|“||M.U.T.O.: Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism. It is, however, no longer terrestrial; it is airborne. Now, the World still thinks this was an Earthquake and it would be preferable that that remain so. Before we lost sight of it, it was heading east across the Pacific and had emitted enough E.M.P. disruption to create havoc with our radar and satellite feeds and reduce us for the moment, to a strictly visual pursuit. I emphasize for the moment, because we will get on our game and we will find this thing. It is operative that we do so.||„|
|~ Rear Admiral William Stenz on hunting the Male M.U.T.O.|
|“||The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around.||„|
|~ Dr. Ishiro Serizawa|
The Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, more commonly and simply referred to as M.U.T.O.s, are the main antagonists of the MonsterVerse 2014 movie Godzilla and posthumous antagonists in the 2019 sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the 2021 crossover film Godzilla vs Kong.
They are giant, prehistoric, parasitic creatures of unexplained origin and are ancient parasites that come from the same era and ecosystem as Godzilla. Much like Godzilla, the M.U.T.O. feed off of radiation. However, unlike the surviving Godzilla, who adapted to live at the bottom of the ocean and feed off the planet's natural radiation, the M.U.T.O.s are actively drawn to sources of man-made radiation such as nuclear warheads and chemical weaponry. They are the secondary arch-enemies of Godzilla after Ghidorah as well as the arch-nemesis of Ford Brody.
They were portrayed by Matt Cross and Lee Ross in motion capture.
The M.U.T.O.s are ancient parasites that come from the same era and ecosystem as Godzilla. Much like him, the M.U.T.O.s feed off of radiation. However, unlike the surviving Godzilla, who adapted to live at the bottom of the ocean and feed off the planet's natural radiation, the M.U.T.O.s are actively drawn to sources of man-made radiation such as nuclear warheads and energy plants.
Two M.U.T.O.s were discovered in the Philippines in 1999 after a mining operation drilled into a cave containing two parasitic spores, one of which had already hatched. The newly hatched male M.U.T.O, who had hatched after being disturbed by the cave collapsing, burrowed his way to the Janjira nuclear power plant in Japan, where he caused the plant to collapse from underneath, killing Sandra Brody and several other workers, and causing the entire area to be evacuated because of radiation leaking from the plant.
This was the work of the recently hatched male M.U.T.O., who was looking for a source of radiation that would be able to grow and sustain him while he entered hibernation. Despite the destruction of the plant, the M.U.T.O. linked himself to the radiation hot spot and entered a cocoon-like state, absorbing all of the radiation from the surrounding area. The second pod containing the female M.U.T.O was taken by the Americans to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Depository in Nevada.
Fifteen years later, the male M.U.T.O. finally emerged from his cocoon and let out a mating cry for his female counterpart. He laid waste to the power plant once again, killing dozens including Joe Brody before sprouting his wings and taking off into the night. He was later tracked to Hawaii feeding on radiation and later fought off the military and caused destruction, only to eventually face off with Godzilla, who has arrived in Hawaii, but flees after a short battle. Meanwhile, the female M.U.T.O. hatched as well and broke out of the mountain she was contained in, before proceeding to make her way through Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both the winged and eight-legged M.U.T.O. arrived to fight Godzilla in San Francisco, California, after the M.U.T.O.s were lured there with a nuclear bomb, and Godzilla, in turn, was lured there as bait by the M.U.T.O.s. In the following hours, after mating and building their nest while using the bomb to feed their eggs and hatchlings, they were confronted by Godzilla who at first fights against the eight-legged M.U.T.O. and quickly overpowers her, but before he can kill her, the winged M.U.T.O. comes to her aid.
Together, the M.U.T.O.s were able to overpower and mercilessly wound Godzilla. Meanwhile, Ford Brody found the M.U.T.O.'s nest and destroyed the eggs in an explosion, which drew the attention of the female M.U.T.O. onto him and away from Godzilla. Godzilla then recovered and successfully saved Ford by incapacitating the female with his atomic breath, but before he can deliver the final blow, the male attacked Godzilla once more. The two battled until Godzilla killed the male by smashing him into a skyscraper with his tail, impaling him on a beam and rupturing his organs, but by then, the female had already fled to chase after the bomb.
Ford's team was slaughtered by the M.U.T.O., leaving Ford alone to try and get the bomb out to sea where it can explode safely. Despite this, the M.U.T.O. was easily able to catch up, both seeking a new source of radiation and knowing Brody was the one that destroyed her nest. Before she could destroy the boat and kill Brody though, Godzilla re-emerged and killed the eight-legged M.U.T.O. with his "kiss of death" by holding her mouth open before firing his atomic breath into her throat, causing her neck to explode from the inside and ultimately decapitating her. After letting out a victory roar, Godzilla dropped her severed head into the ocean, and fell onto some destroyed buildings, exhausted, before regaining enough strength to return to the sea the next morning.
- Main article: MUTO Prime
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Following the battle in San Francisco, the severed head of the female M.U.T.O. was recovered by Monarch and sent to Castle Bravo for studying.
One of the Titans (Kaiju) released by Alan Jonah is another female M.U.T.O., who starts wreaking havoc as she acts as one of Ghidorah's minions when he becomes the alpha. Later, after Godzilla kills Ghidorah, the M.U.T.O. arrives to the ruins of Boston with the rest of the Titans and bows her head in defeat, surrendering and recognizing Godzilla as the true King of the Monsters, and as her rightful master.
The Eight-Legged M.U.T.O., also known as Femuto or the Female M.U.T.O., is one of the two main antagonists of Godzilla. She is the mate of the Winged M.U.T.O., the mother of the unborn M.U.T.O.s, and the daughter of M.U.T.O. Prime. She has two pairs of forelimbs and a smaller pair on her chest, and is much bigger than the male M.U.T.O., standing nearly twice the height of the male and being almost as tall as Godzilla. She also has a pouch-like structure on her abdomen, which while gravid visibly contains the glowing eggs.
When her mate emerged from his cocoon in Japan, the female emerged from hers in Nevada and moved to meet him in San Francisco so they can propagate their species. The Eight-Legged M.U.T.O. was somehow fought by Godzilla, who arrived in San Francisco to fight the two M.U.T.O.s and eventually killed the female with his "kiss of death" by opening her mouth and shooting his atomic breath down her throat which causes the M.U.T.O.'s neck to incinerate and explode, ultimately decapitating her and severing the Eight-Legged M.U.T.O.'s head from her body. Later, the female's severed head is stored at Castle Bravo, the outpost where Monarch studies Godzilla.
The Winged M.U.T.O., also known as Hokmuto or the Male M.U.T.O., is one of the two main antagonists of Godzilla. He is the mate of the Eight-Legged M.U.T.O., the father of the unborn M.U.T.O.s and the son of M.U.T.O. Prime. The Winged M.U.T.O. is similar in appearance, except that he is much smaller with a more nimble build, and one of the two forelimb pairs has been modified into his wings, which are long, pointed and membranous, similar to those of a pterosaur.
He emerged from his cocoon at an abandoned nuclear power plant in Japan which prompts his mate to trek across American to meet him in San Francisco so they can propagate their species.
However, the Winged M.U.T.O. was eventually fought by Godzilla, who arrived in San Francisco to fight the two M.U.T.O.s and killed the male by smashing him into a skyscraper with his tail, impaling the M.U.T.O. on a support beam and rupturing his organs.
- Main article: w:c:hero:Queen MUTO
- Main article: MUTO Prime
M.U.T.O.s are giant parasitic creatures with bodies covered in an iridescent, metallic grayish-black exoskeleton. They have orangey-red, narrowly shaped eyes while the shape of their head is reminiscent of Gyaos and have triangular jaws resembling a hooked beak like an eagle.
As a parasitic species, M.U.T.O.s are sexually dimorphic, as there are several notable differences between the males and the females. For example, the female has two main pairs of forelimbs and a smaller pair on her abdomen, thus is much bigger than her male counterpart, standing nearly twice the height of the male and being almost as tall as Godzilla. She also possesses a pouch-like structure on her lower abdomen, which while gravid visibly contains her glowing eggs. The male M.U.T.O. is similar in appearance, except that he is much smaller than the female with a more nimble build. His front forelimb pair has been naturally repurposed to form two large wings, which are long, pointed and membranous, similar to those of a pterosaur. Both males and females possess long, slender, somewhat deer-like hind limbs, with flat, broad feet ending in two hoof-like toes. The forelimbs all end in a pseudo claw form, being curved like a sickle. When walking, M.U.T.O.s use the front "knuckle" of their claws, giving it a hook-like appearance.
M.U.T.O. Prime is nearly identical in appearance to a regular female, except for several notable differences. She was significantly larger than the regular female, has a hardened outer shell covered with razor-sharp back spires, large clawed forelimbs covered in orange scales, as well as several smaller pairs of forelimbs protruding from her abdomen. Her jaws are more defined, along with larger and sharper mandibles. Prime's exoskeleton is metallic-black in color, and she possesses two red visor-like eyes. Protruding from offices in her skull are four arrow-shaped ovipositors with an orange bioluminescent hue. Unlike regular females, Prime walks on four legs instead of six, as it appears that some limbs were fused during the process of metamorphosis. The hind limbs are tridactyl, ending in three claws as opposed to the hooves of regular M.U.T.O.s. Though her exact height is never stated, M.U.T.O. Prime was much larger than Dagon and was also 50% heavier than Godzilla.
As individuals, the M.U.T.O.s are not given much character construction. Being prehistoric parasites, their sole goals revolve around consuming radiation, reproduction and survival. In spite of this, what made them villains in the film are their indifference with death and destruction that they left as they only cared for their brethren and nothing else.
Being the first member to be encountered, the male is described as young, growing, looking for food before meeting with the female, so he consumes radiation to gain strength. When he encounters Godzilla for the first time, he reacts with hostility and becomes defensive, attacking him whenever an opportunity becomes available and evading when possible. Once the male had matured enough, the female awakened from her dormancy and traversed through Las Vegas and other environments to meet with the male, who brought with him a nuclear warhead as a sign of courtship for their eggs to feed upon. She seemed to exhibit pain when laying her eggs in the M.U.T.O. nest in San Francisco, and became hostile and defensive when Godzilla appeared and fought with him alongside the male M.U.T.O. to defend their nest.
As a team, they are powerful and able to best Godzilla with their combined strength. If nothing had distracted them from fighting Godzilla in San Francisco, they may have killed him. When they noticed their nest had been destroyed, the female exhibited a genuine sense of loss and sadness over the demise of her eggs and then anger, as she became angry and looked at Ford Brody, possibly marking him as the one responsible, but was unable to take action when Godzilla used his atomic breath on her, knocking her out. The male attacked Godzilla just before he could attack the female again, showing a protectiveness for her, even willing to risk his own life for her until she recovered.
MUTO Prime, the greatest of MUTOs, was shown to be much more aggressive and driven than her progeny, as she uses hellbent in turning Godzilla into another of hosts of her parasitic eggs just like she did on his predecessor Dagon. As with other MUTOs, she also cared with the well-being of her brethren, as MUTO Prime emerged as soon as Godzilla killed the MUTO couple which confirmed to be her children, hinting that she also sought revenge over their deaths.
In terms of relationships with other kaiju, MUTOs mostly see them as potential hosts for their children, yet are not above respecting kaiju who are more superior than them. This is best shown through Queen MUTO who bowing to Godzilla after he defeats Ghidorah.
Powers and Abilities
- Titan/M.U.T.O. Physiology: As both titans and M.U.T.O.s, the M.U.T.O.s are incredibly powerful; as they possess various physical and supernatural attributes that surpass that of most other titans and M.U.T.O.s.
- High-Level Intellect: The M.U.T.O.s have shown to be intelligent enough to work as a team as the male was able to drag Godzilla away from his mate, who then attacked him in unison. The female was also able to quickly determine Ford's involvement in destroying her nest full of eggs.
- Echolocation: Both M.U.T.O.s can use echolocation to communicate, find a source of radiation, and locate each other.
- Electromagnetic Pulse: The M.U.T.O.s are able to unleash electromagnetic pulses from their claws, which can disable electric apparatuses in a 5-mile-wide radius, labelled the "Sphere of Influence" by the news. There doesn't appear to be any limit to how often they can do this. In the official novelization, it is explained the EMP ability evolved as a defense mechanism, used to prevent Godzilla's species from using the atomic breath.
- Flight: The male M.U.T.O. has wings that he can use to fly. The speed at which he can fly is undetermined.
- Reproduction: The female M.U.T.O. has the ability to reproduce sexually. She lays hundreds of eggs near radioactive objects so that they can immediately feed off the radiation when her offspring hatch. As parasites, the females of the M.U.T.O. parasitic species lay their eggs inside the radioactive carcasses of the larger Godzilla species and other kaiju in order to reproduce. MUTO Prime, however, can inject her eggs into a still-living kaiju since her ovipositor is armored and sharper than regular female MUTO's.
- Advanced Strength: Both the male and female M.U.T.O. possess immense physical strength. The male M.U.T.O. was strong enough to dredge up a Russian Typhoon-class sub from the depths of the ocean and pull it dozens of miles inland on the island of Hawaii; the fact that he could perform such a feat, and later attack a ship in San Francisco Bay to collect a nuclear warhead, implies that he possesses some swimming capabilities. The female was able to claw herself out of Mount Yucca, as well as being able to destroy buildings with ease. She was also able to toss Godzilla himself around a few times, despite his own immense size and weight.
- Advanced Durability: Both M.U.T.O.s were durable enough to take barrages of both small and large arms fire without any damage. In contrast to her regular brethren, M.U.T.O. Prime's exoskeleton proved to be more resilient, almost on the same level with that of Godzilla's durable hide.
- Advanced Stamina: Both M.U.T.O.s were shown to have excellent stamina and resilience. The male spent most of his time after hatching flying around in a constant hunt for radiation, and most importantly, a potential mate. In his final confrontation in San Francisco, the male fought Godzilla for several hours by himself while the female built a nest for their eggs. The female also displays excellent stamina, traveling from Nevada to San Francisco in the span of a couple of days, tearing through any obstacles between her with her massive size. She fought alongside the male in San Francisco, even while being incredibly injured from Godzilla's attacks, most notably his atomic breath.
- Sonic Roar: M.U.T.O. Prime can unleash a focused sonic roar which strong enough to injure the durable hide of a kaiju as shown through her shattering Godzilla's dorsal fins with this ability.
- Originally, Godzilla's opponents in the film were intended to be a six-legged ankylosaurus-like monster called Rokmutul and a pterosaur-like creature called Pterodactyl. Both monsters closely resembled the classic Godzilla monsters Anguirus and Rodan, and were most likely designed as stand-ins for them. A different concept monster appeared in the original Comic-Con teaser trailer for the film. This monster, nicknamed "Vishnu" by fans, only appeared briefly laying dead, and looked like a giant tardigrade.
- The M.U.T.O.s' role in Legendary Pictures' Godzilla mirrors that of the Gryphon from the scrapped 1994 American Godzilla film.
- The M.U.T.O.s are the first American-made kaiju to be specifically created for a Godzilla film, not counting the Gryphon from the unmade 1994 American Godzilla film, and the TriStar Godzilla from the 1998 American film, which later became the monster Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars.
- The M.U.T.O.s are Godzilla's first completely original opponent since Titanosaurus in Terror of MechaGodzilla and Orga from Godzilla 2000. Every other enemy that Godzilla has fought since then are either enemies that he fought before, clones of him, or are derived from or based on an existing monster.
- The M.U.T.O. were portrayed in a more realistic manner than many other Godzilla villains as they were prehistorically mutated creatures instead of aliens or deities, and are less evil than many other Godzilla villains as they wanted to reproduce and ensure the survival of their species instead of just taking over the world for themselves.
- The M.U.T.O.s have about fifteen minutes of screen-time, surprisingly longer than Godzilla's eleven minutes. This was likely made to give the M.U.T.O.s more development as villains.
- The M.U.T.O.s are the first kaiju to almost kill Godzilla in the MonsterVerse, following King Ghidorah.
- Although this is hard to see due to the murkiness of the home video release, after Godzilla kills the Female, her spinal cord can be briefly seen flopping around from her severed head.