The series began with 2014's Godzilla and continued with 2017's Kong: Skull Island, which threaded in the equally iconic King Kong. New movie King of the Monsters pits the eponymous giant lizard against a host of other classic creatures from Godzilla lore, including Ghidorah, Rodan and Mothra, before building towards the next instalment: 2020's Godzilla vs Kong.
Without further ado, here's our spoiler-filled look at how the King of the Monsters post-credits scene sets up the face-off to end them all.
What happens at the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters?
The climax of director Gareth Edwards's 2014 Godzilla movie positioned Godzilla as the saviour of mankind. King of the Monsters, directed by Michael Dougherty, picks up in the wake of that film, and sees the titular beastie battle for supremacy against emerging 'titans', ancient beings who once dominated our world.
All except one, however: the film's main villain Ghidorah (aka 'Monster Zero'), a three-headed, lightning-spouting dragon, has his mythology tweaked somewhat, with the movie suggesting he instead is an invasive alien presence from elsewhere. (Hence why the 'King' prefix seen in the Japanese Toho Godzilla movies is absent.)
Following two hours of globe-trotting devastation, the various monsters are summoned to the Fenway Park baseball stadium in Boston by Madison (Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown), who has stolen the echolocation device known as 'Orca' that can be used to communicate with the beasts. As Godzilla, newly irradiated and now more powerful than ever, battles Ghidorah, fellow behemoths Rodan and Mothra also arrive on the scene and begin their own brutal fight to the death.
It culminates in Godzilla's defeat of Ghidorah, and the remaining titans who have arrived on the scene all bow down to the one true king. In the midst of the destruction, renegade Orca developer Emma (Vera Farmiga), whose somewhat cockeyed scheme to draw the titans out of hiding and establish a new world order, sacrifices herself in a redemptive move. But her daughter Madison and estranged husband Mark (Kyle Chandler) survive, setting up their future appearance in Godzilla vs Kong.
However, there's one group of characters who are notably absent: the villainous eco-terrorist group led by Charles Dance's Alan Jonah. Where are they and will they play a future role in the MonsterVerse? Funny you should ask...
What does the Godzilla: King of the Monsters post-credits scene mean?
Following the events in Boston, we return to Jonah as he visits Isla de Mara, the place where, earlier in the movie, the winged Rodan made a fiery emergence from a volcano. If you remember, during Rodan's ensuing rampage Godzilla and Ghidorah also showed up to do battle, with Godzilla eventually biting off one of Ghidorah's three heads. And Jonah is here to reclaim said head for presumably nefarious purposes.
So what does this signify? It's anyone's guess at this stage. Jonah's intentions are for humanity to be levelled, whereas his late co-conspirator Emma wanted to see titans and humans co-exist in relative harmony. By stealing Ghidorah's head, Jonah, who traffics in titan body parts, now has in his possession a symbol that could attract even deadlier threats to Earth.
Maybe this is how the MonsterVerse will develop, with a sci-fi twist as our planet is invaded by various species from elsewhere? Perhaps he'll use Ghidorah's DNA to grow a new breed of titan with which he can secure dominance over the world? There's also a suggestion in some quarters that we could be seeing the development of the man-made robotic Ghidorah seen in earlier 1991 Japanese movie Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.
It's important to note that the MonsterVerse is not mapped out beyond Godzilla vs Kong, so this is all speculation. Director Michael Dougherty says the post-credits scene "is meant to spark all of these questions and possibilities".
"The film firmly establishes that Ghidorah can regenerate," he tells Los Angeles Times. "That DNA is not of this world, which means that the possibilities are endless. I think that's why [Jonah] definitely has a little glimmer in his eyes. Because he sees all the potential uses, whether it be the whole head itself or even just a small sample of the DNA."
On the subject of a possible mecha-Ghidorah, Dougherty says: "That's the fun of Godzilla movies. While they have one foot [closer to] our existing world in sort of a grounded science fiction reality, they aren't afraid to just go for it, get weird, and embrace this bizarre science fantasy logic. Let's have a mechanical Godzilla. Let's give Ghidorah a mechanical robot head. Why not?"
Is Charles Dance in Godzilla vs Kong?
The imperious and imposing Charles Dance is always a welcome presence. Yet not even he is sure whether the evil Jonah will appear in Godzilla vs Kong – in an interview with Digital Spy, he says, "to my knowledge I'm not".
In the same interview Dance confirms that the post-credits scene was originally meant to be contained within the wider bulk of the movie itself, so it sounds as if the original intention wasn't to establish Jonah as a future player in the MonsterVerse. Nevertheless, we can still hope he turns up at some point.
What is the story of Godzilla vs Kong?
Other than the two titular behemoths going head to head, we have no idea. The film is directed by You're Next and The Guest director Adam Wingard, and brings back Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler, as we mentioned. Zhang Ziyi will also be back as Monarch scientist Dr Ilene Chen.
Nevertheless although he isn't in charge, Dougherty has some ideas as to what happens next. "I feel like humans have no choice but to live by [Ken Watanabe character] Serizawa’s words," he tells Cinemablend, "which is that we have to learn how to coexist with the Titans. Now that the genie’s out of the bottle, we have no choice but to accept the fact that mankind is no longer at the top of the food chain."
Is this the kind of space Godzilla vs Kong will occupy? We'll find out for sure when it stomps onto screens on 13th March 2020.