Godzilla vs. Kong is the latest in a long line of big screen showdowns, although some of its similarities to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are getting bizarre. The fourth movie in the emergent MonsterVerse after Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Adam Wingard's 2020 tentpole will pit Gojira against the King of the Apes just as Zack Snyder's film did Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent four years early.
It's hardly surprising that Godzilla vs. Kong has already drawn comparisons to Batman v Superman. It's two iconic characters fighting against each other while expanding a shared universe, all under the weight of greater cultural significance; just as the Dark Knight and Man of Steel had fought multiple times previously in the comics (and spent considerably longer as the World's Finest), 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla mashed the two monsters together.
Now those comparisons have gone a step further. It was recently announced that Godzilla vs. Kong was moving release date, shifting two months earlier from May 22 to March 13 to avoid competition with Fast & Furious 9 as 2020's film slate fills up. Anybody familiar with Batman v Superman's protracted development will remember a very similar situation for its 2016 release; it moved from May 6 to March 25 to avoid competition with Captain America: Civil War (after already once being pushed back from 2015).
This is, like all the previously cited comparisons, a case of coincidence centering on both films being positioned as major Warner Bros. releases in their respective years; tentpoles moving around for each other is a normal part of the movie business. It's plainly humorous so many production similarities are staking up for movies with such comparable premises, and certainly doesn't attest to any creative comparisons - good or ill - between the DCEU and MonsterVerse. In fact, just as DC Films looks to be gaining a greater long-term focus, so too does the Godzilla franchise look to be learning commercial missteps.
There are, indeed, many more differences between Godzilla vs. Kong and Batman v Superman. The MonsterVerse bout is currently framed as something of a culmination, being the fourth entry in its franchise, whereas the DC version ended up being more of a stepping stone from Superman standalone to Justice League. And it must be added that those stories came about from opposite artistic voices: Zack Snyder was the auteur of the DCEU (at least to a point), while different directors have taken on Godzilla and Kong with each new Legendary film.
At present there's precious concrete information on what Godzilla vs. Kong's story will be (beyond the titular bout). Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler return from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a movie whose ending may directly lead into why the Skull Island ruler is even needed in the first place, joined by Brian Tyree Henry, Alexander Skarsgård, Jessica Henwick, Lance Reddick, Rebecca Hall, Eliza González and Demián Bichir. As with star-studded superhero movies, maybe the real battle is between agents.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020