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Shakman And Konrad Weighs In On The Idea Of Using Toho's Monsters



Ever since the show's first reveal, we have seen a lot of monsters shown off in trailers and tv spots for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. There has been debates about whether the comics are still relevant and if any monsters from previous movies or comics would appear in the show. One thing that fans wouldn't expect are monsters from Toho's roster and that almost became the case according to director Matt Shakman and visual effects supervisor Sean Konrad.


In an interview with Newsweek, the article goes into great detail about the process into exploring the USS Lawton and talking about the new monster that is being dubbed the Ion Dragon, which was revealed in the show's second episode. Shakman stated, "We knew it had to be dragon-like – this was clear from Chris [Black] and Matt [Fraction, the showrunners] had written. Billy says the locals have a legend about a dragon and Lee sees the creature and says, 'It really is a dragon.' We knew it had to ooze nacre that encapsulates bodies. And we knew it had to be big since it took down a large battleship and then carried it from Pearl Harbor to the Philippines. We played with a lot of different inspirations. Starting with birds and then hyenas and ultimately an anglerfish, whose teeth influenced the mouth quite a bit."


Konrad adds on to Shakman's statement commenting it was one of the more challenging monsters to design because it was rethought multiple times. The script would be clear on how the dragon would look while other times in meeting rooms they have to figure out what they needed the monster to do, what the creature's backstory might be, and then what the creature could be.


The Ion Dragon reclaims the USS Lawton in "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters"

Later in the article, the interviewer asks about Legendary's collaboration with Toho Co. on designing a new Titan and if there were any rules they had to abide by. Konrad weighs in on the subject saying, "We talked about whether we wanted this to be a Toho creature, and looked at a few options but ultimately decided that this early in the season we still needed to be doing something original for the show. Legendary mostly just wanted to make sure we didn't retread things they'd already done or step on what they were planning to do. One example is that we early on had the wings a bit more leathery, like a bat, which felt too similar to the 2014 MUTOs. We were working with concept artists/art directors who were familiar with the Monsterverse and had worked on prior films and there wasn't a huge creative barrier in making it feel coherent."


Shakman also adds his thoughts on the subject, "It's important that we create creatures that fit their environment, so the first question is 'Where does this monster live?' The flora and fauna of the creature's environment will impact the design. We research that environment to find the craziest critters that actually exist to inspire us (and that we can combine in interesting ways). And then we scale them up! Toho and Legendary were very encouraging during the process and are excited to add new creatures to the canon."


The next question pertaining how they chose monsters ranging from old to new, Konrad states whenever there is a connective tissue to the films they want to make sure they used it to reinforce the legacy. Such example is the prologue scene of John Goodman as Bill Randa being chased by the Mother Longlegs connecting the show to 2017's Kong: Skull Island. In the last paragraph, Konrad comments, "I personally love a lot of Toho creatures and would love to work with them, but if we do then it needs to make sense for the story we're telling and so far that hasn't been the case. The comics have also done interesting things that we tried to pull from. We did a concept of one creature from an appendix in one of the comics, and it was one of our biggest and most immediate hits with the creative teams, but when we scouted Hawaii we decided it didn't make sense for any of the shooting locations we had available to us and pivoted."


In other words, Shakman and Konrad are just telling us what we knew already, but in an official statement. As much as they would love to add monsters from Toho's roster, it would need to make sense in a way that affects the story they are going for and it fits in with the environment the show is set.


This also proves to be the case if creature designers want more freedom to design the monsters. Why dish out a few million dollars to add Kumonga when Legendary can make their own giant spider without restrictions from Toho Co.? Or why add Anguirus when they can make a giant and spiky mole-like monster?


Since the show is only on the first season, it is wise to stick with creating original monsters and see how it turns out. No point in jumping the gun right away and use Toho monsters if the show fails. If Monarch: Legacy of Monsters does do well, then the showrunners may consider bringing in monsters from Toho's roster in the next season. Maybe they will find a scenario that allows a Toho monster to appear. For this first season, however, this won't be the case. They are going to stick with original monsters, for now. Fraction, Black, and the other showrunners are aware that fans do want to see Toho monsters in the TV show. We may see a hint about Rodan's existence or Mothra's existence, but that is as close as it will get from seeing any Toho related monster in the TV show.


For now, the Ion Dragon is being touted as a rival for Godzilla in this show by media outlets. This is further enforcing the idea that this dragon is going to be the main antagonist of the show. If true, it will be interesting to see how this monster is going to rival Godzilla.


One idea that O'shea Jackson Jr. is trying to get greenlit is an animated Monsterverse series called "Monarch: G-Team." The show would follow a ragtag team of soldiers hired by Monarch to search in areas where there is Titan activity. Some of the monsters he proposes are monsters such as Biollante, Gigan, and the Gargantuas: Sanda and Gaira. The project is in collaboration with Toho Kingdom's Chris Mirjahangir and concept artist Sean Sumagaysay. The story does revolve around a specific soldier named Chief Warrant Officer Barnes, a character that O'shea Jackson Jr. played in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and having to deal with his PTSD while his team are on a monster hunt. Ever since he announced this project, he has been quietly promoting this project by wearing apparel on talk shows that has what I assume would be the show's logo. O'shea Jackson Jr. has been a big Godzilla fan since the beginning and is trying to get enough support to show Legendary that this is worth the investment. So if you are wanting more Toho monsters in the Monsterverse, go support the project on Twitter or anywhere else because he can definitely use the support from fans. You can show your support by clicking here.


What are your thoughts on the idea of Toho monsters appearing in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters? Do you think we will see any appear in the show or do you think it is way too early? Leave a comment in the comments section and let me know what you think on this topic. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twiiter, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.

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