ate a star" name for Godzilla. Heck, you could even have Iwi in it and still not need any voice cast.
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