Feel like you need a few more monsters in your cinematic diet this year? Rest assured, as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the long-awaited sequel to 2014's Godzilla reboot, is about to descend on Cineworld. Here's what we know so far...
Expect new faces
Most sequels want to feel as familiar as they do new, which usually means the reassuring presence of plenty of characters from the first film. Not this one. Gone are topliners Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston as father and son Ford and Joe Brody and in their place are Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown and Game Night's Kyle Chandler. There will be some characters popping up from the first film, namely Ken Watanabe's Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and Sally Hawkins' Dr. Vivienne Graham, but, for the most part, this is going to feel like a totally fresh story.
Expect more monsters
According to the official synopsis, the movie will have Godzilla go head-to-head with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. "When these ancient super-species," it states, "thought to be mere myths - rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance." CRIPES!
Expect more… emotion?!
Scriptwriter Max Borenstein has indicated that the mission they had, going into the new film, was to make Godzilla more empathetic for the audience. "When [Godzilla] blows his blue flame down the throat of the other creature [at the end of the first film], a creature we never empathised with in any way - we're empathising with Godzilla. That's the thing about the movie that I'm most proud of. I think that's what sets up our Godzilla franchise in a way that the second Godzilla movie can pick up on to begin to make Godzilla a more relatable figure. But it needed that groundwork because you don't immediately invest emotionally in something that looks like a giant dragon or lizard."
Expect more thrills
No action sequel goes into production with its makers thinking, "Give 'em LESS!" So we think we can reasonably expect bigger and more elaborate action sequences, and on a truly global scale. What were you expecting? Shane Meadows' Godzilla?
There's a new director in charge
Gareth Edwards, who did such a stellar job on the first film, exited the sequel early on, handing over the director reigns to Michael Dougherty who's already shown a talent for heart-stopping horror with the dark comedy Krampus and anthology film Trick 'r Treat (he also, incidentally, wrote the screenplays to X-Men 2 and Superman Returns). Dougherty seems like a canny choice. If there was one tiny fault with the first movie it was that it felt a little too serious perhaps and lacking in fun, but with Michael Dougherty's background in horror-tinged comedy, we're guessing the humour factor will be dialled up a fair bit for this one.
It's not just the sequel to Godzilla
It's worth remembering that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the third movie in Legendary Films' MonsterVerse after 2014's Godzilla and 2017's Kong: Skull Island. Will there be any specific linkage with that film, we wonder?
It may well set up the next movie in the series…
Next year, Godzilla goes into battle with the mighty King Kong in the fourth film in the shared universe series, the none-more-Ronseal-titled Godzilla Vs Kong. That movie is set to be directed by Death Note's Adam Wingard and will see the return of Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler alongside newcomers Rebecca Hall and Alexander Skarsgård. It's the fight of the century!