Warner Bros. is altering their distribution schedule for the next three years, including moving the release date for the MonsterVerse film Godzilla vs. Kong up one week. Before the two clash for the first time on film since 1962, there will be a sequel to Gareth Edwards' (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) Godzilla movie, titled Godzilla: King of Monsters. The sequel is slated for 2019 and is expected to make Godzilla a more “relatable” figure. Though none of the human stars of the 2014 reboot are expected back, it has filled out a cast that includes Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown and Bloodline's Kyle Chandler.
Godzilla vs. Kong will be the culmination of six years of work developing the shared universe between the two monsters that started in 2014’s Godzilla reboot and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. Now, fans eager to see these two monsters share the screen will get the blockbuster one week sooner.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. made several changes to its release slate, with the news of Godzilla vs. Kong being the most noticeable, moving from May 29, 2020 to May 22, 2020. The move allows the film to take advantage of Memorial Day weekend (May 25) when American audiences will be off from work. The change also puts the monster movie in closer proximity to the release of a still-unknown Marvel movie and only a week after the release of the new Scooby-Doo reboot.
With Marvel Studios arguably paving the way for serialized but segmented films, Warner Bros. and other film studios have been building up their own shared universes. The studio appears to be following the strategies of both Marvel and Paramount in creating the shared MonsterVerse world.
Paramount developed a writer’s room to break down the next several Transformers movies with the intention of creating spin-offs. Then, the studio set a writer's room for a separate Hasbro cinematic universe with properties that include G.I. Joe and Micronauts. The MonsterVerse also has adopted the writer's room strategy. Terry Rossio, known for his Pirates of the Caribbean films, is leading the room that includes John D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond), T.S. Nowlin, (The Maze Runner and Pacific Rim 2) and J. Michael Straczynski (World War Z and Sense8).
Similar to Marvel, the MonsterVerse schedule is more decompressed than the DCEU’s original creation, which saw a single Superman movie, Man of Steel, premiering before jumping next into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. While Warner Bros. still can’t seem to get away from creating combative titles, they are at least providing enough space for writers to color in the world and the characters before getting to the climactic showdown between two icons.