[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Godzilla vs. Kong]
With a film called Godzilla vs. Kong, fans expect to see a lot of monster fights between the two titular titans. But within those fights in the latest Warner Bros. Legendary MonsterVerse film, director Adam Wingard also gives King Kong a new weapon to put him at a more even level with Godzilla (a creature with nuclear fire breath): an axe. This isn’t just any old axe, however, as we discover throughout the course of the film. When Kong is taken to the Hollow Earth, a realm at the center of the Earth from which he came, he finds a battle axe laying on the ground that he picks up with much familiarity. And as his throne room starts coming “online” in the wake of his triumphant return, the axe begins lighting up. It’s immediately clear that King Kong’s axe has some very special powers.
That axe comes in handy in the grand finale of Godzilla vs. Kong, when Kong and Godzilla team up to fight uber villain Mechagodzilla, and indeed it’s Godzilla who powers up the axe so that Kong can deal the final blow that kills Mechagodzilla once and for all. But the mythology behind the axe isn’t really explained within the film, and in an interview with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub, Wingard said they kept its origins secret for a reason:
“Yeah, it’s something that we just kind of tease at in the movie and hopefully we can explore in later films. But yeah, there is a real backstory behind it.”
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Writer Max Borenstein, who has been involved in all the Legendary MonsterVerse movies thus far in some capacity, was more forthcoming. In a separate interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Borenstein revealed that the axe was actually made from the scales of a Godzilla-like creature, which explains why he’s able to power it up during the big Godzilla vs. Kong finale:
“To me it’s like Godzilla’s scales have this conductive, radioactive quality and the primate Kongs had a kind of evolved civilization of sorts, as primates might, and simple tools and had used the spine of a Godzilla creature to create it. Presumably there are more like it, but it feels like the iconic scepter of the King.”
Indeed, clearly this axe and the entire trip to Hollow Earth opens up the mythology of the MonsterVerse in a unique way, but Wingard cautions that while they have hopes for a Godzilla vs. Kong sequel, it’s really on the audience to tell the studio whether they should make more of these:
“I think the MonsterVerse is at a crossroads where audiences need to vote that they wanna see another one of these films before they continue, and I think that’s a really healthy thing… Let’s figure out what people really like about this movie, and then if we’re gonna make a sequel one way or the other, let’s figure out what that is based on what people like and don’t like.”
Godzilla vs. Kong is primed to be one of the first big movies opening in theaters with the vaccine rolling out at a high level, so its box office could certainly tell Warner Bros. whether it’s worth continuing down this MonsterVerse path or not. But the film is also streaming on HBO Max for 31 days, so those streaming numbers will also help the studio gauge interest in this franchise following the somewhat disappointing box office of the most recent MonsterVerse film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. As of right now, publicly there are no future MonsterVerse movies or sequels in development.
Clearly with this latest film, Godzilla vs. Kong is hinting at even more mythology to be uncovered – specifically with regards to King Kong’s axe. So there’s more story to be told, if audiences are interested.
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Sadly, ‘Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley’ is not considered official canon.
Adam Chitwood is the Managing Editor for Collider. He’s been working for Collider for over a decade, and in addition to managing content also runs point on crafts interviews, awards coverage, and co-hosts The Collider Podcast with Matt Goldberg (which has been running since 2012). He’s the creator and author of Collider’s “How the MCU Was Made” series and has interviewed Bill Hader about every single episode of Barry. He lives in Tulsa, OK and likes pasta, 90s thrillers, and spending like 95% of his time with his dog Luna.