John Goodman gives Samuel L. Jackson the lowdown on giant monsters in the latest clips from the upcoming “Kong: Skull Island.” In doing so, Goodman also expands on Legendary Pictures' planned MonsterVerse, which will combine the recently rebooted “Godzilla” movie series with “Kong: Skull Island,” culminating in the planned 2020 film “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
In the clip, Goodman admits to Jackson (at gunpoint) that he's a member of the Monarch group, which “specializes in the hunt for massive unidentified terrestrial organisms.” Monarch is also the name of the organization in Gareth Edward’s 2014 “Godzilla” reboot that first discovered a massive, hatched subterranean spore that would eventually grow into a giant winged monster. Monarch attempted to contain the creature, but to no avail.
The winged creature in “Godzilla” was originally referred to as MUTO, short for “massive unidentified terrestrial organism,” which is the same phrase Goodman uses in the clip. Apparently, between the events of “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island,” the term was updated for more generic use, and is no longer restricted to the ancient, destructive duo eliminated by Godzilla.
Monarch was originally established in the 1950s after several attempts to destroy Godzilla, disguised as a series of increasingly volatile nuclear tests, failed. Project Monarch sought to study Godzilla, and creatures like him, to best determine a way to fight back against the giant lizard and his ilk. As of the “Kong: Skull Island” clip, it seems as though the organization’s goal has changed little. Goodman claims his character was a crackpot theorist prior to the emergence of Kong, and now that the huge gorilla’s existence has been proven he wants to get back to the mainland as fast as possible to ready the battlements.
So far, Monarch seems to be the tie that binds the MonsterVerse together. Legendary Pictures announced the shared universe in a press release back in October of 2015, in which the company promised Godzilla and King Kong would share their space with monsters “both classic and new.” There’s no telling what other monsters might make take to the screen from “Godzilla” creator Toho’s back catalog. The production company funded kaiju—“big monster”—movies for decades, including the likes of “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” in 1964, “Daigoro vs. Goliath” in 1971 and “Mothra” in 1961.
Debuting in theaters March 10, “Kong: Skull Island” is a production of Legendary Pictures directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian and Toby Kebbell.