Cate Randa (Anna Sawai) stands in the rain, looking to the sky in 'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters'

Matt Shakman Crafts a Stunning Adventure for ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters aired on Apple TV+ last week and is now the number one show on the streaming service. A series that spans generations of the Randa family, it embarks on a journey through the start of Monarch in the Godzilla universe’s 1950s, and then see where it stands in the modern era.

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Matt Shakman, director and executive producer, had the impossible task of bringing these two worlds together to make a cohesive story and did so in a stunning fashion. As we flash back to the ’50s to see the creation of Monarch, with characters like Dr. Keiko Miura (Mari Yamamoto), William Randa (Anders Holm), and Lee Shaw (Wyatt Russell), Shakman makes sure we have the scene set with a hopeful energy and a lighter quality to the world. Then there’s the darkness and pain that paints a lot of Cate Randa’s (Anna Sawai) world as she is searching for her father and what she finds when she learns about her brother, Kentaro (Ren Watabe) is a lot.

Talking with Shakman about the series, it’s clear that he wanted to bring his own love of Godzilla to the series while still focusing it all on the characters that series writers/creators Matt Fraction and Chris Black had worked so hard to bring to life in the script. “I love Godzilla and have since I was a kiddo watching the original movie with my dad as one of my favorite memories of when I was little,” he said. “But the thing that really drew me into this specific project was the script that Matt Fraction and Chris Black had created for the first episode. I was blown away by this complicated multi-generational family drama. And I loved the characters. I was surprised by the world, and I loved that this was telling a monster story from a human point of view and that those monsters were crucial in telling the important chapters of these people’s lives, that they were having an impact on how these characters’ lives were changing and how they were intersecting. And that’s what they’ve done over the whole season. And I think it’s a miracle to create characters that are super compelling and that can draw your attention away from a giant monster of the background and to be just as interesting.”

You can see our full chat here:

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters airs on Apple TV+.

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.