Godzilla: King of the Monsters is very often a bonkers movie, in ways that are both good and not-so-good. I mean, it is about giant monsters smashing each other’s faces in, so that’s to be expected—but the intriguing status quo it leaves in the wake of that mad carnage has some great potential. It’s also something its director has been waiting to see since he was a kid.
Throughout King of the Monsters, Ken Watanabe’s scientist hero Ishirō Serizawa calls for humanity to find balance with Godzilla and his titanic cohorts, even as their mass re-awakening (and the arrival of Ghidorah on the scene) sends the world into a tailspin of cataclysmic proportions. Once the dust settles on the mayhem and Godzilla stands triumphant, however, King of the Monsters’ credits sequence begins painting a picture of the world Serizawa had dreamed of…well, at least before he had to pay the ultimate cost to help earn it, juicing Godzilla up with a nuclear bomb so the giant beast could go into one last scrap with Ghidorah.
The end title sequence, cast as snapshots of news articles from all over the world, proves both Serizawa and Vera Farmiga’s Emma Russell right—the radiation left by titan attacks all over the world has begun rejuvenating the environments destroyed in their wake, and as humanity begins establishing an uneasy, but overall friendly, relationship with Godzilla and the other titans, a better and balanced world might be slowly coming together.
For now, give or take some rumblings on Skull Island, the day seems to have been saved—and King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty got to envision something he’s wanted out of movies for a while.
Speaking to io9 and other members of the press at a recent event in Tokyo, Dougherty touched on Serizawa’s calls for balance in the movie—and the world we start to see take shape over the course of King of the Monsters’ Blue-Öyster-Cult-soundtracked end titles—and how it called back to a kind of fantastical storytelling he felt had gone out of style in modern movies:
I’ve always loved Jules Verne style adventures. I feel like movies don’t have enough of that anymore. I personally love theories about lost civilizations and growing up, I’ll never forget the disappointment felt when I found out that mankind and dinosaur did not live together. You know? That decades of Ray Harryhausen movies lied to me. This seemed like a natural fit.
Personally, I loved the concept that there was a previous civilisation that figured out how to live with the kaiju, that cracked that code and figured out how to form a symbiotic relationship for their own survival. And that some cataclysm broke that relationship. And so, while human beings went off and forgot about their connection to the monsters, and chalked up the monsters to fairy tales and legends, Godzilla never forgot. You know, which is why he has some weird distant memory of these tiny, little squeaky creatures. And maybe there is some sort of affection there, which is why Serizawa is all ‘we would be like his pets,’ because maybe that’s how he views us.
In the new world order where Godzilla is indeed King of the Monsters—and the survivors of the grand awakening of all the kaiju hidden on Earth start considering Godzilla poop as a renewable energy source—it seems like Serizawa might ultimately be proved right by the time Godzilla vs. Kong starts rolling around.