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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Will Godzilla 2014 Muto Monsters Be 'Evil Mothras'?

Multi-legged kaiju Carcass(teaser trailer)

Godzilla 2014 'Muto' Monsters Have Wings!
Muto sketch

Legendary Pictures' Godzilla reboot is coming out on May 16, 2014. And an official trailer is
soon forthcoming. It's been previously stated that Godzilla will have multiple monster opponents in the film, but what will these monsters be like and how to they fit into the story? I'll take a look at what we know to date with some educated guessing and outright speculation.

The Facts:

This is the official story synopsis:

An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

From the Trailers:

Godzilla 2014 Muto Monster Fan Art
'Centipede' kaiju fan art
1. In the first teaser trailer from the 2012 Comic-con that was leaked online recently, there was the colossal charred carcass of a multi-legged centipede-like kaiju.

2. In the newer 2013 Comic-Con trailer, there was an additional scene of a giant 8-legged, spider-like kaiju attacking an airport, smashing planes, when Godzilla's enormous foot comes down beside it, dwarfing the other kaiju. An attendee of the trailer later made the sketch above and posted it online. This footage has yet to be released to the general public, but I guess will be included in the new trailer coming very soon.

From toy pre-sales:

1. One toy pre-sale from Urban-collector, Deluxe "Destruction Pack" description named the 8-legged monster Muto, meaning 'transformation', or short for 'mutation'.

2. Another pre-sale toy from, "Godzilla 2014 Movie Destruction Pack Assortment" describes "Winged Muto".

giant centipede
Transforming Kaiju?:

But what are these new kaiju foes? It seems clear from the synopsis that they aren't extraterrestrial monsters like King Ghidorah, but home-grown kaiju created by man. The much larger kaiju carcass from the trailer was initially described as a giant centipede. Later others thought it more closely resembled a giant mutated isopod or sea louse, a deep sea relative of the pill bug. So perhaps we have a spider monster and a giant centipede monster from the sea?

giant isopod, sea louse
Are these two different monsters or could these be different forms of the same creature? Could this be a morphing monster or one going through different stages of it's life cycle? If this is true, it's not without precedent. Many of Godzilla's monster opponents took on different forms most notable, The Smog Monster, Hedorah. This would make sense since one of Godzilla 2014 producers is Yoshimitsu Banno who was the director of Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Other monsters with many smaller creatures and one final adult form (often being able to fly) are the crustacean like Destroyah, The giant dragon-fly monster Megaguirus, and crystalline space monster from the 90's Gamera trilogy, Legion.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus horde
What relationship if any exists between Godzilla and these monsters? Why do they fight? I doubt they just happen to bump into each other. Is Godzilla seeking them out to destroy them or is it the other way around? In movies past, monsters have actively sought out Godzilla to feed of his energy like Ogra in Godzilla 2000 or Megaguirus. And Godzilla himself is attracted to powerful sources of nuclear or electrical energy. Could this be a predator/prey relationship? There is a very good scene in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus where a swarm of smaller monsters attacks Godzilla to drain his energy. I think we will see a similar scene in Godzilla 2014.

A new Mothra?

One of the most interesting takes on this was an article I read from Godzilla Fans Universe
where the author suggests that Godzilla's monster enemies were inspired by real life events. The article quotes a Japanese research paper, published in June, 2012 that studied the effects of irradiated soil on silkworm larvae in the aftermath of the Fukushima Earthquake and resulting tsunami/nuclear power plant disaster. The silkworms were exposed to contaminated soil to see how it would affect their development. The larvae were contained in 4 canisters. The researcher, Dr. Tomita detected abnormally large growth in canister number 4. He even said in the paper, "They reminded me of Godzilla." This report was published in several Japanese journals and later picked up by the BBC. Could this have inspired Legendary Pictures? It reminds me of Dr. Niko Tatopoulos investigating giant earthworms at Chernobyl at the beginning of the Tri-star's Godzilla film. 

Battra larvae

Silkworm larvae have claws and multi-legged segmented bodies. The giant carcass
from the trailer could the be larvae form of a gigantic moth monster. Sound familiar? Could this new creature be a modern-day homage or interpretation of Godzilla's most famous foe Mothra? Mothra was a benevolent God battling an evil Godzilla. But wait, in 1992's Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla battles Mothra's evil twin, Battra, first in larval form and then in winged, adult form.

In the leaked teaser trailer we see the charred carcass of the centipede/larvae creature and then see Godzilla turn and roar in profile. The battle seems to be over. But one writer on the Godzilla facebook page had a different interpretation. That wasn't a dead body, it was the molted skin as the creature took on it's final adult winged form. The battle was only half over with Godzilla turning to face his enemy. Wow!

So there you have it. Godzilla will battle the Mutos, first a horde of smaller insect monsters, then a giant larvae and finally a winged adult monster reminiscent of Mothra's dark twin Battra. Well, maybe.

The official trailer is expected around Nov 3rd, the 59th anniversary of the original release of Gojira in 1954. We're sure to get a better peek at the enemy monsters as well a Godzilla himself. Stay tuned on this site for more trailers and news.

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