First of all, I have to comment on how crazy this is. MINUTES ago, I posted up the new WebComic that was all about Godzilla vs. King Kong… and then this press release hit my inbox. Kinda spooky, I’m not going to lie. Regardless of the timing, Legendary and WB have formally announced their partnership, re-affirming that Kong: Skull Island will begin shooting next week and will still hit theaters on March 10, 2017. Godzilla 2, which will feature Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, will land on June 8, 2018.
More than likely, these two movies will feature Easter eggs and nods to one anohter, before Godzilla vs. King Kong (official title so far) hits in 2020. They didn’t give a set date, but this far out, I’m not entirely surprised. I’m sure part of it is having to get the script and behind the scenes crew together before having a more firm timetable.
Following Legendary’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2014 success with the global reinvention of the Godzilla franchise, the companies have come together to create an epic, new shared cinematic franchise. All-powerful monsters become towering heroes for a new generation, revealing a mythology that brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new. Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases.
The announcement that the reinvention of monsters continues was made today by Legendary CEO, Thomas Tull, and Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. The initial trio of films are 2017’s KONG: SKULL ISLAND; GODZILLA 2 in 2018; and then GODZILLA VS. KONG, arriving in theaters in 2020. While Legendary maintains its new home at Universal Pictures, the GODZILLA films remain in partnership with Warner Bros., who will now also distribute KONG as a part of this franchise. Production on KONG: SKULL ISLAND begins October 19th.
Warner Bros. and Legendary released Godzilla in May 2014 with an agreement to release Godzilla 2 on June 8, 2018. Both films feature the human Monarch organization. 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. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.
When Legendary announced films centered on Godzilla and Kong, fans all over the world speculated these two characters might one day meet in the same film. Classic Toho monsters including King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan, as announced at Comic-Con 2014, may also join the Legendary pantheon of giant monster mayhem going forward.
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” stated 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 Tsujihara. “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.”
Most interesting in this PR is how they continually talk about all these monsters they now have access to, meaning they’re likely planning other spin-off films to focus on individual monsters, as well as seeing them throwdown in Godzilla movies. For a monster movie fan like me, this is very damn exciting.