The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization answers a big question from the movie, which is why Dr. Serizawa’s son is a villain working with APEX.
The Godzilla vs. Kong novelization explains why Serizawa’s son is a villain in the MonsterVerse. It was confirmed ahead of the film’s release that Shun Oguri’s Godzilla vs. Kong character is Ren Serizawa, the son of Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Ishiro Serizawa. However, why he was on the villains’ side wasn’t explored in the story itself.
Dr. Serizawa, who was a major player in 2014’s Godzilla and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, lost his life sacrificing himself to save Gojira after he was hit by the military’s Oxygen Destroyer. His son, Ren, made his MonsterVerse debut in the following installment but made no mention of his father or what he did to save the planet in King of the Monsters. Instead of trying to honor his father’s legacy and carry on his mission, he was depicted as the right-hand man of the main human villain, Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir). It was he who was responsible for controlling their secret weapon, Mechagodzilla, but he never got a chance to send the mechanized Titan into battle with Godzilla. Ren was killed when Ghidorah made his resurgence and took over Mechagodzilla.
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One thing that audiences were never really told was why Ren was with APEX in the first place. His decision to help kill Godzilla felt like a betrayal of Serizawa’s legacy, especially since he died to keep Godzilla alive. The movie doesn’t address what sent Ren in this direction, but the novelization did so by delving into his backstory. It’s stated in the book that Ren shares a deep hatred of Godzilla, which stems from a jealousy that’s been brewing inside him for years. When he was a child, he was always bitter about his father’s obsession with the Titans, particularly Godzilla. Feeling that his research into Godzilla earned more of Serizawa’s time than he did, he grew to resent both the monster and his father.
It was his relationship with his father (or lack thereof) and feelings toward Godzilla that led him toward joining forces with Simmons at APEX. So rather than continue what his father started by protecting Godzilla, he sought to undo it by helping APEX destroy him with Mechagodzilla. It was his way of getting revenge on the thing that took his father away from him.
Since this explanation makes sense of Ren’s place in the story in Godzilla vs. Kong, it raises questions about why it wasn’t represented in the movie. In fact, his connection to Serizawa was so unimportant that it’s not altogether clear why he was even established as Dr. Serizawa’s son. As for why that could be, it’s likely that what was said in the novelization originally was going to be in the movie in some form. Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard has talked about numerous scenes being removed from the final cut, so it could be that Serizawa’s motivations were explained in a deleted scene.
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