One can’t really compare Legendary Entertainment’s “Monsterverse” to the success of Marvel’s MCU—at least not yet—but say what you will, you can at least give it one specific bit of praise: At least it’s managed to both entertain and turn a profit more consistently than DC’s superhero films. So in the world of the “shared universe,” it has someone else to point and sneer at.
Today, we have received news that the Monsterverse’s fourth film, Godzilla vs. Kong, will reportedly begin filming this year, in late 2018. That film, shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, would wrap up in early 2019 and receive a 2020 release date, which means it’s still a ways away. After all, we still have Godzilla: King of The Monsters to look forward to first, director Michael Dougherty’s sequel to Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot. That film, which has wrapped filming, is scheduled for March of 2019.
The entire Monsterverse series has been an interesting experiment in how to make potential blockbusters, as each film has handed a well-known property into the hands of up-and-coming directors. First there was Gareth Edwards, who was known for his cheap-as-hell 2010 indie film Monsters before being handed the reins to Godzilla. That gamble worked out, as the film was fairly well received, and Edwards went on to direct Rogue One as a reward. Then Kong: Skull Island was handed to Jordan Vogt-Roberts, whose only previous feature had been 2013 indie comedy The Kings of Summer.
Likewise, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong are in the hands of directors who are mostly known for lower budget genre efforts. The first is directed by Michael Dougherty, the director of what we called the ultimate Halloween night cult movie, Trick ‘r Treat. The second is from Adam Wingard, who directed some great indie horror/thrillers such as You’re Next and The Guest before stumbling with last year’s Blair Witch remake. Let’s hope that Godzilla vs. Kong is a project that gets him back on his feet, artistically. Vogt-Roberts, at least, seems confident.
“Talking to Adam made me so happy because he, in particular, really understands the kind of anime, manga, mech sensibility that I was trying to bring to Kong,” Roberts told Collider. “He gets that and that was something that I fought so hard for and was so difficult to sort of realize to life through concept to execution with ILM [Industrial Light and Magic.] That’s one of the things I’m most proud of with him. I think he truly gets that and he truly wants to lean into this version of Kong that kind of was born from my crazy and stupid videogame brain.”
Most of the questions swirling around Godzilla vs. Kong tend to deal with how you can present Kong, the giant gorilla, as a serious threat to the skyscraper-sized Godzilla, who was larger than ever in Edwards’ 2014 film. In the 1962 original King Kong vs. Godzilla from Japan’s Toho Studios, Kong was presented as being the same size as Godzilla, but much has changed. The writers will likely have to get creative here in order to either upscale Kong or shrink Big G down to size. Also unknown is whether any of the other classic Godzilla series kaiju rumored for King of the Monsters will make an appearance in Godzilla vs. Kong. We’ll be waiting with bated breath for a hopeful glimpse of Gigan: 2020.