It may have been somewhat divisive due to the amount (or lack thereof) of screen time for its title character, but Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures' reboot of Godzilla was by and large a success. Grossing $93.1 million domestically in its opening weekend, the creature feature ultimately fell victim to the second weekend blues (a 66.8 percent drop), but had strong enough legs to finish with $200.6 million in the States and $524.9 million worldwide.
The overall consensus was that director Gareth Edwards delivered a solid product with room to grow in a followup. As such, expectations are undoubtedly high for Godzilla 2, especially after Edwards (who is returning to direct) used his appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 to tease the possible monsters Godzilla will fight in his second go-around.
Due to the filmmaker running off to play in a galaxy far, far away - Edwards is calling the shots on the first Star Wars spinoff for a 2016 release - Godzilla 2 won't be ready to hit theaters until June 8, 2018. According to studio executives, the plan all along was to wait for Edwards to direct a film in between the series installments, but in the meantime, they're quickly assembling the creative team for the sequel.
According to a new report from Deadline, screenwriter Max Borenstein will be returning to pen the script for Godzilla 2. The scribe is building a fairly impressive résumé early on in his career - in addition to writing the first Godzilla film, he's also in charge of scripting the upcoming King Kong origin story Skull Island (also for Legendary) and the pilot for Steven Spielberg's Minority Report TV series (among other projects).
As he essentially has a monopoly on writing giant monster movies for Legendary, one can interpret this development as a vote of confidence in Borenstein's ability to craft quality entertainment. Some may feel that the narrative story in Godzilla was one of its weaker points, but it did showcase a touching, emotional subplot to draw viewers in (Bryan Cranston's character) while delivering on jaw-dropping sequences of suspense and monster action. Godzilla 2 will be striving for more of the same (with perhaps bigger battles), so Borenstein could very well be the right man for the job.
Since the sequel won't hit theaters until about four years after the first, Borenstein will have ample time to take care of his previous commitments before diving head first into the Godzilla 2 script. Given that Universal/Legendary is also distributing his next major motion picture screenplay, it's conceivable that this news bodes well for the prospects of Skull Island, since the studio is so eager to keep Borenstein in-house.
As is the case with Lucasfilm hiring directors for their new Star Wars films, it would appear that Legendary is using the business strategy of hiring filmmakers and writers who are truly passionate about the material they cover.
Edwards displayed his utmost appreciation and love for the character after the overwhelming positive reception for the Godzilla teaser trailer at Comic-Con 2012 and Borenstein has found a knack for this particular genre. It would seem that studios are wising up about how they handle tentpole fare. Instead of worrying solely about box office profit$, they're invested in making a good movie.
Godzilla 2 will be in theaters June 8, 2018.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.