The upcoming Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire seems to be missing a major character from the previous film, which speaks to a common trend in the franchise. One of the biggest balancing acts that any film focusing on giant monsters has to accomplish is grounding the human elements. It can be easy for the human characters in kaiju heavy movies to be distracting at the best of times. While some films like Godzilla Minus One manage to pull this off well, the Monsterverse has a less sterling reputation with those characters, as many of them end up feeling one-note.

While they sometimes add unique human perspectives to the stories, they’re often underbaked on a writing level that leaves much to be desired. This might be a big reason why so few of them have appeared in multiple films, with the Monsterverse sequel Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire only bringing back a few of them. One who is MIA for the new film played a big part in the previous film. His absence should hopefully have a positive impact on the movie and leave more room for a prospective Godzilla and Kong-led Titan War.

Alexander Skarsgård Is Not Returning For Godzilla X Kong Despite Godzilla vs Kong’s Ending

Alexander Skarsgård’s Dr. Nathan Lind won’t be returning for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, despite his promience in the prior film — and this is a good sign for the film’s focus. Lind was one of the primary human characters in Godzilla vs. Kong, The geologist traveled into the Hollow Earth alongside Ilene Andrews, Jia, and Kong. Lind even saved Kong’s life during the final battle, restarting the great ape’s heart at a critical junction. The film ended with Lind seemingly setting up shop in the Hollow Earth, but he isn’t returning for the sequel.

While Godzilla X Kong will have returning characters like Ilene, Jia, and Brian Tyree Henry’s Bernie Hayes other characters like Dan Stevens’ Trapper will join the universe. Other humans like Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison are also seemingly absent from the film. There hasn’t been any confirmation of what happened to Lind, which could leave room for the character to return in a different storyline. There’s a chance he simply disappears from the franchise, similar to how the Brody family hasn’t appeared since the ending of Godzilla, which actually continues a pretty consistent (and healthy) trend for the Monsterverse

Godzilla X Kong’s Missing Human Character Could Help Solve A Monsterverse Problem

A criticism of the Monsterverse has been the franchise’s focus on forgettable human characters. Although the Apple TV+ series Monarch have had the room to explore the characters, the films have been distracted by the human stories that fade between movies. In Godzilla, the titular Titan had much of his screentime stolen by the Brody family. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, large swaths of the film were dedicated to family drama instead of the monster battles people paid to see. Even Godzilla vs. Kong suffered from a deluge of human characters, including Dr. Nathan Lind.

Although they contribute to the plot, the extensive cast can feel distracting. That’s why it’s not bad that Skarsgård’s Dr. Lind will be absent from the next film. There are already several human characters to follow, while the main focus hopefully remains with Kong and Godzilla. The prospect of seeing Kong and Godzilla use teamwork is the real appeal, not the humans trying not to get trampled. Dr. Lind’s fate may be a lingering mystery for now, but it might help keep Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire focused on what matters most — giant monsters punching each other.