Movies

Godzilla X Kong’s Trailer May Have Revealed Mothra’s Return, And Now I Have A Theory Why She Was Cut From The Previous MonsterVerse Movie

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is one of those blockbusters that proves just how exciting the 2024 movie schedule happens to be. Bringing back both Titans for some big screen smashing in the first quarter of the year means that there’s a lot to look forward to on the board. Looking a little closer at this next round of marketing has made that a little clearer, as fans think they’ve spotted a clue that reveals something big: the return of Mothra! 

As usual, before I break out my official Monarch conspiracy board, it’s time to dig into some hard visual evidence. Which is just an official way of saying that you can watch Godzilla x Kong’s second trailer, provided below for your perusal:

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of Godzilla and Kong storming into battle. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Now that you’ve revisited the trailer, let’s take a look at how Mothra’s return seems to have been confirmed. 

Mothra's supposed reflection in an eyeball in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Legendary)

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire’s Potential Mothra Reveal

This latest claim is a lot more than just a Godzilla x Kong toy showing Mothra being spotted in the wild. It happens pretty early on in The New Empire footage that we saw this past week, as young Jia (Kaylee Hottle) seems to have encountered a bit of a psychic disturbance. This includes what appears to be a quick, “blink and you’d miss it” look at Mothra reflected in her eyes.

Now, of course, this could be another Titan, or it could just be a flashback to Mothra’s antics from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Things like this happen in a movie that decides to equip Kong with an armored fist of fury. I don’t think this is the case though, because we know that Mothra almost returned twice in the MonsterVerse canon. 

So why cut Mothra and her human companions from the equation in both of the previous MonsterVerse sequels? Well, let’s answer that question with another question… before seriously answering that question. 

Kaylee Hottle during a concerned conversation in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Legendary)

Is Jia The MonsterVerse’s Titan Whisperer?

Call me crazy, but I think young Jia is going to be something of a Titan Whisperer in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Not too long after she has those visions, our protagonist tells her adoptive mother Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) that she’s afraid something is wrong with her. I wouldn’t say that something’s wrong, but rather she’s developing the ability to communicate with Titan and Great Ape alike.

Let’s look back at our introduction to Jia in Godzilla vs. Kong. Kaylee Hottle’s character was shown to us as a deaf child who could communicate with Kong through sign language. That’s rather fitting, as Dr. Andrews’ field of specialty at Monarch is anthropological linguistics. 

Who better to bridge the worlds of humanity, Great Apes, and Titans than one child who could talk to both sides? If this plot prediction happens to be true, it’d actually be tying the much-maligned Godzilla: King of the Monsters further into the fold. 

Millie Bobbie Brown and Vera Farmiga stand smiling in a blue light in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Legendary)

Communication With Titans Was Already Built Into The MonsterVerse’s Story

One of the big developments in director Michael Doughterty’s 2019 sequel was the device known as “The Orca.” Developed by Dr. Madison Russell (Vera Farmiga), it could basically mimic the sonic signature of pretty much any Titan. In the hands of the nefarious Col. Alan Jonah (Charles Dance), this was used to cause some serious chaos at the hands of those gigantic creatures.

That’s not the sort of concept the MonsterVerse would side with though, as there’s been a continued thread of co-existence in a world where an indifferent lizard god saves humanity whenever he feels like it. True coexistence wouldn’t come from fabricated control via a digital fakery; it’d come from an actual human who could talk the talk. That brings us back to the subject of Mothra’s history of nearly returning sooner than expected.

Zhang Ziyi stands in the rain looking shocked in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Legendary)

The Mothra Post-Credit Tease Was Cut From Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

The first hint we were supposed to get towards Mothra’s resurrection was in a scrapped Godzilla: King of the Monsters post-credits scene. Showing both Dr. Ilene Chen and Dr. Ling Chen (Zhang Ziyi) present at the site of the second Mothra egg, keeping with the tradition of Toho’s lore surrounding her legacy. 

Unfortunately, this Chen Twins scene was never shot, as the idea only made it to the storyboard phase. Which, if it had been included, would have confirmed that Mothra and her twin humans would have been keeping tradition alive. 

Without that scene present, we still knew that Mothra was waiting to be reborn, as King of the Monsters’ ending clued us all in on the existence of another Mothra egg. All that was missing was the confirmation of this Godzilla franchise Raster egg, which sounds like it was part of the reason on why it was cut from this second film’s plan of action.

Kaylee Hottle holds a Kong doll in the jungle in Godzilla vs. Kong.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. / Legendary)

My Theory On Why Mothra May Have Been Cut From Godzilla Vs. Kong

So why would Mothra not only be cut from a second post-credits scene for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but also director Adam Wingard’s first MonsterVerse entry? Seeing as Godzilla vs. Kong planned on expanding the Mothra mythos and shot material for that plotline, with Zhang Ziyi returning as the doctors Chen, I think it was cut for one reason: the MonsterVerse’s story and human cast was restructured. 

For Jia to be the Titan Whisperer for Kong, Mothra and all other creatures great and large, it’d make the Mothra Twins a bit redundant. Not to mention, the cast of humans in both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong was pretty huge, which has left us with plenty of characters who never felt like they played a huge enough role in the series. See also: pretty much all major scientific figures involved in the MonsterVerse’s Hollow Earth Theory.

So instead of adding onto the human cast with the confirmation of the Mothra Twins, why not cut that subplot and enhance a character who’s already in play? Giving Jia the same sort of responsibilities is a new spin that fits the somewhat more-grounded MonsterVerse. 

It’s a strategy that would fit with Adam Wingard’s remarks to Den of Geek about how Godzilla vs. Kong changed in the edit. This section about tweaking the late Lance Reddick’s performance is especially applicable to this theory: 

I mean, Lance Reddick is top billed in the film, because he used to be in the movie more, but his role is very small because we tweaked a couple of plot points. Unfortunately, sometimes just a tweak of the plot means that whole scenes have to go because they don’t fit anymore. Ultimately all the stuff we shot was just stuff that worked on its own merits, I think. Some of it did [work]. Some of it didn’t work. But most importantly, it wasn’t supporting the movie as a whole and the experience that I wanted to give people.

To anoint Jia the sacred human who connects humanity to these massive beasts would be a pretty clever pathway to simplifying the cast of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Not to mention, it’s also a decision that would start to bring a little more cohesion to the MonsterVerse on the whole. But until it’s proven, this is all as theoretical as Kong’s kingdom was before actual scientific proof arrived.

If you’d like to test this theory for yourself, you can start by revisiting Godzilla vs. Kong, which is currently streaming for Max subscription holders. As for Godzilla x Kong, you’ll be able to take that journey in theaters starting on March 29th.

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