WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in theaters now.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is just the latest film in Warner Bros.' burgeoning shared universe of giant monster flicks. This so-called MonsterVerse debuted in 2014's Godzilla, and was further expanded upon in 2017's Kong: Skull Island. It's all been slowly building to a confrontation between the two titular monsters, which will finally come with the release of 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong.
But while King of the Monsters is the last stepping stone to the epic brawl, the film mostly concerns itself with standing on its own. The sequel isn't merely a building block to the next film, but rather a self-contained story that stays true to its predecessor and the storied franchise it's a part of. However, that doesn't mean that the Michael Dougherty-directed film doesn't acknowledge King Kong and the events of Skull Island.
In fact, King of the Monsters contains plenty of references and callbacks to Skull Island. Here is a rundown of all the Godzilla sequel's mentions of King Kong.
Monarch, the secret organization that monitors Titan activity across the globe, once again plays a large role in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In fact, in the film, we see the secret organization's many outposts, bases and employees. While the film's characters are largely concerned with tracking Ghidorah and Godzilla, they still find the time to mention King Kong and his home on multiple occasions.
When listing the Titans the organization knows about, Monarch's scientists mention Skull Island and Kong by name, on multiple occasions. On a digital map of the world identifying the location of known Titans, we even see Skull Island marked in the South Pacific. What's more, some archived footage even offers a few glimpses of the King himself, as he was seen in Skull Island.
THE HOLLOW EARTH THEORY
The Hollow Earth theory is first mentioned in Kong: Skull Island. It was developed by Houston Brooks (played by Corey Hawkins in the 2017 film), and it was the main reason for the army's mission to the giant ape's home island. The theory stipulated that there were giant tunnels underneath the Earth's crust, a worldwide network that allowed Titans to hide, move around and go unnoticed for thousands of years.
The theory comes back to the forefront in King of the Monsters when a Monarch submarine discovers Godzilla's secret home, miles beneath the ocean. Not only does the film confirm the theory, it also name drops it a few times. In fact, the character who came up with it, Houston Brooks, briefly appears in King of the Monsters, now much older than he was in the 1973-set Skull Island. This time around, he is played by veteran actor Joe Morton.
THE END CREDITS
Mentions of King Kong continue to pile up in Godzilla: King of the Monsters' end credits. For the first few minutes of the credits, plenty of newspaper articles cascade on the screen, revealing all sorts of information about the state of the world now that the Titans have returned. On top of teasing some potential details for other sequels, several of these articles point directly to Kong.
Not only is he mentioned by name here, we are also informed that there is some recent seismic activity and flooding on Skull Island. This is likely a setup to the events of the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, but King of the Monsters doesn't stop there. These news clippings end by revealing an image of an ancient cave drawing showing a giant ape going up against Godzilla in a fight. This is meant as a callback to Skull Island's own after-credits scene, which showed a cave drawing depicting a confrontation between Godzilla and Ghidorah.
Given Kong's age, though, it's likely that the ape depicted in the cave drawing isn't the King himself, but rather one of his ancestors. However, this goes to show that there is history between the two Titans, and it teases the epic confrontation that is to come.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi.