Kong: Skull Island's John Goodman Is Reprising His Role In Apple TV+'s Monarch, But He Had One 'Concern'

 John Goodman in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
John Goodman in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.
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Back in 2017, John Goodman lent his talents to the MonsterVerse as Bill Randa, the Monarch official who spearheaded the expedition to Kong: Skull Island’s title location, Sadly, Randa was devoured by a Skullcrawler, but among the things we know about Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is that Goodman is reprising his role in a scene set shortly before his demise. However, because of how much time passed between the making of Kong and Monarch, CinemaBlend learned that Goodman had a specific “concern” about playing Randa again for the Apple TV+ show.

Ahead of Monarch’s premiere to Apple TV+ subscribers, I had the pleasure of speaking showrunner Chris Black and his fellow executive producer Matt Fraction about various topics concerning the latest MonsterVerse installment. Regarding Goodman’s return to the Titan-filled franchise, I was curious about how the actor reacted when he was approached about playing Bill Randa again, and the duo responded:

Matt Fraction: “You know what? John, to his great and eternal credit wanted… he is a much healthier man now than he was then. And his immediate concern was, ‘Well, you guys know I’m a lot healthier now.’ Like, his immediate concern was none of those clothes are gonna fit. They're all gonna feel tense. John was very sweet and exactly the person you wanted to be. Good hearted and open and willing to play, and I think, intrigued by the idea of, oh, there might be more stories to tell about Bill Randa.”

Chris Black: “Yeah, think he was like, if you really want me and think that I can still pull this off, great. let's do it!”

Fraction: “Like, you’re John Goodman! You can pull off anything!”

Kong: Skull Island shot from late 2015 to early 2016, while Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ principal photography shot in the summer of 2022. So that’s roughly six and a half-seven years that passed between those two projects, and as you’ll see when you compare the below side-by-side pictures, Goodman has definitely lost a fair amount of weight. As such, I can understand why he’d be concerned about playing Bill Randa again considering that, as shown in the Monarch trailer, we’re reuniting with him while he was still on Skull Island rather than years beforehand.

John Goodman in Kong: Skull Island and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
John Goodman in Kong: Skull Island and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Chris Black and Matt Fraction, however, didn’t think the weight loss was anything to worry about, and it didn’t take long for Goodman to come around and jump back into the MonsterVerse. While it appears that this Skull Island-set scene will be all we see from Goodman in Monarch, the good news is it won’t be all we see of Bill Randa. One of the key members of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ cast is Anders Holm, who’s playing Randa in 1950s-set scenes alongside Wyatt Russell’s younger Lee Shaw and Mari Yamamoto’s Keiko.

The show will also explore the post-Godzilla, pre-Godzilla: King of the Monsters time period when the public has just learned about the Titans, with notable characters in that narrative including Kurt Russell’s older Shaw, Anna Sawai’s Cate Randa, Ren Watabe’s Kentaro and Kiersey Clemons’ May. The first two episodes premiere on November 17, with the remaining eight episodes dropping weekly. If you’d like to revisit Kong: Skull Island or any of the other MonsterVerse movies, those can be viewed with a Max subscription, and remember that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is slated on the 2024 movies calendar for April 12.