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Warning: SPOILERS for Godzilla vs. Kong are ahead!
Godzilla vs. Kong may have drawn people in by promising an epic showdown between the MonsterVerse’s two greatest Titans, but the movie didn’t end with one killing the other. Instead, they eventually joined forces to battle Mechagodzilla, a technological terror designed to eradicate all the Titans from Earth. Giant robots fighting towering monsters is well-explored territory in the cinematic realm, but when it came to Godzilla vs. Kong, director Adam Wingard pulled inspiration from the Transformers franchise when designing Mechagodzilla.
Adam Wingard has been a Transformers fan for a long time, citing 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie as one of his best movie experiences growing up in an interview with Inverse. Because he enjoyed the old-school designs of the Robots in Disguise, he decided apply the way they looked to how Mechagodzilla would be brought to life in Godzilla vs. Kong. In the filmmaker’s words:
I just always loved the simplicity of the Transformers designs. So I tried to create a look to the character that was punchy and just had a bit more simplicity. There’s an immediacy to his shape and outline.
Getting the opportunity to work on Mechagodzilla was a dream come true for Adam Wingard, as he recalled how he fell in love with the original version of the character at first glance, before even seeing a Godzilla movie. Wingard had no idea Mechagodzilla factored into Godzilla vs. Kong’s plot when he signed onto the movie, but after doing a “double-take” upon learning the twist, he went to work with the crew to put a unique stamp on a character who’s caused all sorts of trouble in Toho monster movies over the decades. That included infusing some of the classic Transformers aesthetic.
But Adam Wingard wasn’t just inspired by what he liked about the Transformers franchise when designing Mechagodzilla for Godzilla vs. Kong. He also wanted to avoid certain mistakes made by past Transformers movies, specifically 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Recalling how he “couldn't tell what the hell was going on” when watching the movie in a theater, Wingard stated:
The Transformers, they just looked like metal. They looked like a plane crash. So I thought, that's the thing I wanted to avoid. They were too complex. There are too many moving parts, and I couldn't latch on to anything. Nothing felt iconic with that Transformers design.
Within the MonsterVerse, Mechagodzilla was built by Apex Cybernetics, as its CEO, Walter Simmons, wanted a tool that could help humanity reassert its dominance over the planet. Unfortunately, once Mechagodzilla was charged by the energy from Hollow Earth, it overcame its programming and went rogue in Hong Kong. Had Godzilla and King Kong not put aside their differences, Mechagodzilla might have eradicated all life on Earth, but luckily, it was vanquished. But for the brief time it was fully online, I’m sure we can all agree it didn’t look anything like a plane crash.