• Director Adam Wingard seeks emotional depth in MonsterVerse films akin to
    Godzilla vs. Destroyah
    ‘s poignant moments.
  • Godzilla X Kong
    may not have high critical ratings, but audiences are liking the film.
  • MonsterVerse films have strong box office success, even if they don’t always achieve the emotional highs of classic Toho films.



Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire director Adam Wingard says that there is a Toho Godzilla movie that he would like to mimic in the MonsterVerse. Godzilla X Kong is Wingard’s second entry into the MonsterVerse franchise, the first being 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong. Godzilla X Kong stars a leading cast of Dan Stevens, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry, and is currently available to watch in theaters.

Speaking with Discussing Film, Wingard explains which Toho film he would most like to match in the Hollywood MonsterVerse. According to Wingard, this film is Godzilla vs. Destroyah. Wingard praised the film for its “emotional highs,” saying that the ending “brought tears to [his] eyes.” He spoke particularly highly of the moment when Godzilla Jr. and Godzilla die in the film. The Godzilla X Kong director went on to say that he would “want to hit that kind of emotional resonance with Godzilla as a character” if he made another MonsterVerse film. Check out the full quote from Wingard below:

I’ll say this, one of my top Godzilla movies is Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. The reason it’s one of my favorite films is I don’t think any other Godzilla movie, maybe outside of Minus One and the 1954 original, has ever hit such emotional highs. The ending of that film, when Godzilla Jr. dies and, subsequently, Godzilla melts to death, is so poignant and also beautiful in the way that they do it. The first time I saw it, it brought tears to my eyes. And part of that is thanks to Akira Ifukube’s grand score that plays in that scene. It’s crazy because you look at [Godzilla vs. Destoroyah], and it’s a very high-end version of having a guy in a Godzilla suit. I would say it’s probably the peak of it because I don’t think it’s been matched in terms of that version — the quality and the scale of having Godzilla brought to life through an actor in a suit. But that’s the thing for me, if I were going to do another one of these films, I would want to hit that kind of emotional resonance with Godzilla as a character this time. That’s what I’ll say for now.

Is The MonsterVerse Capable Of Such Emotional Highs for Godzilla?

Kong waiting on Godzilla as he stand next to the Hollow Earth portal in Godzilla x Kong The New Empire

Godzilla vs. Destroyah is a 1995 Japanese Godzilla film directed by Takao Okawara. Okawara was an auteur of the ‘90s Godzilla film, going on to direct Godzilla 2000: Millennium in 1999. Though it only has six reviews, Godzilla vs. Destroyah holds an 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an also-impressive 93% audience approval rating on the site. This situates Godzilla vs. Destroyah as one of the best-received films in the Godzilla franchise.


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The MonsterVerse has seen far more lackluster reception by comparison. No Hollywood MonsterVerse film has come anywhere near the likes of Godzilla vs. Destroyah nor several of the other high-rated Toho films. Last year’s Godzilla Minus One, which Wingard references with praise in his statement on Godzilla vs. Destroyah, holds a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes among both critics and audiences. The highest-rated MonsterVerse films, by comparison, have 76% scores.

MonsterVerse Movie

Domestic Box Office

Global Box Office

Rotten Tomatoes Score

Audience Score

Godzilla (2014)

$200.6 million

$524.9 million



Kong: Skull Island (2017)

$168 million

$568.6 million



Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

$110.5 million

$387.3 million



Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

$100.9 million

$470.1 million



Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire (2024)

$103.3 million*

$218.4 million*



*These are updated as of 4/6/2024, and will change as the film is still in theaters

Though often not showered with critical praise, MonsterVerse movies have been box office successes. Godzilla X Kong, for example, has become a major box office hit despite having only a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. In under one week, the film already passed the milestone $200 million mark worldwide. Godzilla X Kong’s lackluster reviews from critics have also been disparate from that of audiences, who have given the film a 92% approval rating. Given the lower ratings of the MonsterVerse films, it might be unlikely for them to match Toho’s emotional resonance, but that might not slow them down financially.

Source: Discussing Film

Godzilla x Kong- The New Empire Poster

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

After nearly destroying each other in 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong, the giant Titans are back to face a new dangerous threat, but this time, they are on the same side. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the fifth film in Warner Bros.’ growing Monsterverse franchise and will be directed by Adam Wingard.

Adam Wingard

Release Date
March 29, 2024

Legendary Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures

Terry Rossio , Simon Barrett , Jeremy Slater

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