By Clark Collis
April 18, 2019 at 03:07 PM EDT
Meredith has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Meredith may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.

The latest poster for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (out May 31) finds the titular G-man piercing the sky with his “atomic breath.” What exactly is atomic breath? Director Michael Dougherty was cagey about the properties of this nuclear exhalation when EW spoke with the filmmaker last year, saying he couldn’t really elaborate “without giving away too much” but that the point in the film when Godzilla unleashes his breathus atomicus is “a very key moment and it’s a sort of call to arms.”

About five years have passed in Godzilla: King of the Monsters since the events depicted in 2014’s Godzilla. Which isn’t nearly enough time for people to stop freaking out about the discovery that they share the planet with a gargantuan lizard.

“The world is reacting to Godzilla in the same way we would react to any other terrifying incident, in that we are overreacting,” said Dougherty, whose previous credits include the horror movie Krampus. Godzilla hasn’t been seen since that destructive finale, “but there’s paranoia and endless speculation about whether he is the only one out there or whether we’re threatened by others like his kind.”

King of the Monsters makes it enormously clear that there are other big beasts, notably the three-headed King Ghidorah, the giant insect Mothra, and another flying monster, Rodan, who in the original Japanese movies could create hurricane-force winds.

“Rodan’s been kind of a sidekick character, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him” said Dougherty. “In a lot of ways he’s more powerful than Godzilla. He’s like this winged A-bomb. I think we’ve done him justice.”

The film’s human characters include Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga), a scientist working for the beastie-hunting organization Monarch, and her daughter Madison, who is portrayed by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. The pair are kidnapped by what Dougherty describes as “a mysterious organization, with their own plans for the creatures.”

Watch the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters above and see that new poster, below.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Related content:

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

  • Movie
  • Michael Dougherty