Created by Marvel video game writer Matt Fraction and Chris Black (Severance), Monarch: Legacy of Monsters debuted on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 17, releasing the first two episodes of the 10-episode series. Episodes will be released every week on Wednesdays, with the first two episodes directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman. This series will be the fifth installment in the MonsterVerse, following the success of the 2021 film Godzilla vs. Kong. Starting with the 2014 film Godzilla, which starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Olsen, Legendary’s MonsterVerse now has four films, including Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and, of course, Godzilla vs. Kong.
Currently, 36 films are in the Godzilla franchise and 12 in the King Kong franchise. This series comes as a product of a joint-venture collaboration between Legendary Television, Safehouse Pictures, and Toho as a part of the shared fictional universe. As the massive franchise expands, there’s certainly no shortage of new names and faces to familiarize yourself with. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the cast and characters who star in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Set after the battle between Godzilla and the Titans, revealing that monsters are real, follows one family’s journey to uncover its buried secrets and a legacy linking them to Monarch.
- Release Date
- November 17, 2023
- Christopher Heyerdahl, Mari Yamamoto, Kurt Russell, Qyoko Kudo
- Main Genre
- Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure
Anna Sawai as Cate Randa
Cate Randa is played by Anna Sawai, the New Zealand actress who is best known for her performances in Pachinko and F9: The Fast Saga. She was also featured as a lead character in the crime drama series Giri/Haji and will be appearing in the upcoming Hulu series, Shogun as Lady Mariko.
We are introduced to Cate in the first episode as a survivor of the San Francisco “G-Day” incident that occurred in the 2014 film, Godzilla. As a former teacher who had witnessed a school bus full of her students fall off the edge of a precipice, she struggles with internal trauma in the aftermath. We also learn that she lost her father, Hiroshi Randa, around the same time and is traveling to Tokyo, Japan to settle his affairs… Soon after her arrival, she learns that her father had an entire second family living in an apartment under his name. With the help of her newfound half-brother, she is determined to get answers about who her father was, and the extent of his involvement with the Monarch organization.
Ren Watabe as Kentaro Randa
Ren Watabe made his acting debut in the 2020 film 461 Days of Bento before joining the cast of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters as Kentaro Randa, the half-brother of Cate. Equally surprised by her sudden appearance in his and his mother’s apartment, he joins Cate in their quest to find out who their mysterious shared father was, and what his involvement with Monarch entailed. He leads Cate to a satchel containing multiple tapes containing encrypted data and introduces her to May, a former girlfriend of his who has the technological ability to open the files within the tapes.
Kiersey Clemons as May Olowe-Hewitt
Kiersey Clemons, best known for her portrayal of Iris West in Zach Snyder’s Justice League and The Flash, plays May in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. She has also provided voice work for the animated comedy series Praise Petey, as Eliza. As an American ex-pat, May makes a living in Tokyo as a technology expert. With her help, Cate and Kentaro can view the many files that they found stored in their father’s safe, discovering their paternal grandmother’s involvement with discovering Godzilla in the 1950s, which is shown through a series of flashbacks in the first episodes of the series.
Wyatt Russell as (younger) Lee Shaw
As the series bounces back and forth between timelines, Wyatt Russell plays the younger version of Lee Shaw. We are first introduced to him as an Army Lieutenant when he is sent on a military excursion to escort Dr. Keiko Muira to investigate abnormal radioactivity that was detected in a remote forest of Kazakhstan in 1953. He initially starts off on the wrong foot with Muira because he assumes that she is simply the daughter of the “Dr. Muira” that he was sent to escort. They soon come to an understanding as they travel to the site and are introduced to a young Bill Randa along the way.
Wyatt Russell is one of many celebrities who have been accused of being a “nepotism baby,” thanks to his famous parents, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. To compound these claims, he is the grandson of Bonanza’s Bing Russell and is half-sibling to Hawn’s children, Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson. However, despite his highly connected relatives, Russell initially went on to become an ice hockey player for numerous amateur, collegiate, and professional teams before having to retire due to injuries. Shortly after, he took up acting and starred in movies such as Overlord, 22 Jump Street, and Cowboys & Aliens. He has also appeared in several major television series, including Under the Banner of Heaven, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and a horror-centric episode of Black Mirror.
Mari Yamamoto as Dr. Keiko Muira
Perhaps one of the most central and pivotal roles in the series, Dr. Keiko Muira is played by Mari Yamamoto. The character is introduced as a fierce female protagonist on the verge of a major discovery with no time for casual sexism within her profession. As the paternal grandmother of Cate and Kentaro Randa, it’s to be assumed that she and Bill eventually become romantically involved, resulting in the birth of Cate and Kentaro’s father, Hiroshi Randa. Mari Yamamoto is a Japanese actress, writer, and producer, most prominently known for her role as Hana in Pachinko, alongside Monarch: Legacy of Monsters co-star Anna Sawain. She also served as a writer and consultant for HBO’s recent drama series Tokyo Vice.
Kurt Russell as (older) Lee Shaw
Introduced in the second episode of the series, Kurt Russell plays the aged version of his son Wyatt’s character, Lee Shaw. He alone has the answers to the multitude of questions that Cate and Kentaro have regarding their father, Hiroshi, and his connection to the mysterious Monarch organization. Kurt Russell is perhaps one of the biggest names involved in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters series, with a stacked resume of acting experience ranging from Jon Carpenter’s The Thing, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, to taking on the role of Saint Nicholas himself in the recent family-friendly holiday film, The Christmas Chronicles and its effervescent 2020 sequel.
Anders Holm as William “Bill” Randa
Given his last name, Bill Randa is perhaps one of the most enigmatic characters of the series. As the (assumed) paternal grandfather of the show’s lead characters Cate and Kentaro Randa, he meets Shaw and Dr. Muira as they are on their way to research radioisotopes that are being emitted from Kazakhstan. His appearance is heavily scrutinized by Shaw initially, but he is soon accepted into the troupe as they venture further into the forest, thanks to his military background. This isn’t the first time the character has popped up in the MonsterVerse; Bill Randa first appeared in 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, played by John Goodman.
This younger version of Bill Randa is played by Workaholics’ Anders Holm. Holm has also appeared in The Intern, co-starring with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, the Netflix docu-drama series Inventing Anna, and the 2016 romantic comedy How To Be Single, as Tom, the “helpful” bartender and friend to Dakota Johnson’s newly-single character, Alice.
Christopher Heyerdahl as General Puckett
General Puckett makes his first brief appearance in the second episode, but it remains unclear whether his character is benevolent or problematic for the Randa half-siblings. He will continue to make his presence known in at least 5 more episodes of the series, but his character will likely have more of an antagonistic role as Cate and Kentaro struggle to decipher the information left behind by their late father. Puckett is played by Christopher Heyerdahl. The award-winning Canadian actor has recently been seen as Dr. Shoenheiss in the cold opening scene of the first episode of The Last of Us. Since then, he has also starred in the true-life survival movie The Boy In The Woods and Robert Budreau’s horror film, The Queen of Bones.
Qyoko Kudo as Emiko Randa
Emiko Randa is Kentaro’s mother, played by Japanese actress Qyoko Kudo. The two of them are introduced to Cate when she enters their apartment, using the key she found inside a drawer of her father’s desk after his death. Although she doesn’t speak much English and struggles to find answers to her own questions about Cate regarding Hiroshi, she is able to provide as much information as she can while Cate and Kentaro investigate their father’s involvement with Monarch. In addition to her role as Emiko, Kudo has also appeared in other major films, such as Babel, The Wolverine, and People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan.
Joe Tippett as Tim
Tim is a well-intentioned supervisor within the Monarch organization. When it is first brought to his attention that someone has accessed the encrypted data that Hiroshi Randa left in his safe, his first thoughts are about how he can bring fame and glory to his name at his workplace. Not wanting to cause concern for the higher-ups within the organization, he sets out to find Cate, Kentaro, and May in Tokyo, accompanied by the more experienced field operative, Duvall. Tim is played by Joe Tippett, a veteran of Apple TV+ shows with a large role in The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and is probably best known for his role as John Ross from HBO’s hit series, Mare of Easttown. He also appeared as Owen in the Apple TV+ holiday movie Spirited, starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell.
John Goodman as (older) Bill Randa
In a very brief flashback scene at the beginning of the first episode, John Goodman is seen reprising his role as the older version of Bill Randa, making a hasty farewell video recording to his son, Hiroshi. He is chased to a seaside cliff by what appears to be a giant “Daddy Long-Leg” spider and tosses a leather satchel into the sea in hopes that whatever is inside will eventually be discovered. Goodman has plenty of credits in his filmography, starting with his lead role as Dan Conner in the classic sitcom, Roseanne, but some of his best and more recent appearances include 10 Cloverfield Lane, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou, and the HBO series The Righteous Gemstones.
Elisa Lasowski as Duvall
Elisa Lasowski is a French actress who is fluent in multiple languages. Some of her most notable work includes films such as Somers Town and Hyena and the popular television series Versailles. In Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Lasowski plays a character named Duvall. She is an expert military operative working with the Monarch organization with a dark sense of humor. She is first introduced to the show in the second episode when she and Tim break into May’s apartment to see who accessed Hiroshi’s encrypted data. This leads them to Kentaro and his mother’s apartment, where they attempt to retrieve the files and detain Kentaro. Although she doesn’t speak much in the episode, it’s evident that she is the heavy-hitter between the two Monarch operatives sent to Tokyo to investigate.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters releases new episodes on Apple TV+ every week on Wednesdays until the season finale on January 12, 2024.
Watch on AppleTV+
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