Get ready for some monster madness on a gargantuan scale when Godzilla: King of the Monsters smashes its way into Cineworld on 31st May.
Starring Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown in her feature film debut alongside Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance and Sally Hawkins, this latest instalment in Warner Bros and Legendary's MonsterVerse follows the release of 2017's Kong: Skull Island. Just as significantly, it's set to be the 35th film appearance of the eponymous legendary kaiju (Japanese for 'giant lizard').
This time, however, Godzilla won't be the only monster (or Titan, as they're referred to in this movie-verse) tearing down buildings and causing untold destruction. Instead, Godzilla will be joined by some of the biggest monsters in pop culture. We've already seen some of them in the latest trailer, so here are the massive beasties you can expect to clap eyes on in Godzilla II: King of the Monsters.
First roaring onto screens in Ishiro Honda's 1954 Toho monster movie classic, Godzilla has certainly deemed himself worthy of the title King of the Monsters (a title taken from the Americanised version of the original Japanese film, Gojira).
Taking his name from the Japanese words for gorilla (goira) and whale (kujira), this towering monstrosity is a dinosaur-like, prehistoric sea creature fuelled by nuclear radiation. Given that the creature surfaced in cinemas in the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Godzilla was intended as a metaphor for Japan's fear of nuclear weaponry at the time – even his skin resembles the physical scarring seen on survivors of the atrocities.
Famous for his distinctive roar (created by composer Akira Ifukube) and devastating atomic breath, the kaiju king has appeared in numerous films, comics, television shows and video games over the years.
He has also been involved in some strange outings – one 1979 Marvel comic even saw him battle the Avengers. Although we won't see Godzilla in phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least he can put his stamp (or stomp) on his own franchise.
If Godzilla is the king of monsters, then Mothra is the queen. Although she made her big screen debut in the 1961 Toho film Mothra, directed by Honda, the character first appeared in a serial published earlier that year titled The Luminous Fairies and Mothra.
Her total number of appearances in the Toho films is second only to Godzilla himself. Unlike Godzilla, however, Mothra is less of a destructive force than a guardian of humanity, presiding over a primitive civilisation on Infant Island. Also unlike Godzilla, Mothra's life is cyclical – often first appearing as an egg, hatching into a larval stage when danger is sensed and metamorphosing into her grand moth-like form.
What makes Mothra unique is that she's accompanied by twin fairies who act as the creature's interpreters – they even had a song to summon her. It's unlikely we'll see her fairies in the new film, but does the new trailer indicate that Bobby Brown's character will be able to communicate with Mothra?
Bursting from the bowels of the Earth, Rodan made his cinema debut in 1956's Rodan, (directed once again by Honda). Based on a pterodactyl, Rodan is the ruler of the skies thanks to his gigantic size.
Coupled with his supersonic speed, he leaves a destructive shockwave in his wake as seen in the latest King of the Monsters trailer. And with the promotional Monarch website citing his wingspan in the new film as a whopping 871ft, we can expect Rodan to make a huge mess of civilisation.
Historically, Rodan has mostly been a foe to Gozilla over the years, but the pair have joined forces occasionally to take down bigger threats. They famously teamed up with Mothra in Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964) to defeat Ghidorah. Speaking of which…
4. King Ghidorah
Arch-nemesis of Godzilla, King Ghidorah isn't something to be trifled with. The amalgamation of a Hydra and a mythical Japanese dragon, Ghidorah is a three-headed, two-tailed, winged monstrosity with an unmatched thirst for destruction.
He was first introduced into the Godzilla universe in the aforementioned Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (you guessed it, directed by Honda) as an extra-terrestrial life-form sent by aliens to destroy planets. Since then, his origin story has been changed and he subsequently became an ancient guardian imprisoned within Mount Fuji.
In the promotional material for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Ghidorah is listed as Monster Zero and is currently frozen in the Antarctic. However, it looks like he's about to be awoken, so could his rise be what causes the other Titans to surface? Perhaps it's best to let sleeping monsters lie.
5. Kumonga (Spiga)
While it's been confirmed the above Titans will definitely be appearing in the film, the Monarch website (referring to the shadowy government agency featured throughout the MonsterVerse) shows that there are many more creatures scattered across the world. Similarly, the trailer briefly teases the possible inclusion of two more monsters, one of which can be seen poking its razor-sharp legs through the ground.
Due to the number of legs sticking out, it's thought that this monster could be Kumonga (aka Spiga), an enormous, mutated spider who first appeared in Son of Godzilla (1967). If Kumonga does appear in King of the Monsters, it'll be his first screen appearance since 2004 – although it may be less welcomed by arachnophobes.
In the King of the Monsters trailer, we're witness to a quick shot of a forest area being destroyed by what looks like something burrowing underneath. This has led fans to speculate it could be Anguirus, a four-legged dinosaur-like creature with a back covered in spikes.
Toho's second monster, Anguirus debuted in Godzilla Raids Again (1955) where it fought Godzilla; but despite starting out as foes, the pair have frequently been allies. After a 30-year hiatus, Anguirus made his most recent film appearance in 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars alongside Kumonga, so having him back on the big screen would be a treat for monster fans.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters arrives in Cineworld on 31st May.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.