Tory Tunnell On Humanity Within The MonsterVerse


  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters focuses on the human stories and family drama in the aftermath of San Francisco’s destruction by Godzilla and the MUTOs.
  • The series explores the creation of Monarch and its connection to the Randa family, diving into untold stories from the films.
  • The portrayal of post traumatic stress and the exploration of legacy are important elements of the show, offering viewers emotional drama and a satisfying story in addition to the spectacle of Titans.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters follows a pair of siblings who learn a disturbing truth about their father in the aftermath of San Francisco’s destruction during the Godzilla vs. MUTOs battle. As they struggle to discover, more secrets are revealed, not only about their father but also about their family legacy and how it is tied to Monarch. Now on the mysterious organization’s radar, they continue to dig deeper and come across shocking information about their family, the origin of Monarch, and Titans.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters stars an impressive cast led by Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, and Joe Tippett. The series was developed by Matt Fraction and Chris Black. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters bounces between stories in the post-WWII era and the post-Godzilla battle that are tied together by one family’s legacy.

Related: Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters – Release Date, Trailer & Everything We Know About The Apple TV+ Godzilla Show

Screen Rant exclusively interviewed producer Tory Tunnell about the new MonsterVerse series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. She discusses setting the series in the aftermath of major global trauma and focusing on the human stories of this world. Tunnell also explains how the metaphor of Godzilla continues to evolve and how legacy plays into the parallel storylines in the present and past.

Tory Tunnell On Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters

Screen Rant: I love the show. I watched all of it in a day.

Tory Tunnell: I love that. Thank you.

Can you talk to me a little bit about focusing on the humanity of this world, instead of centering it around the Titans?

Tory Tunnell: I think that one of the great opportunities that we had on the show and that Chris Black and Matt Fraction our co-creators really leaned into in such a great and dynamic way is we had 10 hours of television. So we got to really lean into character driven story, populated, of course, with our favorite Titans and have it be big spectacle on a globe trotting adventure. But at the heart of it, we have this really juicy and dynamic family drama. We have romance that sort of stands the test of time. And I think it’s all the kinds of great pieces of TV that we show up for. I think the emotional drama of the show, I think will hopefully be a welcome surprise to audiences who are coming for really fierce entertainment, which we also deliver on definitely.

And then one of my favorite parts was the portrayal of post traumatic stress and this can you talk about why not only that was important to show, but how it kind of enhances the MonsterVerse as a whole?

Tory Tunnell: Absolutely. We always talk about the show is sort of set in the 9/12. It’s right after this world has learned that monsters are real. And obviously, we have all too much familiarity with these sort of stark realities that suddenly we’re facing where suddenly is the day after we realize a COVID is now a thing, and we’re in lockdown, or we have, you know, it is 9/12. We’re grappling with so much as humans, we all have these existential crises.

And I think that we always through genre are able to sort of grapple with real human issues in an arm’s length that allows us to feel at the end of it, we come out alive and stronger together. And I think that’s always a satisfying story. But make no mistake, our story is escapist entertainment. It is fun. It’s a fun ride, but I think that there’s at the heart of it, you have a little bit of that catharsis. So I think it hits you in a way that feels really personal, but you’re also going on a globe trotting adventure,

I definitely agree. It’s interesting you reference 9/12, because that is very much what I felt watching the pilot. That is what clicked for me immediately. So really well done with that. And then we finally get to see how Monarch was created and how ingrained it is with the Randa name. What is one element of the lore you were really excited to dig into?

Tory Tunnell: One of the things we talked about is that our show is dancing within the raindrops of the movies that have already been made. And so what we had the opportunity to do is look at stories that hadn’t been told. And we see in the films we see Monarch as a shadowy organization that we don’t much know much about, and then by the more recent films they are a very dominant and proactive organization, and we get to the story of how did that come to be. And if you’ve never seen any of the movies, you’re coming on the ground floor and sort of learning about it, as big fans are also learning about it. So I think it’s a place where old fans and new can come together and see a bit of storytime that the films and have a chance to explore.

Kiersey Clemons, Anna Sawai and Ren Watabe in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Fantastic. And then can you tell me a little bit about the parallel stories that are going on? Because they do converge in a very kind of cool way throughout, but that was one of my favorite elements was exploring the past and the present.

Tory Tunnell: I think that one of the things that we have done, intentionally and hopefully well, is this whole idea of legacy. It’s in the title of our show, but we really believe in the story of how we pass things from one generation to the other. We talked about the fact that, hurt people hurt people. We talked about the fact that for the good and the bad, there’s a connection that we have to the people that were born from, where we come from, and also how we can form new families and how that can be as empowering as the old ones.

Definitely. And then what were you looking forward to exploring with Godzilla in this?

Tory Tunnell: I think that Godzilla has been always such an exciting and reference. He’s always been a metaphor for so many of the human challenges from nuclear power to we joke about the fact that during the development of this it keeps on shifting, its global warming, and then it’s COVID, then it’s sort of international warfare, but I think Godzilla has always been such an iconic kaiju. He’s always been someone that people that don’t know him as well think that he’s a villain. And he’s much more complicated and fascinating than that. He’s actually our protector, he protects us from other Titans. He’s not warm and cuddly. We don’t want him in our backyard. He’s gonna destroy everything, but it’s a very sort of dynamic and interesting and fascinating monster to contend with.

And then did you have a new favorite Titan in this? Maybe?

Tory Tunnell: You’ll have to tune in to see.

All right, that’s fair. That’s fair. What did you find most surprising about working on the Monarch show?

Tory Tunnell: We have such an amazing cast of characters and actors and I think that for me the talent that we got to work with behind the scenes was really not necessarily a surprise but a revelation that was so enjoyable. Sometimes you work on these things and you don’t have the luxury of having people that are so like minded, who are so passionate, who are working so hard, and so bringing their A game. And so this is one of those shows that was so much fun to make because everyone was was as in love with the story as the next person.

Kurt and Wyatt Russell in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

I love that, and then can you talk to me a little bit about Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell and how they worked together to create this singular character?

Tory Tunnell: They had so much fun working on this show. They’ve been approached a lot about playing father and son. And they love the idea of playing the same character in two different timelines. There’s always that choice as a producer, where you’re looking, do we d age the actor for a previous storyline? Or do we cast an entirely new actor? And we had Wyatt there who has so much of Kurt’s DNA in him. H literally looks like a young Kurt, but they’re also different people.

And they had so much fun connecting the two of them, or Kurt would sort of become less Kurt and become more Wyatt, and Wyatt would become less Wyatt and become more Kurt, and then meet somewhere in the middle. And really think about how people change over the course of time so that it was okay for Wyatt to be a little bit different. Because when you look back at a former youthful version of yourself, you’re not exactly who you are now, either. So they were really calibrating who that character is over the course of decades, and it was so much fun to watch.

Yes, it definitely was. And then for you personally, is there a titan that you would like to see Godzilla fight in the future, whether in the show or a movie, just generally speaking?

Tory Tunnell: I mean, where to start? I think that when you get into any kind of Titan battle they’re all there and ripe for the taking. I think that one of the things the movies have done so well in showing us is that there’s always a new way in and a new surprising battle and there’s new energy. And I think that there’s in the MonsterVerse there’s so many different kaiju that I’d love to see, tackle each other and then do it again.

Definitely. And is there anything in the MonsterVerse lore that maybe hasn’t been explored this first season that you would like to explore if there’s a season two?

Tory Tunnell: There’s so much that we would love to explore. We all have big ideas and ambitions and it’s gonna be up to Apple viewers tuning in to see if we get a shot at doing that.

About Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters

Godzilla roars next to a school bus in 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 Poster

    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


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