Legendary Pictures' 2014 Godzilla movie franchises reboot was a proper success, grossing over half a billion in theaters worldwide and earning a solid critical reception, to boot. The film's screenwriter Max Borenstein and director Gareth Edwards will thus be reuniting in the future on Godzilla 2, the sequel that has already been scheduled for a 2018 theatrical bow.
So, what can filmgoers expect from Borenstein and Edwards' planned return trip to the world of giant monsters? Well, for those who were underwhelmed by the ratio of MUTOs wreaking havoc to human drama in the 2014 film, it sounds as though the plan is for the next Godzilla installment to deliver more bang for your buck.
Collider asked Borenstein about the status of the Godzilla sequel at the 2015 Television Critics Association press tour, where the screenwriter has been promoting the upcoming Minority Report TV series (which he wrote the pilot episode for). Borenstein said he's currently working on the Godzilla 2 screenplay, which he teased as follows:
No, I’m doing it. I’m writing it now, and it’s really going to be great. I don’t want to go off book and tell you anything that I’m not allowed to tell you. The response to the first film was really exciting, but now that that world is established, we can do bigger and even better things. We’re really stoked.
Borenstein also co-wrote Legendary's upcoming Kong: Skull Island, an origins story (of sorts) for the eponymous King Kong and his home island populated by a variety of giant creatures. Skull Island may serve as a stepping stone for Borenstein in between writing his Godzilla movie scripts, as Edwards (as far back as 2013) has long indicated that his planned Godzilla sequel could also explore the concept of a monster-populated island (a la Destroy All Monsters) - one that exists within the relatively grounded confines of the world established by his 2014 reboot, that is. The Godzilla 2 conceptual teaser shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 likewise hinted at the appearance of multiple iconic monsters in the sequel.
Edwards is currently in production on Lucasfilm's first Star Wars Anthology (read: spinoff) film, Star Wars: Rogue One, but he's already lined up the Godzilla sequel as his followup project. Borenstein also told Collider that he's looking forward to working with the director again, now that they've built a firm foundation for the King of Monsters' next big screen appearance to build upon:
He’s making Star Wars right now, so he’s a little preoccupied, but yeah. Gareth is amazing. It’s exciting to get to work with him again. One of the fun things about that experience is the same fun that it’s been on [Minority Report], where you really get to have your fingers in the pie.
The 2014 Godzilla film reboot, as mentioned before, was an overall successful attempt to revitalize the franchise. However, it also proved to be somewhat polarizing among moviegoers, since it embraced a narrative approach - slow-buildup with a emphasis on human drama leading up to a grand monster-heavy finale - used by Godzilla movies past, but one that proved too slow-burn (and/or not interesting enough) for some modern filmgoers' tastes.
Still, it sounds as though the sequel ought to take moviegoers deeper into the world of MUTOs, Godzilla, and their fellow giant monsters. Combine that with the fact that Edwards and Borenstein are quickly gaining more experience in the art of making genre tentpoles, and as it seems as though the pair will be in a good position to deliver a 'bigger and better' followup to their first Godzilla adventure (by the time 2018 rolls around, anyway) that can satisfy fans and detractors of the 2014 reboot alike.
Godzilla 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 8th, 2018.