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The MonsterVerse Finally Makes Kong a King

The 2024 film solves a mystery most fans hadn’t even noticed.

Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Warner Bros. Pictures

Ever wonder why no one in the MonsterVerse actually calls Kong by his iconic name? He’s usually referred to as “King Kong,” at least in his original film appearances, but ever since the MonsterVerse rebooted with Kong: Skull Island, the films have been careful to call him Kong and only Kong.

That’s because, until very recently, Kong had yet to be crowned the King of the Apes. For the past 10 years, Godzilla has been the only Titan with the title of king. And as most learned in Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s not a title he’s comfortable sharing. Their rivalry forced Kong into an exile in the Hollow Earth, but after the events of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, this hidden realm has become Kong’s new kingdom.

Before Kong could assume his role as King of the Apes, he had to face the King of Hollow Earth.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Godzilla vs. Kong and The New Empire director Adam Wingard pointed out Kong’s promotion in the latter film’s audio commentary. “The reason the MonsterVerse has held off calling him King Kong is because he hasn’t been king,” Wingard states. And with Godzilla reigning on Earth, it would have been impossible for two Titan kings to rule. That’s just the law of the jungle.

Kong gets a true opportunity to rule when he stumbles across a realm full of apes just like him in The New Empire. Unfortunately, they’ve already got a leader in the Skar King, a tyrannical ape who rules through fear (with the help of the ice-spewing kaiju Shimo). Per Wingard, Kong finally “takes the throne” when he defeats the Skar King and frees his fellow apes from his oppressive rule.

Kong is officially a king by the end of Godzilla x Kong, and by ruling over Hollow Earth, he won’t have to fight for territory with Godzilla. It’s a clever way to work around the MonsterVerse’s biggest rivalry, and an especially satisfying pay-off for Kong’s story so far. It’s safe to assume that future sequels will address Kong by his new title — but whether his issues with Godzilla will subside is still anyone’s guess.

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