When Godzilla: King of the Monsters makes landfall in theaters later this month, it has every reason to knock the socks off of audiences, particularly of the Western variety. For the first time, a Hollywood adaptation of Toho Co., Ltd.’s kaiju universe captures the bizarre heights of the Japanese classics that inspired it. With Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan facing off for the first time in an American movie, the future has never looked more inviting than the strangely lovable apocalypse in Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse.
While a follow-up is already in the works with Godzilla vs. Kong due out next year, King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty is now thinking about which giant kaiju he’d love to see down the road. (Notably Dougherty is not directing the King Kong crossover.) During a press conference Den of Geek attended at Japan’s Toho Studios, the question arose of which monster not in King of the Monsters would Dougherty love to use in a full-fledged sequel. A lifelong fan of Toho, Dougherty’s obscure answer might surprise those out there expecting the day of Mechagodzillla is at hand.
“There’s one creature that I find fascinating,” Dougherty says, “because she’s a plant and her name’s Biollante, and she’s also one of the very few other female kaiju. She’s interesting because she’s almost like this Frankenstein creature. She’s a combination of DNA from a scientist’s dead daughter, Godzilla, and a rose. It’s like Audrey on steroids.”
Referencing Little Shop of Horrors, Dougherty is drawing from an intriguingly more recent generation of kaiju. While he has stated numerous times, including to us, that he pursued Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah because he considers them the “crown jewels of Toho’s pantheon”—they even starred in the first non-King Kong crossover when Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan delivered the cosmic beatdown to Ghidorah—Biollante is much more recent, having first appeared in 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante. The film was the second feature in the Heisei era, and like the first film of that period, The Return of Godzilla, the picture was grimly serious, anti-nuclear sci-fi fare. It was also the product of a public story-writing contest that resulted in its gothic monster movie origin. Biollante was also the first kaiju who could evolve to increasingly deadlier forms and give Godzilla a growing challenge. A picture of Biollante is below.
‘She also gave Godzilla a run for his money,” Dougherty says. Which is no small feat, given that Godzilla is going to be pushed to his limits in his first American sequel. The feature depicts Godzilla coping with multiple monsters at once, plus the persistent interference of humans. He will welcome all challengers for his crown though when he stomps into theaters on May 31.