The greatest giant monsters in movie history will have a rematch in eight years. Yesterday, Legendary Pictures announced Godzilla vs. Kong, the first official crossover between the Godzilla and King Kong movie franchises in since King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1962. In that film, King Kong kicked Godzilla’s ass. But now that Godzilla is 350 feet tall, compared to Kong’s paltry 25 in the most recent Peter Jackson movie, we’re probably going to put our money elsewhere this time around.
Then again, we might have an entirely different King Kong after the events of Kong: Skull Island, the new film arriving in theaters in 2017. And that version might just be big enough to take down Godzilla, who will appear in Godzilla 2 in 2018 in advance of their newly announced title bout in 2020.
Shortly following Legendary’s pact with NBC Universal, Legendary acquired rights to additional classic characters from Toho’s “Godzilla” universe, including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, who are also expected to join the monster mayhem going forward. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” said Legendary CEO Thomas Tull. “Today, I’m excited to reveal that film was only the beginning of an epic new entertainment universe. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I’ve always wanted to see the ultimate showdown, and today we’re pleased to be announcing that and more.”
“Working with our partners at Legendary, we enjoyed tremendous creative and commercial success with ‘Godzilla,’” said Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. “It’s great to be able to revisit these characters and help create a franchise with so many creative possibilities for filmmakers. Fans love these big, globally iconic films and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
Tom Hiddleston is set to star in “Kong: Skull Island” alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell. Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct from a script written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy and Derek Connolly. The film aims to fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.
Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce with Mary Parent. Alex Garcia and Eric McLeod will executive produce the film, which Warner Bros. will release in 3D and IMAX 3D on March 10, 2017. Gareth Edwards will return to direct “Godzilla 2” from a script by Max Borenstein. Legendary is producing with Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia will executive produce. Warner Bros. will release the film on June 8, 2018.