When talking about monsters that are larger than life, Warner Bros. definitely has that corner of the market covered. Between the Kaijus of Pacific Rim and last year’s monster hit Godzilla, the studio seemingly has a big franchise just waiting to happen. Too bad Legendary Pictures’ upcoming King Kong movie is currently being developed at Universal. But that may be about to change.
Legendary Pictures signed an agreement in 2014, saying that Universal Studios will market, co-finance, and distribute the production company’s films for the next five years. And the new agreement picked up after Legendary’s previous agreement with Warner Bros. ended in 2013. So Pacific Rim and Godzilla remained at Warner Bros., while their new film Kong: Skull Island began development at Universal Studios. Apparently, however, this deal isn’t completely set in stone.
Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures is moving Kong: Skull Island to Warner Bros., as the plan will be to pit the two monsters against each other in a new movie, after the release of Skull Island in 2017 and the Godzilla sequel in 2018.
To be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island is expected to begin filming late this year or early 2016. Stars Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson have already began their pre-production work, particularly Larson who recently posted a picture of herself training for the role. So it seems Larson won’t be playing the same classic female ingénue role in this new King Kong origin story.
There could also be some other interesting changes in store. In most King Kong movies, the giant ape (while humongous) remained at a manageable height and smaller than most tall buildings. But one would assume that the character will be sized up to battle the 50 meters tall Godzilla. With Kong: Skull Island set in 1970s Detroit, it’s also possible that King Kong could grow over the forty years, eventually putting him at an equal standing with Godzilla, like in the old 1962 film, King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Another added element to the new King Kong vs. Godzilla could be the inclusion of all the monsters planned for Godzilla 2. Footage at Comic-Con 2014 teased the possible return of Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah in the sequel, and the film could also be a remake of 1968’s Destroy All Monsters. The sky’s the limit at this point, and reuniting King Kong and Godzilla is just the first step.
Kong: Skull Island is scheduled to premiere March 10th, 2017. Godzilla 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 8th, 2018.