The digital magic of de-aging is unnecessary when you already have your own doppelganger. That’s the unique narrative behind Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, a show that has become a family venture for Kurt and Wyatt Russell. The father and son duo play the same character at different ages in the eight-episode series available on Apple TV+, which is set in the Monsterverse shared by big-screen blockbusters like Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla vs. Kong.
In the present day, Kurt portrays retired Army officer Lee Shaw, who faced giant monsters known as kaiju in the 1950s when he bore a striking resemblance to Wyatt. Although the time-shifting storyline means the Russells don’t share scenes together, director Matt Shakman revealed that Kurt closely observed Wyatt’s performance to incorporate it into his own.
Shakman emphasized that the duo, while distinct in their acting styles, collaborated to create a unique portrayal of the same character. He described the experience as a shared creative project unlike anything witnessed from a father-son acting team.
Their joint participation behind the scenes mirrors the “legacy” theme of the series, which centers around the Shaw family’s connection to the Monsterverse through the Monarch organization. The show also features appearances from iconic monsters, including those from Toho, the Japanese studio behind numerous kaiju classics.
According to Shakman, while the series introduces new monsters, it incorporates creatures from Toho’s extensive catalog. He added that Toho played a significant role in the design process by offering valuable insights and feedback on monster designs.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is now available to stream on Apple TV+, showcasing a compelling mix of practical and computer-generated effects to bring its larger-than-life creatures to life.