'Godzilla 2' Photo Teases Connection To Original 1954 Film, But What Does It Mean?

Director Michael Dougherty is hard at work directing Godzilla 2, the next movie in Warner Bros. and Legendary's MonsterVerse. But while this film will set up an eventual conflict between two cinematic titans in 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong, it will first turn to villains of the past and feature battles between Godzilla and iconic characters like Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.

Thanks to Dougherty, we know Godzilla 2 will also feature a connection to the 1954 original film that started it all. But what does that link mean for this sequel?

Dougherty took to Twitter this morning to share a set photo from day 41 of his shoot:

That's a device known as the Oxygen Destroyer, a weapon of mass destruction that first appeared in the original Godzilla movie. In that film, it was invented by Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, who inadvertently discovered a chemical reaction that could be harnessed in a hugely powerful weapon. After Godzilla destroys Tokyo, Dr. Serizawa decides to use it as a last resort and detonates the device underwater, which serves two purposes: it kills Godzilla, and it also kills him in the process, ensuring that no one could ever use that destructive power again. (He previously destroyed his own research so no one else could replicate it.)

Godzilla originated in the wake of the horrors of the atomic bomb, so the use of the Oxygen Destroyer strikes me as a sort of a wishful retelling of history in which something that powerful is destroyed on screen, never to be used again. But the weapon actually showed up in subsequent Godzilla movies, and it remains unclear how it'll be used in Godzilla 2. Could it possibly be a way to make the first film canonical in this new MonsterVerse? That seems unlikely, because in the 2014 Godzilla, people's reactions made it seem as if that was the first time any of them had seen or heard of the giant lizard. Unless this sequel gets into some mind-wiping nonsense, that doesn't make a ton of sense. The more likely option is that it'll just be an easter egg for fans, much like the way the name "Mothra" was written on a cage in the 2014 Godzilla film.

But one thing's for sure: if The King of Monsters "dies" because of this device in Godzilla 2, he's definitely getting resurrected quickly, because Godzilla has a Kong to fight in a few years.

Godzilla 2 crashes into theaters on March 22, 2019.