Godzilla Vs Kong: Everything We Know About The Upcoming Monster Movie
Two of the most famous movie monsters of all time are getting ready to throw down in 2021. Godzilla vs Kong is the fourth movie in Legendary Picture's MonsterVerse, a franchise of big monster movies that kicked off with 2014's Godzilla, and was followed by 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Of course, both Godzilla and King Kong have been around for a lot longer than seven years. The fearsome giant ape Kong first appeared way back in 1933, in the classic movie directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Since then he's appeared in numerous sequels and remakes, plus appearances in every form of media you can think of.
Godzilla arrived a while later, but in terms of movies he's appeared in far outnumbers Kong. The 1954 Japanese movie Gojira was a dark film that was as much an allegory for nuclear war as it was an exciting creature feature. The many sequels that followed were never quite as serious, but they remained wildly entertaining and created a cinematic world of iconic monsters, from Mothra and Rodan to King Ghidra and Mechagodzilla.
The Big G eventually made his way to Hollywood, and while 1998's Godzilla was a terrible flop, 2014's version, directed by Gareth Edwards, was a stylish and exciting hit. The equally successful Kong: Skull Island helped create the interconnected MonsterVerse, while King of the Monsters extended the mythology by introducing more classic monsters from the original Japanese films.
Godzilla vs Kong brings these two cinematic titans together. Unsurprisingly, given the events of 2020, the movie has had a few delays, but it's now expected it to arrive in 2021. So here's everything we know so far about this highly-anticipated monster showdown.
What's the release date?
The current release date is May 21, 2021. Initially, the movie was set to hit theaters in November 2020, but like virtually all big movies in 2020, that date was pushed back.
Will it release in theaters?
With a huge backlog in movies awaiting release next year, studios have started to put some film onto their streaming platforms, most notably Mulan and Soul on Disney+ and Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. In November, it was reported that Warner was planning the same for Godzilla vs Kong. Netflix allegedly offered $200 million for streaming rights, but the studio is instead opting to put it onto its own HBO Max. Reportedly it will still receive a theatrical release too, but it's unclear if this will affect the May release date. And of course, none of this is confirmed yet.
Who in the cast is coming back?
There are a few actors who appeared in Godzilla: King of the Monsters that will reprise their roles in Godzilla vs Kong. Millie Bobby Brown is back as Madison Russell, while Kyle Chandler will play her scientist dad Mark once more. Chinese star Zhang Ziyi will also return as Dr. Llene Chen.
There are plenty of new faces in this latest batch of big monster action. Alexander Skarsgård (The Stand, Big Little Lies) leads the cast as a geologist who the actor describes as "not an alpha badass," while there are also roles for Rebecca Hall (Holmes & Watson), Brian Tyree Henry, (Joker, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Eiza González (Alita: Battle Angel), Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), and Demián Bichir (Alien: Covenant). No further details are known about the characters these stars will be playing yet.
Who's the director?
As with every movie in the MonsterVerse so far, Godzilla vs Kong brings in a different director. In this case, Adam Wingard takes over. This is Wingard's first big-budget movie, but he has an impressive track record in horror and fantasy cinema, with his previous films including The Guest, You're Next, Blair Witch, and Netflix's live-action adaptation of Death Note.
Who are the writers?
The script for Godzilla vs King has been written by Max Borenstein and Eric Pearson. Borenstein has been involved with the MonsterVerse from the start and worked on the scripts for all three previous movies, while Pearson's previous writing credits include various Marvel projects, including Thor: Ragnarok, Agent Carter, and the upcoming Black Widow. In addition, King of the Monsters writers Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields have been involved with rewrites, to ensure continuity across the films.
What's the story?
No specific details about the plot of Godzilla vs Kong have been released, but we do know a few things. Obviously, the film will feature at least one, and hopefully several, bruising showdowns between Godzilla and King Kong. Like the other films in the MonsterVerse, we can expect other monsters too--an early reveal of some action figures suggested that Mechagodzilla, the robotic version of the Godzilla that appeared in the original Japanese films, will make an appearance.
In terms of the overall story, the end credit sequence of King of the Monsters provided a few clues. Monarch, the franchise's monster-investigating agency, have gone public about what they know about the "Titans," while Godzilla continues to rein in the other monsters from destroying the planet. A synopsis has also been released by Warner and Legendary Pictures, which reads: "As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans' origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever." In addition, the movie was partially shot in Hawaii, suggesting a return to Skull Island at some point.
In any case, Wingard has suggested that the film will put more emphasis on the characters than the other movies (which frankly wouldn't be that difficult). "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," he told BirthMoviesDeath.
Is there a trailer or footage?
No clips from Godzilla vs Kong have been officially released yet. However, a very brief clip was shown during Brazil's Comic Con Experience in December last year, as part of a montage of upcoming Warner releases. The footage showed the two giant monsters fighting it out on a huge aircraft carrier. This clip has since surfaced online, but given it was recorded on a phone in the room, it's not exactly the best quality. Hopefully we'll get an official trailer soon.
Surprisingly for a big movie franchise, there aren't any more films currently scheduled. Obviously Godzilla v Kong does sound like the climactic movie the whole series has been building up to, and the box office disappointment of King of the Monsters might have made Legendary hesitant to announce future movies. But this is Hollywood, and if Godzilla vs Kong is a hit, then it's very likely more movies will follow.