The expected Godzilla Vs. King Kong movie was announced by Legendary Pictures on Wednesday. The move comes with the confirmation of release dates for Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla 2. What happens with Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim 2?
Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsuijhara announced the partnership between the two movie studios to bring the two giant monsters to the big screen together. Kong: Skull Island will arrive first on March 10, 2017, followed by Godzilla 2 on June 8, 2018. Presumably, both films are being used to set up Godzilla Vs. Kong.
“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,” stated a release from the studios,” Legendary announced in a press release.
The inclusion of Monarch in other film releases will be the connective tissue between the different movie franchises, much the same way S.H.I.E.L.D. is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It could also signal the return of Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa. He’s the one known for the “Let them fight” line in the 2014 Godzilla release.
The Godzilla films will still be distributed by Warner Bros, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The King Kong films will also be distributed by the studio. The partnership between Legendary and Warner Bros allows for the development of a movie universe filled with giant monsters, primarily through the use of Toho properties, the original creator of Godzilla. Creating shared universes is all the rage these days following the runaway success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Transformers movies are moving in that direction along with Universal Studios monster properties such as The Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, and others.
“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.”
While this news should leave Godzilla and King Kong fans ecstatic, fans of Del Toro’s Pacific Rim should rightly be worried about this development. The movie has already entered a semi-limbo state with it reportedly being canceled and then back on the table but delayed. Legendary is the production company behind the giant robots versus giant monsters films with Warner Bros distributing. Is there room for a similar franchise not part of the new Godzilla and King Kong-shared movie universe?
Del Toro said Pacific Rim 2 was still on as of two weeks ago.
“We are still turning in a screenplay and a budget in three weeks,” the director told Entertainment Weekly. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not gone. We’re still on it,” he said. “I may do another movie in the middle.”
The 2013 release of Pacific Rim performed disappointingly domestically by earning $101 million. The bulk of the box-office revenue came from overseas ($309 million). It was enough for the film to be profitable after its $190 million budget, but it underperformed in the eyes of executives and industry watchers.
What do you think of the matchup between King Kong and Godzilla? Who should win? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Godzilla, King Kong, Pacific Rim, Nerd Reactor]