If director Michael Dougherty and MonsterVerse actor O’Shea Jackson Jr had their way, then the answer to the titular question would be a resounding yes. If Godzilla friend/love interest Mothra, seen in the latest entry into the MonsterVerse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, is, according to Jackson Jr, “super clutch”, then MechaGodzilla — as one of his favourite all-time Toho Titans — must be the sickest of the lot.
The actor, who plays Chief Warrant Officer Barnes in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, would have brought the mechanized Godzilla adversary into the film if he could – alongside a couple of other original Toho kaiju.
“So, number one, without a thought, is Gigan. Gigan, that was like my biggest fear as a kid,” says the Straight Outta Compton star. Gigan, of course, isn’t so far removed from Mechagodzilla, a manmade robot version of his reptilian counterpart built as a weapon to use against the massive lizard. Gigan himself is a cyborg, albeit one – like three-headed dragon-alien King Ghidorah, who has a starring role in King of the Monsters – from outer space.
“Mechagodzilla… I guess he counts as a kaiju, because they built him, but yeah Mechagodzilla for sure [I would have liked to have seen in the film]. And those who know Destoroyah … mostly because he killed Godzilla’s son. It was kind of a big deal.”
Meddling with Mother Nature
There’s every chance that a sequel could see any one of these Titans appear, particularly since Godzilla: King of the Monsters introduces a bunch of additional kaiju into the movie universe that we’ll presumably see more of in films to come (“Fingers crossed, if enough people see this movie, then yeah,” says Dougherty). The film also sets up something tantalizing in the post-credits sequence, that we won’t spoil here.
But if we’re looking for clues as to which kaiju from Toho’s back catalogue could emerge next, director Dougherty offers a big one in his support for the mechanical monster.
“I’m partial to Mechagodzilla,” says Dougherty before teasing us with his love for another manmade kaiju he’d like to see make an appearance in the MonsterVerse.
“There’s another one called Biollante, which not everyone is that familiar with, but she is one of the few other female kaiju [aside from Mothra]. She is a Frankenstein creature that’s the result of humans once again stupidly meddling with Mother Nature. So she was genetically engineered — a combination of human DNA, Godzilla DNA and a plant. So she has a very tragic backstory which I found very interesting.”
Godzilla BC with More Mammal Titans
While Dougherty might not admit to knowing what comes next after Godzilla vs. Kong, set for a 2020 release, he does say he hopes that these two cinematic monsters will “figure out how to put aside their differences” to team up against a mutual threat. In the form of a certain mechanized foe, perhaps.
But it’s not so much sequel as prequel on Dougherty’s mind, as he reveals his thoughts on a ‘Godzilla BC’ idea that’s been brewing in his head.
“Godzilla would be the central figure if I ever got to do a ‘Godzilla BC’ film,” says the director. “But I think it might be fun to introduce some originals into that equation … I think there’s something fascinating about seeing Godzilla in a completely different, almost prehistoric setting. Almost like an old Ray Harryhausen movie.”
What “original” kaiju is he envisaging?
“Well, there’s some in [this] film that I really love,” he says. “There’s one that vaguely resembles a mastodon that’s a personal favourite of mine. Because you don’t see too many kaiju that are mammals, oddly enough. They’re usually an insect or a reptile or some combination of the two. So introducing another mammal Titan into the pantheon was a big priority for me.”
With a bunch of outposts revealed in King of the Monsters belonging to Monarch, the franchise’s clandestine organisation tasked with studying the beasts, and a Titan at each one – “Every outpost has a Titan that Monarch has discovered deep in hibernation; and then the numbers [of the outposts] correspond to the year that they were discovered” – there’s plenty of opportunity to introduce any kind of monster his creative mind can conjure up.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits screens on May 31 in the US, May 30 in Australia and is out now in the UK. Watch director Michael Dougherty and stars Millie Bobby Brown and O’Shea Jackson Jr answer your fan questions in the video above.