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How to watch Godzilla, King Kong, and Rodan's MonsterVerse movies & TV shows in order

Want to catch the Monsterverse but don't know where to begin? Let Popverse be your monster-hunting guide for King Kong, Godzilla, Rodan, and more

Whether on the big screen or, increasingly, streaming services, Legendary’s MonsterVerse is continuing to become a Titan of a franchise in its own right. Starting with 2014’s Godzilla — a reboot of the beloved giant monster for U.S. audiences — and continuing through the introduction of King Kong, Mothra, and other classic kaiju and movie monsters and now culminating with this year's Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the MonsterVerse has proven itself to be a fun and reliable source of carnage, creatures, and cool nonsense of all varieties for four movies and two series to date, with more on the way.

Does navigating this monstrous franchise can seem like an insurmountable obstacle already? Never fear. Here’s how to watch all the movies and shows in the MonsterVerse franchise, in both release and chronological order. Let them fight!

How to watch MonsterVerse in release order:

The poster for Godzilla (2014) featuring Godzilla against a burning skyline.

Here’s how to watch MonsterVerse in release order:

How to watch MonsterVerse in chronological order:

The chronology of the MonsterVerse can be challenging to navigate. This is because the complex, intergenerational nature of the franchise’s storyline means that stories are set throughout the timeline. Sometimes, as with AppleTV+'s 10-episode series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, the title may include plot threads that unspool across various time periods. If you want to watch everything in chronological order, however, here's how you'd do it:

How does MonsterVerse connect to classic monster films?

Godzilla is the first movie in the MonsterVerse. However, it is based on the classic 1954 Japanese film Godzilla, produced by Toho Company Ltd - and the sprawling Godzilla line of movies it spawned.. In 1956, the American company Jewell Enterprises adapted the movie into Godzilla, King of the Monsters! This led to international success and recognition for the titular Titan. In the intervening years, Godzilla has gone on to appear in more than thirty movies.

In fact, 2014’s Godzilla is the 30th entry in the overarching Godzilla franchise. It is the second American-made Godzilla film, after 1998’s Godzilla. While Godzilla (1998) was intended to be a trilogy, its poor critical reception meant a sequel was canceled early on in the production process.

However, Godzilla (2014) has proven to be a solid foundation for a new franchise, leading to multiple sequels on the large and small screen, with more to come. This is especially interesting because the movie began as an IMAX short film in 2004, before the project was transferred to Legendary Pictures in 2009, where it grew to become a feature film.

What monsters have appeared in the MonsterVerse?

Godzilla fights Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong

Many classic and new monsters have appeared in the MonsterVerse since its inception. Here are the monsters that have appeared so far in MonsterVerse.

Godzilla (2014) saw the debut of “MUTOs,” or “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms.” This umbrella term can be equated with “UFOs” and may reference monsters that have yet to be named. This movie also debuted Godzilla.

Kong: Skull Island introduced Kong, Mother Longlegs, the Sker Buffalo, the Mire Squid, the Leafwing, the Psychovulture, the Spore Mantis, the Skull Devil and the Skullcrawlers to the MonsterVerse. Meanwhile, a post-credits scene debuts King Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters saw the debut of more Titans onscreen. These include Behemoth, Methuselah, Mothra, Scylla and Queen MUTO. Finally, the names of eight additional Titans appear on computer screens in the movie, but the monsters themselves do not themselves appear. These are Abaddon, Baphomet, Bunyip, Leviathan, Mokele-Mbembe, Sargon, Tiamat and Typhoon.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, several additional monsters are revealed. These are Mechagodzilla, the Warbat, and the Hellhawk.

And in Skull Island, Annie’s Dog and the Kraken are introduced, along with additional unnamed monsters.

What are some of the most famous human actors who have appeared in the MonsterVerse?

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters key art
Image credit: AppleTV+

It isn’t just the monsters that have stolen scenes in the MonsterVerse. Some of the human actors and characters have left a giant-sized imprint on our imaginations, too.

Godzilla (2014) starts things off strong with Ken Watanabe as Doctor Ishiro Serizawa. Meanwhile, the Brody family is filled with recognizable actors: Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody, Juliette Binoche as Sandra Brody, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody and Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody. This inaugural entry in the MonsterVerse also features Sally Hawkins as Doctor Vivienne Graham, David Strathairn as William Stenz, and Richard T. Jones as Russell Hampton.

Kong: Skull Island continued to expand the impressive roster of actors associated with the MonsterVerse franchise. This movie introduced John Goodman as William “Bill” Randa, a role he reprises in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. This movie also features Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard, Brie Larson as Mason Weaver, Jing Tian as San Lin, John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow and Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks.

Set five years after the events of Godzilla (2014), Godzilla: King of the Monsters sees the return of Wantanabe as Serizawa, Hawkins as Graham and Strathairn as Stenz. Meanwhile, Joe Morton appears as an older version of the character Brooks from Kong: Skull Island. The movie introduces Kyle Chandler as Doctor Mark Russell, Vera Farmiga as Doctor Emma Russell, and Millie Bobby Brown as their daughter, Madison Russell. Meanwhile, Bradley Whitford plays Doctor Rick Stanton, Charles Dance plays Alan Jonah, Thomas Middleditch plays Same Coleman and Aisha Hinds plays Diane Foster.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, set five years after Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Brown and Chandler each reprise their roles as members of the Russell family. They are joined by Alexander Skarsgård as Doctor Nathan Lind, Rebecca Hall as Doctor Ilene Andrews, and Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes. Shun Oguri plays Ren Serizawa, son of the late scientist and the pilot of Mechagodzilla. Finally, Lanc Reddick appears as Guillermin, the director of Monarch.

The animated Skull Island series features plenty of impressive voice acting talent. This includes Nicolas Cantu as Charlie, Mae Whitman as Annie, Betty Gilpin as Irene and Phil LaMarr as Sam.

Meanwhile, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters boasts both Wyatt Russell and Kurt Russell as the same character, Lee Shaw. The father and son duo portray the character across the timelines covered by the series. Meanwhile, Anna Sawai plays Cate Randa, Kiersey Clemons plays May, and Ren Watabe plays Kentaro. Anders Holm plays a younger version of Randa, while Goodman reprises the older incarnation of the character. Joe Tippett plays Time while Elisa Lasowski plays Duvall.

It continues with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, a direct sequel to 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong. It’s described by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures like this: “This latest entry follows up the explosive showdown of Godzilla vs. Kong with an all-new cinematic adventure, pitting the mighty Kong and the fearsome Godzilla against a colossal undiscovered threat hidden within our world, challenging their very existence - and our own. The epic new film will delve further into the histories of these Titans, their origins and the mysteries of Skull Island and beyond, while uncovering the mythic battle that helped forge these extraordinary beings and tied them to humankind forever.”

Why is Godzilla pink in GXK?

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire
Image credit: Legendary Pictures

The first trailer for The New Empire showcased a new color scheme for Godzilla, with him glowing pink now, instead of blue. In the movie, Godzilla undergoes a metamorphosis after being hurt, and comes back all pink-powered from healing and a nice hibernation period. Here’s hoping it’s a change that sticks around; it suits them.

Is SpaceGodzilla going to be in the MonsterVerse?

Image credit: Toho

There’s been a lot of speculation about the history of the Titan War in the MonsterVerse, and which kaiju from the original Godzilla franchise might show up in this incarnation of the mythology. Most recently, the revelation that there are black holes in the Hollow World — something revealed in Apple TV+’s Monarch series — has prompted no end of speculation that creators are teeing up the reveal that SpaceGodzilla is just waiting around the corner (so to speak) for a future appearance. Well, there is a mysterious new enemy waiting to be revealed in The New Empire… Could it be a threat from outer space?

Is Godzilla Minus One set in the MonsterVerse?

Godzilla Minus One - boat chase
Image credit: Toho

Look, in an age of massive multiversal crossovers, you can never say for sure that two movies won't be connected, especially ones with different iterations of the same character. However, the Godzilla headlining the American MonsterVerse and the one that attacked a post-WWII Japan have no in-universe connection that we know of just yet, and it's maybe better that way.

How many MonsterVerse movies are there?

There are six MonsterVerse movies to date, with Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024). This doesn't count the two MonsterVerse TV shows, Skull Island (2023) and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2033).

Do I need to watch Godzilla before Monarch?

While watching all the movies gives you the full experience, you don't need to watch Godzilla or the other MonsterVerse movies to enjoy Monarch. The showrunners and actors do a good job of setting up the franchise on its own there like humans in a world with Titans - although if you haven't watched the MonsterVerse movies by the end of Monarch season 1, you'll want to.

Avery Kaplan

Avery Kaplan: Avery lives and writes in Southern California. She is the co-author of Double Challenge: Being LGBTQ and a Minority with her spouse, Rebecca Oliver Kaplan. Avery is Features Editor at Comics Beat, and you can also find her writing on StarTrek.com, The Gutter Review, Geek Girl Authority, and in the margins of the books in her personal library.


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