- Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is a series that explores the aftermath of the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs, following a pair of siblings with connections to Monarch as they uncover dark family secrets.
- The show delves into post-traumatic stress and the challenges of rebuilding life in a world that has been drastically changed by the monster battles, providing a human and relatable perspective on the MonsterVerse.
- The series also fleshes out the backstory of Bill Randa, a character from Kong: Skull Island, shedding light on his past and the decisions that led to his involvement with Monarch.
Set after the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs that decimated San Franciso, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters follows a pair of siblings with ties to Monarch as they learn dark secrets about their father. As they discover more, they get on Monarch’s radar, which puts them in unexpected danger. As they run from Monarch and chase down their own leads, new Titans will come into play, revealing even more of this mysterious and deadly world.
Set in the immediate aftermath of Godzilla (2014), Monarch: Legacy of Monsters features a parallel story set after World War II that leads into the events of Kong: Skull Island. Matt Fraction and Chris Black developed the series, with Matt Shakman directing and executive producing. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters stars Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, and Joe Tippett.
Screen Rant exclusively interviewed creators Matt Fraction and Chris Black about their new series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. They explain how the series reveals more about Bill Randa and the legacy he left behind after Kong: Sull Island. They also discuss how Kurt and Wyatt Russell worked together to create Lee Shaw.
Matt Fraction & Chris Black On Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters
Screen Rant: Matt, one of the things I really appreciate in the show is how post traumatic stress was portrayed. Why was it important to include that? And how does it kind of enhance the Monsterverse world as a whole?
Matt Fraction: Well, I think the post part is the important part. It sets the time, the timbre, and tone of the show. It’s coup and après coup, it’s not the hit, it’s the after hit and our first episode is called “Aftermath.” We wanted to tell a story about people getting up, dusting themselves off, and trying to figure out how to live in a world where everything is different, everything’s changed. I think we were developing it through the pandemic, and it kind of gave us yet another contemporary lens.
It was another mirror that Godzilla holds up to reflect that us. Part of the reason these icons endure is because we can project, whatever our kind of existential dreads and concerns are, and making it about damaged people healing, made it very human, made it very intimate, and very familiar. I would want to know the story of the show without the Monarch stuff. The idea that losing a father, in the middle of a global catastrophe, discovering he had a secret family, and you have a sibling is so shocking and compelling. And Oh, my god, what?
It’s such a human drama, and the characters are so tender and wounded by all these different things that to watch them get together, kind of reject the family of origin and take their found family and seize their own kind of destiny and legacy was just, it was really compelling to us as storytellers.
I completely agree. And then Chris, we get to see kind of a new side of Bill Randa in the series. Can you tell me about fleshing out the past with him while setting up what leads to his decisions in Kong: Skull Island?
Matt Fraction: That’s a good question.
Chris Black: That’s a good question. It’s funny, you directed it at me, but the Bill Randa story really originated with Matt. Which was the idea that to explore the history and the legacy of this organization of Monarch looking at who John Goodman was, that character in Kong: Skull Island, when you first meet him coming to Capitol Hill hat in hand scrounging for money and Monarch is literally about to go out of business if he doesn’t, you know, get this one last mission.
It’s like, how did he get to that place? If the history of Monarch was canonically established before Matt and I came in Legendary was in 1944, or 45, at the end of the war, how did he go from 1945 to 1973, to basically somehow run this organization into the ground? And so we were like, there’s a story there. Let’s figure that story out. And I think what we’re hoping if we get to continue this to tell that story is extrapolating that into the future. But it felt like, as a multi generational family story, if we really wanted to tell a story about Cate and Kentaro discovering the secrets of their father, having inherited the sins of their father, the sense of betrayal, and why did he do this to us?
Then you had to look at Hiroshi, and go, How did that guy end up that guy? Which then takes you back a generation before that and then that kind of started to fill out, Oh, we need to tell the story on multiple timelines. We need to go back. It’s about the 50s. It’s about the grandparents and what they did to the parents and what the parents did the children and that brings you up to the present day,
Matt Fraction: A true legacy of monsters, you might say,
Chris Black: If you will, yes.
I love it. And then was there a specific part of the Monarch or overall MonsterVerse lore that you each are really excited to dig into with this show?
Matt Fraction: Just Godzilla. The first time you’re sitting at your laptop with Final Draft open and type Godzilla. Like, Oh, what? Just that. The big guy.
Chris Black: Exterior day Godzilla stands up. You’re like, Oh, I’m getting to write this.
Definitely. And then Matt, what did Wyatt and Kurt Russell each bring to the character of Lee Shaw that makes him not only stand out, but feel consistent in his evolution?
Matt Fraction: Lee is one of the most complicated characters in the show. He’s the lynchpin that connects the all of the generations. And I think, not to speak for Kurt and Wyatt, but I think part of the what attracted them to the project wasn’t, Oh, we’re playing father and son is they’re playing the same guy. And they worked together kind of relentlessly. How would you say this? How they would run scenes together that they weren’t in.
Chris Black: They built the character together.
Matt Fraction: They built the character from both ends, and would modulate and adjust accordingly. I think you’re even in the screenwriting, we would refer to Wyatt as Lee, and Kurt as Dhaw. And it kind of became Oh, there’s a kind of through line for our season there, we’re watching Lee become Shaw, but we’re watching Shaw remember what it was like to be Lee. And they were more than game to help us kind of fill out this tragic hero that stands at the middle of the show and kind of has a lot of the secrets and knows a lot of the history.
Chris Black: And they’re both tremendous actors. And obviously, we were lucky. I mean, Kurt is a sci-fi icon, he’s a movie icon. To be able to, to do a project with you know, Snake Plissken or RJ MacCready, we were pinching ourselves. It’s like, I can’t believe we’re here doing this.
Definitely. And then, is there a specific monster that each of you would like to see Godzilla fight next?
Matt Fraction: Next? Well, that doesn’t necessarily suggest in our show. So does that frees us from answering? It’s just anywhere.
It could be in your show. It could be just general.
Matt Fraction: You know what the trailer for Godzilla Minus One looks amazing and it’s opening here in the states on my birthday, so I’m super ready for that.
Chris Black: I want to see Godzilla fight the Cocaine Bear.
Matt Fraction: Oooh! Godzilla versus Cocaine Bear.
Chris Black: That’s my choice. Good. No, I don’t know. It’s funny because what’s interesting about Godzilla is and we learned this from Toho is their characters. Toho refers to them as their characters, and we started referring to them that way as well. Is that, yes, they’re kaiju. They’re monsters, but they are characters with backstories, and personalities and histories.
Matt Fraction: And wants and needs. And we might not understand what those are, but they’re not just mindless forces of destruction. And that was really, that kind of opened up a lot.
Chris Black: And to say, who would Godzilla fight next? It’s funny, almost in the way you would write human characters and a human character arc, you would get to well, who does Godzilla need to fight next? I mean, who does Godzilla have a beef with? I’m not quite sure we’ve figured that one out.
Matt Fraction: I don’t think yeah, it’s a long list of answers for sure. But hopefully we’ll get to find out.
About Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters
Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” tracks two siblings following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch.
Check out our other Monarch: Legacy of Monsters interviews:
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premieres globally on Friday, November 17 on Apple TV+.
Source: Screen Rant Plus
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
- Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, Joe Tippett, Elisa Lasowski
- Action, Sci-Fi
- Not Yet Rated
- Chris Black, Matt Fraction
- Streaming Service:
- Apple TV+
- Monsterverse, Godzilla, King Kong
- Matt Shakman
- Chris Black, Matt Fraction