Godzilla: King of the Monsters creature designer Ken Barthelmey shared a few alternate looks for the titular titan’s nemesis, King Ghidorah.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters creature designer Ken Barthelmey unveiled his alternate designs for King Ghidorah in the film.
Barthelmey shared his alternate designs for Ghidorah’s appearance in the 2019 film on Twitter, showcasing a more horrifying version of the towering kaiju than what ended up in the theatrical release. While the Ghidorah seen in the film isn’t far from the character’s original, traditionally fantastical look, Barthelmey’s alternative design for the three-headed dragon adorned it with a slimmer, grotesquely elongated maw.
The monster was introduced in 1964’s Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Both produced and created by Godzilla co-creator Tomoyuki Tanaka, the film was the fifth entry in the then-booming franchise. Starring Shoichi Hirose as the man in the titular rubber suit, Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster gave Godzilla fans a new favorite kaiju to latch onto, barely eight months after the release of Mothra vs. Godzilla. Officially trademarked by Toho as King Ghidorah, the character has been a mainstay of the franchise from his first appearance. Across six decades, Ghidorah has appeared in eleven small and silver screen productions, as well as dozens of games and comics.
King Ghidorah’s appearance in the 2019 film marked the character’s first live-action appearance since 2001’s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the twenty-sixth film in the franchise. Much like his first iteration, the Ghidorah of Godzilla: King of the Monsters is an extraterrestrial invader actively seeking to usurp the titular kaiju’s place at the top of the super-sized food chain.
Though Ghidorah was killed during the film’s climax, his presence continued to be felt in the 2021 sequel Godzilla vs. Kongwherein the villainous kaiju’s consciousness takes control of the Mechagodzilla, after one of his severed heads is used to telepathically control the mechanized monster.
Plans for a second King of the Monsters sequel appear to currently be moving forward, with actor Dan Stevens recently being cast in the leading role. Details concerning the plot and characters are scarce, but reports suggest the upcoming film may focus on the son of King Kong.
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