Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Entire Godzilla MonsterVerse Timeline Explained

The MonsterVerse franchise is one of the most unusual in blockbuster movies. How so? It was launched as a standalone series, but following the unprecedented success of Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. and Legendary said "We want in on that too" and Godzilla became part of a larger combined universe: the MonsterVerse. Pulling this off could have been really contrived (and it hasn't always been seamless), but with $1.9 billion worldwide across four films, $1.4 billion of that coming from movies with "Godzilla" in the title, we'd say it has worked out pretty well. 

The MonsterVerse may not be Marvel (what else is?) but when you consider that other would-be cinematic universes have either diverted way off-course (the DCEU) or failed out of the gate (the Dark Universe) in addition to "Godzilla" wiping  the slate clean after the universally reviled 1998 film – it's that much more impressive. How'd they do it? By giving us the real Godzilla. Sure, the human characters and storylines may leave us wanting more, but these movies got Godzilla right. So what did Godzilla do across his three-film arc? What Titans did he take on and which cities did he attack? Let's follow the giant radioactive reptile across his MonsterVerse adventures. Here's the entire Godzilla Monsterverse timeline explained.

'In 1954, we awakened something...'

Following "Godzilla" souring critics and fans alike in 1998, Godzilla got the big-budget, Hollywood blockbuster treatment 16 years later with "Godzilla" in 2014. The series had to win back fan support, and they did a good job. They started by setting the story back in 1954, the birth of Godzilla in Japan. No, this new film wasn't a sequel to the original like most of the Japanese versions, but it was a smart way to establish credibility with fans. 

Instead, this MonsterVerse Godzilla was an ancient alpha predator from approximately 252 million years ago who was awakened by a nuclear submarine. What do you do when you discover an ancient endangered species? You blow it up! Or at least that's what humanity did. Turns out the hydrogen bomb "tests" that took place in the Pacific in the early 1950s weren't tests at all -– they were trying to kill Godzilla. Yeah, that didn't work out so well, did it?

Godzilla makes his first public appearance

In the 60 years since humanity discovered Godzilla and subsequently failed to kill him, a secret military organization known as Monarch was established. Their goal was to study him and other gigantic creatures from ages past. One such creature was the MUTO, an acronym for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism — basically a giant reptile-bug species. The male MUTOs were around 200 feet tall and could fly. Female MUTOs were even larger, about 300 feet, and moved around like a gorilla, with two powerful arms and two smaller legs. They were also ancient enemies of Godzilla's species. In fact, they would even lay their eggs inside their stomachs. Not even Pepto Bismol could cure that. 

So naturally Godzilla was none too pleased when a male and female MUTO appeared on the scene. The female hatched in 1999, causing a meltdown at a Japanese nuclear power station, but was held in captivity in the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada. Meanwhile, the male hatched in 2014 and headed towards Hawaii, presumably for one last bachelor weekend before meeting his mate. Well, Godzilla was having none of that, and surfaced for the first time to face off against the male MUTO in the Aloha State. Their battle was brief, but important. Humanity learned what the government had known for six decades: Monsters were real.

Godzilla mutilates the MUTOs

The female MUTO stomped her way across the Nevada desert, while the male flew from Hawaii across the Pacific (with Godzilla on his trail). The two made their romantic rendezvous in San Francisco, because it's a city for lovers. Meanwhile, the military decides it's a good idea to blow up all three monsters with a nuclear warhead, which doesn't turn out so well when the male MUTO steals the nuke and brings it to his bride as a wedding present. After a little kaiju coitus, the female MUTOs lays her eggs around the warhead. The couple looks like they're going to keep reproducing, which naturally will spell the end of humanity forever. Good thing Godzilla arrives in San Francisco to stop them. 

Godzilla throws down with the kaiju couple, but the two-on-one proves too much. Thankfully, the military provides a distraction by blowing up the MUTOs' nest. Godzilla subdues the female with his nuclear breath and tail-swipes the male into a building, impaling him on the beams. Before the revived female can crush the U.S. Navy Officer who blew up her nest, Lt. Ford Brody, Godzilla opens her mouth and breathes his nuclear beam down her throat. Collapsing from exhaustion, Godzilla awakens the next day to swim off into the sea, awaiting humanity to call him in their hour of need.

Ghidorah rises and Godzilla returns

Five years following his fight with the world's biggest kaiju power couple in San Francisco, Godzilla took it easy in the sea. (Okay, not according to the prequel comic, but we're sticking with the films.) In that time, Monarch went mainstream, building bases worldwide to monitor monsters (now known as Titans) — including a base in the Pacific Ocean, where Godzilla slumbered. That is, until an eco-terrorist organization concocts a plot to awaken Titans using a monster-calling machine known as the Orca. 

They start with the worst of them all, Monster Zero, a.k.a. King Ghidorah, a fellow alpha predator rival to Godzilla. We're not telling eco-terrorist how to eco-terrorize or anything, but maybe next time start smaller? Anyway, Godzilla is awakened from his nap and makes his way to Antarctica, where Ghidorah is entombed in snow and ice. Soon after the revived Ghidorah rises from the ice, Godzilla comes to say "No sir!" (in monster speak) — his first appearance on the surface in five years. The Titans tangle, until Ghidorah gets the upper hand, er, wing, and escapes to pillage and plunder like a kaiju Genghis Khan.

Ghidorah becomes king

The eco-terrorists head to Mexico to awaken Rodan from his volcanic penthouse. Alas, Ghidorah has the same idea — though maybe after millennia spent in ice he just wanted an all-inclusive beach vacation. Ghidorah and Rodan have a brief tussle, which doesn't turn out well for the much-smaller firebird. After temporarily taking out Rodan, Ghidorah turns his sight (well, sights, since he has three heads) on the Monarch's flying fortress, the Argo. Just before Ghidorah can catch the Argo, Godzilla pounces from the ocean and pulls him under water. 

The sea monster Godzilla is in his element, and manages to rip off one of Ghidorah's three heads. However, humanity launches a secret weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, in a throwaway bit of fan service referencing the original film, presumably killing Godzilla. However, King Ghidorah survives (given he's a space monster and doesn't need oxygen), standing athwart the volcano like a demon god from hell, and summoning the other Titans from around the world to wreck stuff up.

Dr. Serizawa sacrifices his life to revive Godzilla

Godzilla survived the use of the Oxygen Destroyer, and went to recuperate deep in the bowels of the Earth. It turns out the Earth is hollow, and Godzilla has been using subterranean tunnels to globetrot faster than you can say "Gojira tai Kingu Gidora." He'll be back in tip-top fighting shape in, oh, maybe another decade or so. Unfortunately, there probably won't be an Earth in a decade or so, as Ghidorah and his gang of 17 Titans are wreaking havoc across the whole world. Ghidorah is a space monster, and by assuming Godzilla's mantle as the alpha Titan has thrown the natural order out of whack.

Godzilla needs to get his act together if the planet is to survive, and the humans take drastic steps to make this happen. Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, head of Monarch, pilots a submersible down to Godzilla's lair. There he discovers the ruins of an ancient race who worshipped the Titans and build a temple to the most powerful of all. Godzilla is enjoying a volcanic spa day, briefly awakening to bond with Dr. Serizawa ... who proceeds to blow up a nuke in his face. It worked out pretty well; Godzilla emerges fully healed, bigger and more powerful than ever.

Godzilla goes thermonuclear and becomes King

Ghidorah's kingship over the monsters has gone to his heads, as the space dragon has turned Washington D.C. into an apocalyptic cesspool. He is lured up to Boston, not by the draw of a delicious bowl of clam chowda, but by the Orca being blasted by Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown). Ghidorah is just about to roast Russell with his lightning beams, when Godzilla's nuclear blast knocks him down.

Godzilla and Mothra take on Ghidorah and Rodan in a tag team match of a magnitude not seen since Hulk Hogan teamed with Mr. T.  Ghidorah overpowers Godzilla, so Mothra sacrifices herself, transferring her life energy (just go with it) to Godzilla. Godzilla goes thermonuclear, thanks to the cocktail of Mothra's energy and Dr. Serizawa's bomb to the face, and stomps a mudhole into Ghidorah and walks it dry. With Ghidorah now disintegrated, Godzilla stands victorious, as Titans around the world arrive to bend the knee to the new "King of the Monsters."

Godzilla pummels Pensacola

In the year 2024, five years after the battle of Boston, Godzilla had tamed the Titans and the world is at peace under his reign. Meanwhile, the King of Skull Island, Kong, is being kept in a giant artificial playpen almost as big as AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Why go to the considerable expense to keep him contained? Because otherwise, Godzilla would come to Skull Island to demand his fellow alpha bend the knee. And as Kong's keeper, Dr. Ilene Andrews, said: "Kong bows to no one." 

In the 70 years since Godzilla was discovered, and 10 years after he went public, he had never attacked humanity. That all changed when the alpha Titan surfaced in Pensacola, Florida, and it wasn't for Spring Break. Godzilla attacked a facility of Apex Industries, a multinational munitions organization operated by charismatic CEO, Walter Simmons. It turns out that he was attacking Apex because they were constructing a secret weapon. While Pensacola was the site of Godzilla's first "unprovoked" attack (or so humanity thought), it sadly didn't result in Godzilla vs. Florida Man.

Godzilla tries to sink Kong

Apex Industries' CEO Walter Simmons wanted to launch a voyage to the Hollow Earth, the birthplace of the Titans, to access the same powerful source of energy where Godzilla got his radioactive beam. However, he needed a Titan to do it; enter Kong. Dr. Ilene Andrews was convinced to move Kong, given his Skull Island enclosure was under assault from a massive superstorm and wouldn't last much longer. However, she still played it safe and charted a course outside of Godzilla's normal stomping grounds for Kong's overseas journey. 

Well, the King goes where he wants to go, so Godzilla shows up to attack the Navy transport and kill Kong. He almost does too, despite a really nasty right hand to the jaw, nearly drowning the big ape until he gets temporarily stunned by depth charges. Not to be denied, Godzilla would have gone honey badger on Kong had the Navy not shut down all their ships to convince Godzilla he had won. Which, let's be honest, he had. Godzilla left the flotilla in ruins and Kong on his back

Godzilla attacks King Kong in Hong Kong

Kong survives his first fight with Godzilla and makes it to the Hollow Earth. He discovers a throne room of his ancestors — as well as a really sweet axe made from one of Godzilla's spikes, which would come in handy soon. Meanwhile, Godzilla surfaces again in Hong Kong, once again heading towards an Apex Industry facility where a secret super weapon is being constructed. However, Godzilla gets distracted from his mission when he senses a disturbance in the Hollow Earth.

Godzilla charges up and uses his radioactive beam to drill a hole into the center of the Earth! This may be one of the coolest things he's ever done, even cooler than the time he slid on his tail to dropkick a napalm-spitting giant roach in "Godzilla vs. Megalon." Anyway, Godzilla's beam makes it from Hong Kong to King Kong in the Hollow Earth, about 3,959 miles, greater than the distance between New York and London. Armed with his sick Godzilla spike axe, Kong used the hole to climb up (or down?) from the Earth's core to Hong Kong to go for round two with the King of the Monsters.

Godzilla conquers Kong

The main event: Godzilla vs. Kong. The rematch 60 years in the making. With his axe in hand, Kong was more of a match for Godzilla this time. Not only because he had an axe, but because it was able to absorb Godzilla's most powerful weapon: his radioactive breath. After avoiding Godzilla's nuclear beam, Kong grabbed his axe, jumped off a skyscraper, and smashed his axe like it was Thor's hammer into Godzilla's face. As Dr. Nathan Lind said: "I guess round two goes to Kong." Yeah, guess so. 

A nuclear axe to the face would kill most anything, but the King of the Monsters is not most anything. Nope, it just ticked him off. First, Godzilla slammed Kong into a skyscraper, knocking his shoulder out of place. Next, Godzilla got feral, hunkering down on all fours (for the first time ever, even including the Japanese films) and crawling like a crocodile after Kong. Godzilla pounced onto Kong, slashing and gashing him with his claws, and leaving his chest a bloody mess. With Kong bleeding on the ground, Godzilla stomped on Kong's chest, pressing his foot into Kong's broken shoulder. His victory secured, Godzilla decided not to kill Kong and instead walked away, leaving him to die.

Godzilla and Kong team up to take down MechaGodzilla

Kong was defeated. Godzilla had won. Now he went back to his mission: Destroy Apex Industries secret super weapon. We found out earlier what this weapon was — Godzilla's arch-nemesis, MechaGodzilla. For the first time in the MonsterVerse, Godzilla and MechaGodzilla face off. And it didn't go well for Godzilla. Due to being exhausted from his fight with Kong (again, he took an axe to the face), and the fact MechaGodzilla was designed specifically to fight Godzilla, the big guy was getting his tail handed to him. Thankfully, Kong was revived by an electric jolt to his heart and teamed up with Godzilla to take on MechaGodzilla — the real threat. 

Godzilla shot his radioactive beam into Kong's axe, giving it the juice for Kong to chop Godzilla's cyborg clone into chunks. With both monsters victorious, the two alpha Titans now had a choice; friend or foe? The two choice option three: An uneasy understanding. Kong dropped his axe, signaling he was no threat and acknowledging Godzilla as King, though still refusing to bend the knee. Seemingly satisfied, Godzilla turned his back on Kong and returned to the sea, resting in the ocean until he was needed again.