Godzilla vs. Kong reveals new details about the alternate history of the MonsterVerse, and Monarch’s top-secret expeditions to Hollow Earth.
Godzilla vs. Kong expands the horizons of the MonsterVerse into the heart of Hollow Earth, and also fills in some crucial details about the franchise’s timeline. Directed by Adam Wingard, the fourth movie in Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse franchise is set 10 years after the events of 2014’s Godzilla – and it’s been a busy decade for the Titans.
Chronologically, the earliest movie in the MonsterVerse series is 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, which takes place in 1973. Godzilla is set in 2014, Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong in 2024. The history of the Titans, however, stretches back far beyond recorded history, and the skyscraper-sized behemoths are believed to have existed on (and under) Earth even before humans did.
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In Godzilla vs. Kong, a shady corporation called Apex plots an expedition into Hollow Earth, where all of the Titans are believed to have originated from. To guide them, “Kong Whisperer” Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), her adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), and discredited theoretical physicist Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) bring the captured Kong to a Monarch base in Antarctica, where an entrance to the subterranean world has been discovered. Here’s every major event in the MonsterVerse timeline revealed in Godzilla vs. Kong.
Godzilla vs. Kong Battle – Late 4th Millennium BC
Many of Godzilla vs. Kong‘s biggest timeline reveals come from the opening credits sequence, which documents records of Titan battles and human efforts to find a way into Hollow Earth. Among these is a tablet depicting the ancient war between Kong and Godzilla’s respective species, with a description that translates as “Giants Battle Underground.” This raises the intriguing possibility that humans have previously travelled into Hollow Earth and back again, without the aid of Apex’s HEAVs. The tablet is more than 5000 years old, dating back to the Uruk period, when humans first began developing systems of writing. It’s unclear, therefore, whether the tablet notes an event that occurred at the time, or a story that had been passed down through the generations.
Hollow Earth Expedition – 1926
Godzilla vs. Kong‘s opening credits also reveal that recent efforts by humans to explore Hollow Earth began with an expedition in 1926. Archive footage shows the explorers in a snowy terrain, while a voice recording says ominously that “members of the lost party were never seen again.” The MonsterVerse movies take place in an alternate historical timeline which shares many of the events of our own timeline, but with a kaiju twist. Therefore it’s notable that 1926 was also the year (in our own timeline) that a team of Norwegian explorers led by Roald Amundsen became the first men to reach the North Pole by airship. Perhaps in the MonsterVerse’s version of history, Amundsen and his men were taking part in the search for Kong and Godzilla’s ancestral home.
Hollow Earth Tunnel Discovered In France – 1938
Another quick but intriguing snapshot of history is a possible entrance to Hollow Earth discovered in the Chauvet Cave in France. A photo accompanying the notes shows two archeologists examining Titan remains in the cave. In the real world, the Chauvet Cave is known for its incredibly well-preserved Prehistoric cave paintings, with the oldest of them dating back around 36,000 years. Cave paintings glimpsed elsewhere in the credits show a three-way battle between a Skull Crawler, a member of Kong’s species, and a member of Godzilla’s species. Apparently Prehistoric man enjoyed a first-row seat to some pretty epic fights.
Operation Highjump – 1946-47
The MonsterVerse’s alt-history approach comes into play again with the opening credits’ reference to Operation Highjump. In our own, Titan-free timeline, Operation Highjump was the U.S. Navy’s mission to establish a new American military base in the Antarctic. Officially, Operation Highjump was a means of carrying out scientific tests, gathering data and figuring out how to build and maintain liveable bases in harsh polar conditions. Unofficially, the goal was to establish a U.S. land claim in the Antarctic at a time when Cold War tensions were rising. Godzilla vs. Kong imagines another ulterior motive for Operation Highjump: to establish Monarch’s base around the entrance to Hollow Earth. As revealed in Kong: Skull Island, Monarch was founded by President Harry S. Truman in 1946, and Operation Highjump took place between 1946-47.
Nathan’s Brother’s Hollow Earth Expedition – 2009
Nathan’s widely-mocked theories about Hollow Earth are driven by the loss of his older brother in a failed expedition to the underworld. Travelling to this volatile inner terrain requires passing through a sudden gravity inversion, for which Nathan’s brother was unprepared. Godzilla vs. Kong‘s opening credits sequence shows footage of an expedition to Hollow Earth that took place in September 2009 – presumably, the expedition that Nathan’s brother went on. Though this particular mission may have failed, the cautionary tale about Hollow Earth’s strange gravity is what led Apex to develop the HEAVs capable of traversing it.
Deadly Storm Hits Skull Island – 2019(?)
Godzilla vs. Kong reveals the sad fate of the Iwi, who were introduced in Kong: Skull Island and lived in harmony with Kong. Jia, Ilene’s adopted daughter and the only person capable of communicating with Kong, was orphaned when a deadly storm swept through Skull Island and killed her parents, along with the rest of the Iwi. Though it’s not explicitly stated, Jia’s age (around 8 or 9 years old) makes it very likely that the storm was caused by the emergence of King Ghidorah and the other Titans five years previously, during the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In that movie it was noted that Ghidorah is capable of creating massive electrical storms with his wingbeats. Skull Island was protected by a near-impenetrable storm barrier, and because of this it may have become collateral damage in Godzilla and Ghidorah’s 2019 battle. The resulting atmospheric disturbances could easily have caused the surrounding storm to close in and rip through the island.
Monarch Builds Kong Containment Facility – 2019/2020 (?)
Where the theory about Ghidorah and Godzilla’s fight causing the storm to envelop Skull Island becomes complicated is Ilene’s mention that she has been studying Kong for 10 years. This implies that he has been contained in the artificial biodome of Monarch Outpost #236 for a decade, which in turn would explain why he was absent from Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. However, the biodome seems more designed to protect Kong from the surrounding storm than to keep him from leaving Skull Island, and if the biodome had been built beforehand the Iwi people surely would have been protected by it. The most likely explanation is that Ilene has been studying Kong since before the biodome was built, and after the storm hit the island Monarch built the biodome in order to continue studying Kong and keep him hidden away from Godzilla.
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