Hey everybody, my fever dream has come true! Warner Bros. Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have confirmed that King Kong and Godzilla will square off against each other in Godzilla vs. Kong, coming in 2020. The giant ape and the giant dinosaur lizard thing will meet along with other giant monsters. This marks the beginning of a new Marvel style shared universe combining the two franchises, according to Warner Bros. and Legendary.
“Following Legendary’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2014 success with the global reinvention of the Godzilla franchise, the companies have come together to create an epic, new shared cinematic franchise. All-powerful monsters become towering heroes for a new generation, revealing a mythology that brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new. Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases.”
Both franchise’s are scheduled to see new releases over the next few year’s leading up to the 2020 crossover. Godzilla 2, the sequel to 2014’s smash hit Godzilla reboot will premiere on June 8, 2018. The second in a planned trilogy, the film seems to feature several classic movie monsters newly acquired by Legendary: Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. A teaser was shown at the July 2014 San Diego Comic Con featuring concept art of the three monsters and the tagline “Let them fight”. Max Borenstein (Minority Report, Swordswallowers and Thin Men) and Primetime Emmy Award nominee Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) will return to script and direct the film respectively. No casting has been announced.
The last King Kong film was 2005’s remake from director Peter Jackson, which scored a great deal of box office revenue and a generally positive reception. The series reboot, titled Kong: Skull Island, will release on March 10, 2017 and take place in 1971, a notable difference from the 1930’s setting common to most Kong films. The revival will star Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World, Crimson Peak), Brie Larson (Trainwreck, 21 Jump Street), Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy, Wreck It Ralph), two time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, Non Stop), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton, Broken City), Golden Globe winner John Goodman (Trumbo, The Big Lebowski), Thomas Mann (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Stanford Prison Experiment), John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook, Fast & Furious) and Shea Whigham (The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire). The film will be written by Borenstein, Academy Award nominee John Gatins (Need for Speed, Flight), Academy Award winner Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy) and Derek Connolly (Jurassic World, Safety Not Guaranteed) and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer, You’re the Worst).
If you’re wondering how Warner Bros. are still producing Legendary Pictures films following their deal with Universal then worry no further because the studio addressed that as well. The crossover was apparently worked out as part of a deal between the two studios following Legendary Pictures partnership with Universal Pictures.
“While Legendary maintains its new home at Universal Pictures, the Godzilla films remain in partnership with Warner Bros., who will now also distribute Kong as a part of this franchise. Production on Kong: Skull Island begins October 19.”
“Warner Bros. and Legendary released Godzilla in May 2014 with an agreement to release Godzilla 2 on June 8, 2018. Both films feature the human Monarch organization. Shortly following Legendary’s pact with NBC Universal, Legendary acquired rights to additional classic characters from Toho’s Godzilla universe, including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.”
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” said Thomas Tull, the CEO of Legendary Pictures. “Today, I’m excited to reveal that film was only the beginning of an epic new entertainment universe. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I’ve always wanted to see the ultimate showdown, and today we’re pleased to be announcing that and more.”
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. chairman and CEO, also weighed in, saying “Working with our partners at Legendary, we enjoyed tremendous creative and commercial success with Godzilla. It’s great to be able to revisit these characters and help create a franchise with so many creative possibilities for filmmakers. Fans love these big, globally iconic films and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
Movie buffs will know that this isn’t the first time the two famous monsters have faced each other on the silver screen. 1962 saw the release of King Kong vs. Godzilla, part of the original Toho Japanese Godzilla franchise, which saw Kong escape from a Japanese pharmaceutical company only to encounter Godzilla.