|“||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 60th Anniversary 2014 movie Godzilla, the first installment in Legendary's MonsterVerse. In the 2019 sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters, another M.U.T.O. appears as a minor Titan that obeys King Ghidorah and later Godzilla.
Similarly to the Shinomura, 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 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 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.
15 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 its wings and taking off. He was later tracked to Hawaii feeding on radiation and later fought off the military and caused destruction, where he faced Godzilla but fled after a short battle. Meanwhile, the female M.U.T.O. hatched as well and broke out of the mountain she was contained in, and began 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 by the M.U.T.O.s. In the following hours, after mating and setting up their nest while using the bomb to feed their eggs, they were attacked 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. nest and destroyed the eggs in an explosion, which drew the rage of the female M.U.T.O. onto him and away from Godzilla. Godzilla then rose back up and successfully saved Ford by attacking the female with his atomic breath, but before he can finish her off, the male attacked Godzilla once more. The two battled until Godzilla killed the male by smashing him into a skyscraper with his powerful tail, impaling him on a beam, 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. by holding her mouth open before firing his atomic breath into her throat, causing her neck to explode 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 day.
The mother of the two MUTOs that were slain by Godzilla, MUTO Prime, emerged in 2014 where she attacked a United States military base in Guam from the underground, following a series of earthquakes that traveled there from Japan. Her assault soon caught Godzilla's attention who realized his mission to stop MUTOs is still far from over and engaged her as she feeds on a nuclear submarine just offshore. MUTO Prime, however, punched Godzilla aside before retreating, leading to a cat-and-mouse chase between two titans which culminated at Athena II Nuclear Power Plant in France, at which MUTO Prime came close in avenging deaths of the two MUTOs by nearly infecting Godzilla with her ovipositor. However, Godzilla slashed her on the face before the two roared on each other with their fight ends in a stalemate for a time being.
MUTO Prime's emergence caught the attention of Monarch, who then track down the kaiju as they putting pieces together. Their investigation concludes the fact that the new MUTO is the parent subspecies of regular MUTOs encountered so far as well as the mother of two MUTOs whom Godzilla slain at San Francisco. Dr. Emma Russell, one of Monarch's scientists, proposed to replicate the sonic pulse which given off by the MUTO eggs, which she deduced signaled to their mother that they were safely implanted inside the host and would pacify her. With MUTO Prime sighted heading to the Azores in Portugal, this plan was set into motion, with powerful loudspeakers emitting the pulse as MUTO Prime burrowed underneath them. However, this had the opposite intended effect, causing MUTO Prime to burst from underground, killing nearly everyone involved in the operation.
Against the lack of faith in the government, Emma and Tarkan set up the ORCA prototype to properly replicate MUTO egg pulse underground in hopes of creating a more desirable effect. As this happens, MUTO Prime arrived at a storage site for decommissioned nuclear submarine power cores with Godzilla hot on her tracks. As the two kaijus clashed once again, Emma and Tarkan activates the signal soon after MUTO Prime shattered Godzilla's dorsal plates, causing her to hesitate just long enough for Godzilla to recover and lift MUTO Prime onto his back and unleashed his Nuclear Pulse in point-blank range, launching MUTO Prime into the air, severing some of her limbs, and sending her crashing back to Earth. As MUTO Prime lay on her back, Godzilla quickly walked over to her and stomped on her head, killing her.
Godzilla: King of the MonstersOne 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. After Godzilla later kills Ghidorah, the M.U.T.O. 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 MUTO, 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 killed the female by opening her mouth and shooting his atomic breath down her throat, causing 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 severed head of the female 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 powerful tail, impaling the M.U.T.O. on a support beam.
The Six Legged M.U.T.O., also known as M.U.T.O. 3, is a minor character in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. She is another M.U.T.O. who appears as a minor Titan that obeys Ghidorah and later Godzilla. She looks slightly different from the others, though she maintains their dark body color, multiple scythe-like limbs, and red elongated eyes. Her leg arrangement is similar to the female M.U.T.O. from Godzilla, as she possesses two pairs of very large forelimbs, a pair of hind legs, and two smaller additional arms hanging from her body. Her back has a segmented, spiky appearance rather than the smooth skin of the other MUTOs.
The Six Legged M.U.T.O. was among the many Titans to be awakened by King Ghidorah's call and started to rampage along with the other newly-awakened Titans. After Godzilla later killed Ghidorah, the M.U.T.O. assembled in Boston along with Scylla, Behemoth, Methuselah, and Rodan. Each of the Titans progressively submitted to Godzilla as the new Alpha of the Titans while he roared triumphantly.
M.U.T.O. Prime, also known as Titanus Jinshin-Mushi or Jinshin-Mushi, is the main antagonist of Godzilla: Aftershock. She is the mother of the Winged M.U.T.O. and the Eight-Legged M.U.T.O. and the grandmother of the unborn M.U.T.O.s. As the parent subspecies of the two M.U.T.O.s which fought Godzilla in San Francisco back in 2014, M.U.T.O. Prime emerged shortly after their death to draw out Godzilla. Gradually weakening him over the course of several brief encounters, M.U.T.O. Prime aimed to infect him with her parasitic larvae, potentially giving rise to an entire ecosystem of M.U.T.O.s which could wipe out the human race.
Fortunately, through the intervention of Monarch's Dr. Emma Russell, Godzilla was able to triumph over M.U.T.O. Prime in their last encounter and crushed Prime's head with a devastating stomp, killing her once and for all.
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 frightening presence and 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 sense of loss over the demise of her eggs and then anger, but how much of this sense of loss is debatable, 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 kaijus, MUTOs mostly seeing them as potential hosts for their children, yet it is not above respecting kaijus whose more superior than them, as shown in the second female MUTO.
Powers and Abilities
Both M.U.T.O.s have several abilities:
Both M.U.T.O.s can use echolocation to communicate, find a source of radiation, and locate each other.
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.
The male M.U.T.O. has wings that he can use to fly. The speed at which he can fly is undetermined.
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 kaijus in order to reproduce. MUTO Prime, however, can inject her eggs into a still-living kaijus since her ovipositor is armored and sharper than regular female MUTO's.
Physical Strength and Durability
Both the male and female M.U.T.O.s possess immense physical strength and durability. 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 posses 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. Both M.U.T.O.s were durable enough to take barrages of both small and large arms fire without any damage. However, their strength and durability appear to be inferior to Godzilla's.
In contrast to her regular brethren, MUTO Prime's exoskeleton proved to be more resilient, almost on the same level with that of Godzilla's durable hide.
Similar to Gyaos, MUTO Prime can unleash a focused sonic roar which strong enough to injure durable hide of a kaiju as shown through her shattering Godzilla's dorsal fins with this ability.
Oliver Gettell of the Los Angeles Times called the M.U.T.O.s "Godzilla's most important co-stars", praising them as threatening antagonists that encourage the audience to root for Godzilla. Some viewers have been critical of the M.U.T.O.s' design, which was perceived to be similar to that of the Cloverfield monster. WatchMojo.com listed the M.U.T.O.s as #10 on their "Top 10 Godzilla Villains" list.
- 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 15 minutes of screen-time, surprisingly longer than Godzilla's 11 minutes. This was likely made to give the M.U.T.O.s more development as villains.
- The M.U.T.O.s are one of the few Kaiju to almost kill Godzilla.
- The M.U.T.O.s are the first monster villains in the MonsterVerse Cinematic Universe.