In a somewhat surprising move in Hollywood last month reports surfaced indicating the Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment would be re-teaming after Legendary joined forces with Universal Pictures (where they still remain) in order to build a cinematic universe together that would see the Godzilla and King Kong franchises merge.
Gareth Edwards' Godzilla was a major hit for Warner Bros. last year and earned the director a job directing the first Star Wars Anthology film (Rogue One) and the opportunity to return for Godzilla 2. That's all official and it already had a date alongside Kong: Skull Island, but now we can confirm when to expect Godzilla vs. Kong.
In a clearly timed effort to ease concerns for Time Warner shareholders over Warner Bros.' bid budget flop Pan and the negative buzz surrounding the expensive and problematic in-development Tarzan, WB doubled-down on their monster movie plans and re-confirmed the next three movies in the monster franchise to remind Hollywood of what's coming next (in addition to the Harry Potter spinoffs and the DC Comics movie universe):
- Kong: Skull Island - March 10, 2017
- Godzilla 2 - June 8, 2018
- Godzilla vs. Kong - 2020
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla. 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.”
Titular vs. movies are all the rage these days and it begins in March 2016 for Warner Bros. with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. For Kaiju fans, you can expect to see several other classic Godzilla monsters in these movies:
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.
That's right. Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. Get ready.
Kong: Skull Island begins production next week on October 19th and stars Tom Hiddleston, Sam Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, and Toby Kebbell. It will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts off a screenplay by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, and Derek Connolly. The films will be connected by the Monarch organization that was first introduced in Godzilla 1 and they will appear in all the films going forward. Think of them as the equivalent of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. that helped bring together the Avengers.
An exact date and details for Godzilla vs. Kong remain under wraps as its predecessors enter development. Meanwhile, Max Borenstein is back as writer on Godzilla 2 and Gareth Edwards will be directing again, too.
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Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters March 10, 2017. Godzilla 2 opens June 8, 2018. Godzilla vs. Kong releases sometime in 2020.
Art by Charlie Layton.