It’s been a while since audiences were able to sit back in awe and watch the destructive forces that a grand old Hollywood-style monster can unleash. Godzilla returned to the U.S. back in 2014, culminating in a sizable box office take as well as solid critical responses. Meanwhile, the all American King Kong hasn’t been in theaters since Peter Jackson’s remake arrived over a decade ago.
Considering Hollywood’s ongoing love affair with franchises and reboots, it wasn’t all that much of a surprise for many when Warner Bros. Pictures announced it was going to use Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla as a starting point for a shared cinematic universe between the infamous giant lizard and King Kong. As of this writing, we know that we’ll have Kong: Skull Island in the spring of next year, Godzilla 2 in 2019 and Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020. Exactly how much the two titans will engage in the lead up from Kong: Skull Island to Godzilla vs. Kong is unknown.
However, new developments have been brought to light (literally!) thanks to some keen detective work over at Coming Soon. It seems that during the recent New York Comic-Con, a poster for Kong: Skull Island was handed out to several attendees. While the poster initially looks like a basic map of Skull Island, placing it under a black light reveals a host of hidden additions, one of which is the MONARCH logo in the upper left hand corner of the poster. You can check out both versions of the poster for yourself below.
Of course, anyone who saw 2014’s Godzilla will know that MONARCH is the secret scientific organization that was created in order to research monstrous creatures such as Godzilla and perhaps in this situation, their research has shifted its focus to King Kong. The map is signed by William Randa, who is played by John Goodman in Kong: Skull Island, but one of his notes in particular references a creature that sounds a lot more like Godzilla than King Kong:
His mouth is fire; his roar the floodwater; his breath is death. Enlil made him guardian of the Cedar Forest, To frighten off the mortal who would venture there. BUT WHO WOULD VENTURE THERE?
Will Godzilla make an early appearance in Kong: Skull island? Or has the MONARCH team simply set out to track Godzilla and instead come in contact with King Kong? Perhaps Skull Island has far more secrets than we thought we knew and Warner Bros.’ shared universe between King Kong and Godzilla will provide even more surprises than expected. Given that Warner will likely want to build anticipation for the next installment in the franchise, however, there’s reason to doubt that they’ll introduce Godzilla so early on. Still, it’s not hard to believe that a small tease or hint will be introduced into Kong: Skull Island.
So far the NYCC poster is an ingenious little piece of marketing from Warner Bros. and will surely get the rumor mill buzzing between now and the next reveal. Should Kong: Skull Island produce a satisfying monster movie-going experience, Warner Bros. just might strike gold with this franchise. After all, the idea of two of the greatest monsters in cinematic history meeting and either waging war on one another or teaming up to wage war on humanity is a fascinating prospect with today’s movie making technology being what it is.
Kong: Skull Island opens in U.S. theaters on March 10, 2017, followed by Godzilla 2 on March 22, 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong on May 29, 2020.