‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Ending Explained: Director Adam Wingard on That Big Cameo

There’s a character that has been missing from all the marketing materials so far

"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" (Credit: Legendary/Warner Bros.)

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is full of surprises. But there’s one very big cameo that has been withheld from marketing materials so far that really needs to be discussed.

But in order to do that, we’ve got to talk about the ending of “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.” If you haven’t seen the movie – or if you don’t want to be totally ruined when you do – turn back now.

Consider this your last spoiler warning.

Still there? OK, let’s get into it.

Is there an extra monster in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire?”

Yes, there is.

Is it a classic monster?

Yes, it is.

Who is it?

It’s Mothra.

Whoa really?

Yes really. The last time we saw Mothra in the MonsterVerse was 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” In that film, she showed up to help Godzilla against the man Titans he had to face down including – but not limited to – Rodan and King Ghidorah/Monster Zero. Zhang Ziyi played Dr. Ilene Chen and Dr. Ling Chen, the MonsterVerse version of Shobijin, the two tiny priestesses associated with Mothra. She was supposed to appear in “Godzilla vs. Kong,” but her scenes were deleted.

How does Mothra fit into the story?

In “Godzilla x Kong,” there is a hidden tribe of Iwi in Hollow Earth who worship Mothra. They need Jia (Kaylee Hottle) to awaken Mothra. She does. When Godzilla emerges, after getting super-charged in a glacier, he fights Kong. But Kong needs Godzilla to help battle the new baddie, a fearsome giant ape called the Skar King. As they are battling and destroying tons of Egypt, Mothra comes down, acting like Patrick Swayze in “Road House.” She is the cooler. And she cools down the situation, convincing Godzilla to help Kong with this new threat.

Does Mothra join the fight?

She does. The big climactic third act battle starts in Hollow Earth, with Kong, Godzilla and Mothra squaring off against the Skar King and Shimo, a Titan (perhaps the first) that the Skar King controls with a magic crystal (because of course he does). There’s also Skar King’s army of apes, who also join in the fight. Eventually the fight carries over to the surface, with the Skar King, Godzilla and Kong (with a new robotic glove) fighting in Rio.

What happens next?

They defeat Skar King, of course. They smash the magic crystal that is controlling Shimo and Shimo freezes the Skar King. Kong shatters his frozen body, like the Terminator destroying the frozen T-1000. Peace returns to the world. Kong goes back to Hollow Earth with Shimo, governing as a kind ruler. Godzilla goes back to the Colosseum in Rome to take a nap. (Yes, seriously.) We worship our sleepy God.

Why doesn’t Mothra show up in any of the marketing?

Her appearance is a big surprise. Even when they set up the Iwi tribe worshipping Mothra, there’s no guarantee that we’ll actually see her. And they have actually painted her out of certain moments in the marketing, like when Godzilla and Kong are roaring at each other by the pyramids – Mothra is a big part of this sequence. But they just painted her out, like she was the extra Spider-men in the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” trailer. Pretty clever, huh?

But get this – at one point it wasn’t supposed to be Mothra.

Whoa really? That seems … odd.

Indeed! Let “Godzilla x Kong” director Adam Wingard explain

First, a little set-up: there was a different monster, called Phosphera. It had wings. It was a cute design. An image of Phosphera leaked online.

“There was briefly another character called Phosphera that we had in place of Mothra. But Mothra was always what the character was written around,” Wingard told TheWrap. “And there’s this false narrative online that this other character tested badly, and then we were like, ‘Let’s get Mothra.’ The plan was always Mothra. But we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get Mothra. And once we tested the movie, we had the previous version of that, and by then, things had cleared up and we were able to do Mothra.”

Wingard continued: “It would have been really dumb to not do Mothra because if you look at this other creature, it did and said everything the way Mothra does things, but it would have been another creature. It would have been very disappointing if, ultimately, we wouldn’t have been able to land that. I don’t like that some people think that it wasn’t the plan all along. If you look at the very first draft of the script, it always says Mothra.”

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is in theaters now.


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