Along with The Conjuring franchise and Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, one of the only successful cinematic universes that have nothing to do with Marvel is Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse. Kicking off with the 2014 Godzilla reboot and continuing with 2017’s exotic, action-packed Kong: Skull Island, the MonsterVerse is about to cross over in a major way next year with Godzilla v. Kong, the franchise’s equivalent of The Avengers or Batman v Superman.
This will be the movie that makes or breaks the MonsterVerse in terms of long-lasting future success. So, here is Everything We Know (So Far) About Godzilla v. Kong.
10 You’re Next’s Adam Wingard is directing
Adam Wingard, the director of the meta, darkly comic slasher movie You’re Next, is helming Godzilla v. Kong. This will be Wingard’s first major big-budget blockbuster, having mostly directed low-budget horror movies like The Guest, What Fun We Were Having, the Blair Witch reboot, and of course, You’re Next.
Low-budget filmmaking is what helps directors to figure out how to shoot creatively. They can’t just throw money at every single obstacle, and as a result, they learn how to craft great films. Hopefully, Wingard has learned the right lessons from his low-budget work that will carry into his big-budget work.
9 Several MonsterVerse actors are returning
A couple of actors from previous MonsterVerse movies are returning to their established characters. Millie Bobby Brown will be back as Madison Russell, the character she played in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (Bringing Brown back was a no-brainer; Stranger Things has made her one of the biggest stars in the world right now.) Also reprising their roles from King of the Monsters are Zhang Ziyi and Kyle Chandler.
Since Kong: Skull Island was set in the Vietnam War era and Godzilla v. Kong is set in the present day, no one from that movie will be reappearing. New additions to the cast include The Hateful Eight’s Demián Bichir, Deadpool 2’s Julian Dennison, and Iron Man 3’s Rebecca Hall.
8 It’s very character-focused
Director Adam Wingard has said that he really wants audiences to care about the human characters in Godzilla v. Kong. He’s been working closely with the screenwriter, Terry Rossio, to flesh out character arcs and ensure that the human characters aren’t just there to spout exposition between the scenes of monstrous carnage.
Wingard explained, “We’re going in very great detail through all the characters, the arcs they have, how they relate to one another, and most importantly, how they relate to the monsters, and how the monsters relate to them or reflect them.” Fleshed-out characters arcs worked wonders for the MCU, so he’s on the right track.
7 But the monsters are just as important
When Adam Wingard has been talking about his focus on character in Godzilla v. Kong, he’s been sure to stress that the monsters are still just as important to the narrative. The director wants the audience to be emotionally invested in the monsters.
“I really want you to take those characters seriously. I want you to be emotionally invested, not just in the human characters, but actually in the monsters. It’s a massive monster brawl movie. There’s lots of monsters going crazy on each other, but at the end of the day, I want there to be an emotional drive to it. I want you to be emotionally invested in them. I think that’s what’s going to make it really cool.”
6 It’ll be released on March 13, 2020
Godzilla v. Kong is due to hit theaters next spring, on March 13, 2020. From the previous week, it will face competition from Pixar’s upcoming fantasy dramedy Onward, starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as elven brothers.
The following week, it will face off against the highly anticipated John Krasinski-helmed horror sequel A Quiet Place: Part II, and the week after that, it’ll have to compete with Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan (although the star’s recent comments about the Hong Kong police have led to many fans threatening to boycott the film, so it might not face a threat at the box office).
5 Kong is more human than Godzilla
Godzilla v. Kong co-writer Michael Dougherty has explained how King Kong will come off as more human and relatable than his opponent when they go head-to-head in the movie last year.
“Because Kong is a little close to human – he’s a primate, as we are – he’s allowed to show a slightly larger range of emotions...We expect those very unique, and even warm bonding moments between Kong and human beings. That goes back to the 1933 film, where he was never strictly a monster; there was always a very human side to him in the ways that he interacts with us.”
4 It might be the last movie in the MonsterVerse
Usually, cinematic universes have a slew of sequels mapped out years in advance, but according to MonsterVerse producer Alex Garcia, they’ve just been taking it one movie at a time.
“It’s one brick at a time. Each piece has to be as good as it can be. So, right now, it’s all focused on this [Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla v. Kong]. But could there be [more MonsterVerse movies in the future]? Yeah, that’s the hope if the movies turn out really well.” This means that, depending on how Godzilla v. Kong turns out, it might be the last movie in the franchise.
3 It’s not a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla
Godzilla and King Kong have already squared off before on the big screen, in the 1962 Japanese production King Kong vs. Godzilla. However, the filmmakers behind Godzilla v. Kong have been clear that their intention isn’t to simply remake that version of the story. Producer Alex Garcia has explicitly said, “The idea is not to remake that movie.”
It wouldn’t really make sense to remake that movie anyway, since this version will have to fit in with the ongoing storylines and character timelines that have already been set up within Legendary’s MonsterVerse. The original version, on the other hand, stood on its own.
2 The fight will be like Rocky Balboa v. Ivan Drago
Michael Dougherty, the director of Godzilla: King of the Monsters who contributed to the script for Godzilla v. Kong, has compared the titular clash to Rocky Balboa’s fight with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV:
“We’re looking at an almost David vs. Goliath situation. Because everyone, the moment you say Godzilla’s going to fight Kong, your first reaction is: Kong doesn’t stand a chance. Godzilla’s got his radioactive breath...But then, if you really take the time to look at Kong as a character...Kong is extremely intelligent. As a primate, he’s a tool-user. So, he’s got speed, he’s got agility...And I like a good underdog battle. You know, it’s like watching Rocky go up against Ivan Drago. It seems like it’s unfair, but clearly, this means the underdog might have a few surprises.”
1 There will be a winner
While other “versus” movies like Batman v Superman don’t end with a definitive winner (in that case, it was thanks to the dumbest twist in film history: “Save Martha!” “Why did you say that name!?”), director Adam Wingard promises that when Godzilla and Kong clash in his upcoming big-budget spectacle, there will be a victor:
“I do want there to be a winner. The original film was very fun, but you feel a little let down that the movie doesn’t take a definitive stance. People are still debating now who won in that original movie, you know. So, I do want people to walk away from this film feeling like, okay, there is a winner.”