On Friday of New York Comic Con 2023, the creators behind Apple TV+’s upcoming television series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, hosted a panel for and screening of the new generation-spanning installation in the Godzilla saga. Following the panel, the creative team sat down with media representatives to talk more about their shared creative process for the series which is set to premiere on November 17, 2023.
The panel lineup consisted of Chris Black (Showrunner and Executive Producer), Matt Fraction (Executive Producer), Tory Tunnell (Executive Producer), Andy Goddard (Executive Producer and Director), Ronna Kress (Casting Director), and Sean Konrad (VFX Supervisor).
For readers who may be unfamiliar, here is a synopsis of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters:
Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” tracks two siblings following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch. Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army officer Lee Shaw (played by Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later where Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows. The dramatic saga — spanning three generations — reveals buried secrets and the ways that epic, earth-shattering events can reverberate through our lives.
The concept of legacy was not lost on the creative team, not only with the longevity of the Godzilla mythos in various entertainment mediums, but also with the multigenerational story being told in this series and the multigenerational casting of the role, Lee Shaw, portrayed by both Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt Russell.
When asked how the team dealt with the breadth of the franchise and the Godzilla myths in approaching this story, Executive Producer Matt Fraction noted, “TV and comics are serial mediums. The longevity is due to the characters. Whether it’s working with Marvel or the world that Legendary has made, there is a cool myth with lots of question marks, and how do we move through that?”
VFX Supervisor Sean Konrad also added, “We want to make a consistent character that flows from the movies to the TV show.”
In terms of the unique casting of Kurt and Wyatt Russell and what the father-and-son duo brought to the show itself and to the shared development of the character, Casting Director Ronna Kress cited, “Once we landed on that – which we landed on really quickly – we couldn’t let it go.”
Fraction added, “It was just such a right solution.”
With horror and sci-fi serving to help viewers process the more challenging aspects of real-world scenarios, the creative team was asked what they hoped to tackle with the themes of this specific installment. Showrunner and Executive Producer Chris Black noted, “This series is about trauma. It’s not about the actual monsters in the show…it’s about dealing with the monsters in our lives.” In tracking the human characters’ trajectory in acknowledging and dealing with that personal trauma, Black concluded, “Hopefully, you end up with a set of characters who are very much different from where they began.”
Overall, the creative team hopes that audiences are as much in love with the series as they were in making it. Black added that if interest is there from audiences, they definitely hope to continue with Season 2.
For more information on Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, be sure to visit Apple TV+’s website and stay tuned for the launch of the first two episodes on November 17, 2023.
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