The trailer for one of our most anticipated movies of 2021, Godzilla vs. Kong, recently dropped and everyone seems pretty excited for it, despite the so-so box office performance of the previous film in the franchise, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. One of the biggest conversations happening in the pop culture community is just why is Godzilla on the warpath against humanity? Unlike his previous two appearances, where he was the hero and saviour, the King is hellbent on causing mayhem, forcing Kong to defend humanity’s interests this time. So what’s the deal?
So, this is a bit of speculation but I think there’s enough credibility behind it to at least be on the right track, both in terms of what’s been established before in Toho’s Kaiju epics and what’s been teased in the trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong.
I think there’s a strong chance that the Godzilla we see in the trailer isn’t actually the Godzilla we’ve seen over the past two films, but Mechagodzilla instead. Now, you may be thinking, that’s a silly thing to say, the King doesn’t look like a robot at all in the Godzilla vs. Kong trailer. And this is true, only Mechagodzilla’s origins aren’t robotic. Like King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla is actually an extraterrestrial at first (before being turned into a man-made weapon) and masquerades as the real Godzilla by having flesh cover his body. While I don’t think he’s an alien here, I do think there’s something to be said about an engineered version of Mechagodzilla with synthetic skin on him in order to sway public opinion or as a botched experiment. What’s more, is that it seems we get very brief glimpses of the robotic Mechagodzilla in the early seconds of the trailer, perhaps from scenes later on in the movie when the skin comes off. The trailer focuses heavily on the fight with Kong near the battleships and aircraft carriers, which is only going to be a small part of the movie and likely in the first act. Likewise, we know movie trailers can be deceptive and can tweak footage to surprise the audience.
99% confirmation of Mechagodzilla [Credit: Warner Bros.]
There’s a shot further on in the trailer as well that showcases a character talking in front of a large screen. While the shot is brief, we can see what appears to be schematics for Mechagodzilla in the background of the screen, illustrating that this robotic version is likely under the control of a nefarious human faction who somehow made a clone out of Godzilla. Perhaps they wanted their own guardian, but the robot decided to do its own thing and chaos ensued, or the showdown with Kong is exactly what they wanted.
Looks like Mechagodzilla’s data on the screen [Credit: Warner Bros.]
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Earth Unionists collect the remains of King Ghidorah, much like what Charles Dance’s Alan Jonah did in King of the Monsters‘ post-credit scene, and uses the remains to make Mecha-King Ghidorah in order to stop Godzilla. While Mechagodzilla is almost all but confirmed at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the three-headed dragon return in some sort of capacity either, with a mechanized version perhaps using some sort of mind-control technique over the big guy. The trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong teased a telepathic connection between Kong and a child, so physic powers shouldn’t be dismissed. Perhaps Alan Jonah uses the ORCA tech from the previous film (cause he has to have a backup somewhere, right?) and implants it into his mechanized dragon, which in turn is controlling the real Godzilla and keeping him subdued while Mechagodzilla wrecks havoc, causing Kong to step in as the protector of humanity. I’m less certain about the involvement of Mecha-King Ghiordah overall, but clearly, Jonah is up to something with the remains of the real extraterrestrial titan, so I won’t be surprised if he also shows up. Likewise, Kyle Chandler’s Mark Russell is coming back (as is his daughter played by Millie Bobby Brown), who has first-hand knowledge of the ORCA tech and animal behaviour and communications. He’ll likely be leading the investigating into Godzilla’s behaviour and likely unearth the conspiracy.
Those are some of my guesses. While the trailers feature two lumbering foes going at it, I think a more robotic plan has been engineered under the surface. I don’t think this movie is going to simply be about the great ape fighting the radioactive lizard, especially with the mechagodzilla teases and the post-credit scene of the last movie. But at face value, if it really is just regular Godzilla vs Kong, then my money is on Godzilla, despite the trailer painting Kong as the likely winner. Kong did win the battle last time though, during the events of Kong Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962, so maybe history will repeat itself. One thing is for certain: the director and the marketing are promising that one will fall in this battle, so perhaps by having an imposter allows both titans to be heroes while also seeing a clear loser.
Godzilla vs Kong will hit the big screen (where possible and HBO Max in the United States on March 31st and is directed by Adam Wingard, who directed the criminally underrated film The Guest.