Rodan fans are a special breed. We love our massive, fiery, super-awkward-on-land pterodactyl, and are fiercely protective of him. So it’s no surprise that Godzilla fandom has been abuzz about his role in Legendary’s upcoming GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.
“I think Rodan has a cult following,” says the film’s director, Michael Dougherty. “He’s not as much of a household name as Godzilla, or even Mothra. But I love Rodan. It adds a whole new dimension to the MonsterVerse. His battles take place in the sky. He could destroy an entire city just by casually flying over it.”
There is a moment just like that in the recent full-length trailer, and his new design is threatening enough. But while most fans are convinced that Godzilla and Mothra are on the side of humanity and King Ghidorah is definitively the giant baddie, where does Rodan fit in?
“That’s the fun of Rodan!” insists Dougherty. “You’re not a hundred percent sure where his loyalties will lie. We very much play with that concept in the film. He’s more of rogue, you know?”
Footage and toys released so far have teased Rodan battling both Godzilla and Ghidorah, which proves Dougherty’s point. After all, Godzilla and Rodan are famously squabbling allies in most classic kaiju films. It would make sense from a blockbuster movie point of view to have them engage in a little conflict before deciding to team up.
Dougherty also makes the point that as godlike as these creatures might be, they are still exactly that: creatures. “Trying to apply human morality to animals doesn’t work,” he says. “Animals don’t live by the same rules that we do. They’re a little bit more complicated.”
Here’s hoping that Rodan is the surprise rockstar of the movie. We’ll find out when GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS opens on May 31!
Attention fellow Rodan fans: we’ve just released brand new apparel for preorder based on the Godzilla and Rodan cover of Famous Monsters Ack-Ives Volume 1: Godzilla! The Ack-Ives is the first volume in a new series, and contains our full interview with Michael Dougherty as well as copious amounts of of archival Godzilla coverage.
Rodan: Coming soon to a t-shirt near you.