Godzilla: King of the Monsters recently released its first trailer, and while it was all kinds of glorious, some fans did express one tiny criticism: the movie seems to have almost no connection to the franchise of which it is a part. As a sequel to both 2014’s Godzilla and last year’s Kong: Skull Island, the movie doesn’t appear — at least in the trailer — to have much to do with either. There are just two returning actors from Godzilla (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) in minor roles, and the only discernible link to Kong is the presence of the organization Monarch. But apparently the connections run deeper than that, as one Kong: Skull Island character will return in the new film.
King of the Monsters director Michael Dougherty told Rotten Tomatoes in a recent interview that a character from the blockbuster King Kong movie would feature in his film, but he wouldn’t say who. “We do bring back one character from Kong: Skull Island,” Dougherty told the site, according to Bloody Disgusting. “You’ll have to see the movie…” There are obviously complications regarding such a character, as Kong: Skull Island takes place in the 1970s and King of the Monsters is set in the present day, meaning that whatever character shows up will almost certainly be played by a new actor. So who could it be?
There are really only two candidates: Tom Hiddleston’s James Conrad and Brie Larson’s Mason Weaver, as the rest of Skull Island‘s characters either died or are too old, plus both were recruited to Monarch at the end of the film. As of right now, the smart money is on Conrad, with Game of Thrones star Charles Dance likely playing an older version of the tracker. The new film takes place about 45 years after Skull Island, and Dance is 34 years older than Hiddleston, so their ages are close enough to be believable as the same character separated by over four decades. Also, Dance is pretty much the only actor from King of the Monsters whose role has not yet been revealed, and there’s no corresponding older woman in the cast who could presumably play Weaver.
Whether the returning Kong character ends up being Conrad or someone else, we’ll probably have to wait until Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters on May 30, 2019 to find out.