The first and only time Godzilla and King Kong have fought was over 50 years ago, but a rematch was planned in the 1990s - though the Godzilla movie never made it past the planning stages. If it had happened, Godzilla vs. Kong would have been the third time that the two monsters had met on-screen instead of the second.
Their first meeting happened in 1962 when Toho released King Kong vs. Godzilla, a film that pitted their own monster against the American pop culture icon, King Kong. Throughout the movie, Godzilla and King Kong battled three times, with Godzilla holding the advantage over the giant gorilla for the majority of the film. The tide turned when Kong's electrical powers put Godzilla on the defensive. The film seemingly ended in a stalemate, but it was later confirmed by Toho that Kong was the movie's true winner.
Years later, 1989's Godzilla vs. Biollante underwhelmed at the box office, so Toho felt the need to maximize profits for the next installment in the franchise. It was decided that the best way to do that would be to produce a remake of the 1962 classic, which was a huge success for Toho. Not much is known about what was intended for the story, but supposedly, King Kong would have become attracted to a female scientist whose main objective was to transform him into a cyborg. Unfortunately, the Godzilla vs. King Kong movie failed to materialize in the 1990s.
To make the film happen, Toho had to work out a deal with Turner Entertainment, who at the time held the rights to King Kong. Unfortunately, the money Turner wanted for King Kong was considered too high, so Toho changed their plans. Since Kong was no longer an option, Toho looked to Mechani-Kong instead. Mechani-Kong was basically King Kong's very own Mechagodzilla (except Mechani-Kong came first). The robotic gorilla fought Kong in the 1967 Toho movie, King Kong Escapes. Turner stood in the way of this idea as well, by claiming that Mechani-Kong was too similar to Kong himself. Since neither plan worked out, the film was scrapped.
The 1990s was an interesting period for Godzilla, as this was when Toho had stopped trying to make Godzilla into a heroic figure. The '90s Godzilla was a more violent, meaner version of the classic kaiju, which would have allowed for a darker, less campy version of King Kong vs. Godzilla. There's no telling how the movie would have turned out, but three decades after the rematch fell through, Godzilla and King Kong will finally meet again in Godzilla vs. Kong. At that point, it will have been 58 years since Godzilla and Kong have traded blows.
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020