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John Goodman worried he couldn't return to “Kong: Skull Island” role because he's healthier now

Goodman reprises his role as Bill Randa in Apple's "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters."

After the horrors that took place in Kong: Skull Island, it would be reasonable to be apprehensive about making a return trip. Star John Goodman was worried about returning, but for much different reasons.

The Godzilla-centric MonsterVerse took Goodman along for a trip to Skull Island in 2017. His character, Bill Randa, was a co-founder of the shadowy monster-tracking Monarch organization, which is the focus of the new show, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Goodman was a little wary about reprising his role for the Apple TV+ series. Showrunner Chris Black and executive producer Matt Fraction told CinemaBlend that the reason was, surprisingly, Goodman's improved health.

"He is a much healthier man now than he was then," Fraction told the outlet. "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."

Fraction continued, "John was very sweet and exactly the person you want 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."

<p>Everett Collection</p>

Everett Collection

Randa didn't make it to the end of Kong: Skull Island after being eaten by a Skullcrawler. However, given his central role within Monarch, it's not surprising that the show found a way to work him back into the story.

In the roughly seven years since the production of Kong: Skull Island, Goodman lost a fair amount of weight. But he was, obviously, convinced that the role was worth another spin. "He was like, if you really want me and think that I can still pull this off, great, let's do it," Black said. 

Fraction added: "Like, you're John Goodman! You can pull off anything!"

It has not yet been revealed how involved Goodman is in the story. He does, however, appear in the season premiere, as Black and Fraction previously shared with EW. In that debut episode, Randa is on Skull Island, which means he's seen shortly before his death, menaced by one of the spidery Mother Longlegs.

While Goodman may not be a main character, Randa is present elsewhere in the show. Monarch has two timelines. In the thread set in the 1950s, Anders Holm plays a young Randa, laying the foundation for Monarch. The show's main timeline is set in the aftermath of 2014's Godzilla, but prior to the Titan-unleashing fiasco of 2019's Godzilla: King of Monsters. It's a pivotal time for Monarch, as it was a secretive organization for decades, but by the time of King of Monsters, it was seen as an important global organization as the world looked for ways to cope with a radically changing world.

The first two episodes of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters debut Nov. 17 on Apple TV+. The next eight episodes will arrive weekly after that.

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