Kaiju No More -- Godzilla: King of Monsters Gives Toho Creatures a New Name

The monsters in Godzilla: King of the Monsters won’t be referred to as monsters -- or kaiju, for that matter. Instead, the gigantic beasts will be called “titans” in the upcoming film. News of this semantic shift is pulled straight from the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer screened today at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

The trailer establishes a grim premise for the film. The world is in tatters because humanity has acted as an ever-present “infection.” The result? A mass extinction event that is only spreading. The only antidote is the “titans,” the Earth’s “original and rightful rulers.” Only when the titans are unleashed will the world be saved, says Vera Farmiga’s Dr. Emma Russell in the trailer.

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The word “kaiju” has long been associated with the Godzilla franchise. Used to describe the enormous monsters that dwell on Monster Island (and elsewhere), the term means “strange beast” and was first coined in the Chinese text Classic of Mountains and Seas. The term “titan” is far more Western-focused. Derived from Greek mythology, the titans were the second generation of deities, born from the primordial gods and predecessors to those who would later dwell on Mount Olympus.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is directed by Michael Dougherty and 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. It is scheduled to open on May 31, 2019.

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