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The creative team behind Apple TV+’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters clarified how connected the series is to the MonsterVerse movies and where it fits on the timeline.
Godzilla has been in a lot of media. More recently, he helped establish Legendary’s MonsterVerse, starting with 2014’s movie named after the titular beast.
The famous Titan led two feature films, Godzilla and King of Monsters, while King Kong was the star of his own outing. The two icons then crossed over in 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong as they fought Mecha-Godzilla.
In several exclusive interviews, The Direct’s Russ Milheim spoke with multiple key members of the creative team of Apple TV+’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, discussing the show’s relation to the MonsterVerse timeline.
When asked how Monarch might lead into next year’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, showrunner Chris Black candidly admitted “[he doesn’t] think it will” but that the show still fits within the “same canonical universe:”
“I don’t think it will. I mean, the show exists in the sort of the same canonical universe. We all play in the same sandbox that our world is within, the four seem to be five feature films in the modern Legendary universe, but part of the mandate that we got, or not necessarily a mandate, but what we were allowed to do in creating the show was kind of chart our own path.”
Black explained that as long as their story “[doesn’t] violate or contradict any of the canon,” then they are “not necessarily required to integrate [their] story:”
“… As long as we don’t directly violate or contradict any of the canon, as established in the films, then we’re not necessarily required to integrate our story into theirs. So there are some plot points and some characters that may be glancingly crossover. But really, we kind of set out to tell the story of Cate and Kentaro Randa, their search for their father that exists sort of in its own lane.”
Executive producer Matt Fraction confirmed that Monarch takes place “after 2014” and that the series is almost doing more to set up the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters:
“Our [show] takes place after 2014. We were even sort of existing chronologically before ‘King of the Monsters’. So that’s, we’re sort of doing more to set that up, in this story of Monarch coming to the global [forefront] for the first time.”
Episode 1 and 2 director Matt Shakman pointed out how they “had to be very aware of how [they] were inserting ourselves into the existing mythology:”
“We are excited about being a part of the MonsterVerse, of course, and building on everything that’s come before. And we were telling the story in multiple time periods. So we had to be very aware of how we were inserting ourselves into the existing mythology and building off of what those other films had created. And, of course, you’re excited that whatever you create can help impact the things to come.”
Tory Tunnel, an executive producer on Monarch, gracefully stated how “[they’re] dancing in the raindrops of the movies” and that “[they] have a lot of time to play with:”
“One of the things we always talk about is that we’re dancing in the raindrops of the movies. So we’re never wanting to step on the movies. We want to be in concert with the films. And so, in our timeline, we’re still not up to the current film that’s coming up. We have a lot of time to play with. And so we’re looking at what happened to characters behind these big monumental events you’ve seen in the features. And we’re getting to learn more about that.”
With how much has unfolded across multiple MonsterVerse movies, it is a bold choice for the show creators to set this story on a point on the timeline before most of them ever took place.
While some might feel the show will be running to catch up with the films for quite some time, there’s actually a ton of MonsterVerse lore that could be explored.
For one, there are all those famous Titans Monarch was actively monitoring by Godzilla: King of Monsters, such as Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah. How exactly were they all discovered, and what adventures led to those circumstances?
Then there’s Mecha-Godzilla; plenty of groundwork could be laid exploring how such a ginormous undertaking was started—a process that would’ve taken years of work and research.
Whatever may be next for Monarch, the show won’t be short-handed with possible story ideas anytime soon.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters debuts on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 17.