WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in theaters now.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters spends a good deal of time setting up the future of Legendary Pictures' fledgling MonsterVerse. But while most of that is devoted to promoting the 2020 crossover, Godzilla vs. Kong, the post-credits scene reveals another tantalizing clue about where the franchise is headed. Specifically, how Ghidorah could return to menace the newly crowned King of the Monsters, and humanity.
Plans In Motion
There are two major antagonists in writer/director Dan Dougherty's sequel. There's, obviously, King Ghidorah, the three-headed monstrosity that commands most of the world's Titans, what the MonsterVerse calls kaiju. The other is Alan Jonah, played by Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), a former British Army colonel turned eco-terrorist. While Ghidorah quickly becomes the primary threat, both to humanity and to Godzilla, Jonah is more of a behind-the-scenes menace. Alongside Vera Farmiga's Dr. Emma Russell, it's Jonah who frees Ghidorah from his frozen prison. However, while Russell intends to release the Titans one at a time in hopes of changing the Earth without wiping out mankind, Jonah has different plans.
Jonah believes humans have squandered their position on Earth; after all, they're responsible for destroying much of the planet. Russell sees the damage wrought by humanity as repairable, and thinks man can survive and thrive in the new world. A career soldier, Jonah has seen the worst of humanity. If the release of the Titans wipes out mankind, then he's all for it.
In the film's climax, Jonah permits Russell to leave his base so she can try to save her daughter, coldly reminding her of their role in changing the world. He, therefore, avoids the final battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah.
Long Live The King
That confrontation is massive, resulting in the destruction of Boston and the death of Mothra. In the end, Godzilla overwhelms Ghidorah with nuclear energy, destroying the creatures wings and two of its heads. Godzilla then seizes Ghidorah's dominant middle head with its mouth and unleashes an atomic blast. For all intents and purposes, Ghidorah is vaporized. Earlier in the film, Ghidorah demonstrated that he could regenerate, and even grew a new head, mere moments after losing one to Godzilla. However, there's nothing remaining for the creature to re-spawn after this final fight.
Or, so we thought. The post-credits sequence cuts back to Isla De Mona in Mexico, the site of Rodan's rebirth and the second major battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah. It's also where Godzilla ripped the head off of Ghidorah before being blasted by the Oxygen Bomb. But since that battle, fishermen have recovered the severed head; it displays no obvious sign of life. Jonah is brought to a warehouse to inspect the specimen, and the film ends with him announcing to the fisherman that he will take their find.
Where We Go From Here
Earlier, scientists at Monarch established that humanity has figured out how to utilize Titan bodies and DNA for other purposes. Even Mothra in its larval form could yield new food, medical and energy sources -- even weapons. Of course, in the wrong hands, Titan DNA could be exploited for any number of nefarious purposes. And now, the eco-terrorist who would prefer a world dominated by Titans has the biggest sample of genetic material from one of the deadliest known Titans. There's the obvious question of what Jonah intends to use Ghidorah for. He could attempt to utilize the DNA to change humanity into something "better," or try to replicate the creature's ability to control other Titans.
The most exciting possibilities, however, may come from the Toho films, specifically the rebooted Heisei era. In 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the creature is reimagined as a genetic experiment from the future rather than an extraterrestrial. Ghidorah is defeated in that film, only to lie wounded beneath the sea for 200 years before ultimately being found, outfitted with robotic parts, and sent back to 1992 as Mecha-King Ghidorah. The creature's robotic middle head was salvaged in 1993's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, and used in the creation of Mechagodzilla.
It's unknown what Jonah has in mind for the recovered head of Ghidorah, but if history is any indication, it won't be good for Godzilla or for humanity.
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.