King Kong and Godzilla will once again face off on the silver screen, as Legendary Pictures is bringing their giant ape project back to Warner Bros. in an effort to unite the two beasts for what promises to be an epic bout.
Legendary originally parted ways with Warner Bros. in 2013, as Movieweb notes, though some of their projects remained with the studio, including 2014’s Godzilla. Others moved to their new home at Universal, and at Comic-Con in 2014, it was revealed that both Godzilla 2 and Kong: Skull Island would be undertaken by Legendary.
— ScreenCrush (@screencrushnews) September 11, 2015
A new report first broken by Deadline now asserts that Legendary’s Thomas Tull is moving Kong: Skull Island back to Warner Bros., in an attempt to unify the King Kong and Godzilla franchises. The move was reportedly made in order to bring both properties under the same roof, in order to streamline any development on a crossover film. The long term plan is to release both Skull Island and Godzilla 2, and follow those films with a Godzilla Vs King Kong match-up. While King Kong is in the public domain, Japanese studio Toho owns the rights to Godzilla, and Deadline reports that they are involved in the deal as well.
— Indy Film (@TheIndyFilm) September 11, 2015
Any potential Godzilla Vs King Kong film will be prefaced by at least three movies featuring these iconic monsters. Godzilla 2 likely won’t begin production until 2017, after director Gareth Edwards finishes work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which he is currently filming (the second Godzilla film has a release date of 2018). Kong: Skull Island is further along in development, however, with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Corey Antonio Hawkins set to appear. The film will begin production later this year or early in 2016.
— MovieWeb (@movieweb) September 11, 2015
Godzilla fans, meanwhile, will get a second dose of the King of the Monsters before any match-up hits the screen, as Toho is currently working on their own film showcasing the character. The Japanese iteration of Godzilla was famously retired after his 50th anniversary movie, Final Wars, yet the studio has now seen fit to resurrect the radioactive lizard based on the success of the 2014 film.
While fans will no doubt be excited by the news, it remains a near certainty that any potential bout pitting Godzilla against King Kong is still years away.
[Image via Twitter/ heroichollywood]