Godzilla: King of the Monsters (released as Godzilla II: King of the Monsters in some markets) is a 2019 American monster film directed by Michael Dougherty and co-written by Dougherty and Zach Shields from a story by Max Borenstein, Dougherty, and Shields. A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi. It is dedicated to executive producer Yoshimitsu Banno and original Godzilla suit performer Haruo Nakajima, who both died in 2017. In the film, humans must rely on Godzilla to defeat King Ghidorah, who has awakened other Titans to destroy the world.
The sequel was green-lit during the opening weekend of Godzilla, with original director Gareth Edwards expected to return. Edwards left the project in May 2016, and Dougherty, who had been hired in October 2016 to re-write the script with Zach Shields, was announced as the director in January 2017. Principal photography began in June 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, and wrapped in September 2017.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released on May 31, 2019, to mixed reviews, with praise for the visual effects, action sequences, cinematography, and musical score but criticism aimed at the pacing, tone, story, and characters. The film was a box office disappointment, grossing $385 million worldwide against a production budget of $170–200 million. A sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, is scheduled for release on March 13, 2020.