Monarch: Legacy of Monsters looks to be the next big Apple TV+ hit – here's what you need to watch first

New Apple TV+ show is set in the Godzilla Monsterverse and stars Kurt Russell, what could go wrong?

Monarch Legacy of Monsters on Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple TV+ has been nailing it with gripping, must-see TV shows of late (Slow Horses is a personal fave) and it seems like Monarch: Legacy of Monsters will be the next big series to drop into water cooler chats.

Officially part of the Monsterverse - the English-language movie franchise set around Godzilla and other Legendary Pictures' giant beasts – the show starts on 17 November and will run for 10 episodes. Apple has even dropped a teaser trailer to fully whet our appetites.


It stars Kurt Russell and his real-life son, Wyatt, as the same character, Lee Shaw, as it flits back and forth over the timeline. And, most importantly perhaps, the series directly ties into the Monsterverse movies that have been released so far.

It is set after the events of 2014's Godzilla movie and that means you may need to do some swotting up ahead of watching the new show itself.

Here then are the four films you should stream or spin on 4K Blu-ray before Monarch: Legacy of Monsters starts. Plus, we give you ideas of which platform(s) to find them on.

Godzilla (2014)

Although there was a US Godzilla movie released in 1998, the Monsterverse only truly began with the release of Gareth Edwards' 2014 classic of the same name.

Starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), it contains plenty of nods to the hugely successful Legendary Pictures' Japanese originals and some of the unique, beautifully crafted sequences seen in an action flick.

The skydiving sequence accompanied by a bombastic classical score is particularly memorable.

The movie also introduces the MUTO threat for the first time (in a US-made franchise film) and this is important to the new Apple TV+ series, so makes it a must-watch.

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

  • Available to stream on: Apple TV (buy or rent)

With an all-star cast, including Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L Jackson, Kong: Skull Island is the first King Kong movie in the Monsterverse timeline.

It is set during (or soon after) the Vietnam war and also stars John Goodman as Bill Randa of the government agency Monarch. He also appears in the teaser trailer for the Apple TV+ show, so is a great example of how the films and TV series will intermingle.

The film was, until fairly recently, available to stream as part of an Amazon Prime Video subscription but has since been removed from that platform. You can, however, rent the 4K version reasonably cheaply from Apple TV or plenty of other digital streaming services.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

  • Available to stream on: Apple TV (buy or rent)

Sharing the name of a Japanese Legendary Pictures classic and originally planned to be a direct sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film, it was tweaked a bit after director Gareth Edwards left the project. It doesn't, therefore, quite hit the same highs but is still a blast nonetheless.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters also introduces Mothra to the US franchise for the first time, as well as threats Ghidorah and Rodan. It is also the first film to star Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame.

This film was another to have been available on Prime Video for a while but has since been removed. It can, however, be rented or purchased from a number of different streaming platforms, including Apple TV.

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

The final film in the series that's available to watch right now is Godzilla vs. Kong. It serves as a sequel to both King of the Monsters and Skull Island, but pits the two mammoth monsters against each other.

Millie Bobby Brown returns, as well as her on-screen father played by Kyle Chandler.

It's important to watch before the TV series as it features other new characters that you might see pop up in an episode or two.

And there's more to come – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Coming in 2024, the fifth film in the Monsterverse franchise will serve as a direct sequel to Godzilla vs. Kong and this time partners the two against a new threat.

It'll star Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) and Rebecca Hall, who reprises her role as Dr Ilene Andrews from the previous movie.

The film will hit cinemas first, so streaming information is far from being confirmed at present.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.