Legendary Pictures embarked on developing an epic blockbuster franchise of their own by developing the Monster-Verse, a shared setting featuring some of the most iconic monster characters of film history. They started in 2014 with their western reboot of Japanese kaijuu “Godzilla,” co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures and Godzilla’s home studio Toho. This was followed by a similar reboot for giant ape King Kong in 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island.” The atomic-breathed giant returned for another rampage this year in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The next installment is a heavily-anticipated clash between Godzilla and Kong. But while it was originally slated to premiere next March, the date has been moved.
According to Comic Book Resources, Legendary Pictures has rescheduled the next “Monster-Verse” film, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” from March 13 of next year to November 20 instead. The movie will follow up on scene extras from “Kong: Skull Island” that will set the world’s largest ape in a battle against the colossal symbol of atomic hubris. Legendary is looking to have this fourth installment of the Monster-Verse to somehow make up for the weaker box office performance of “King of the Monsters” this past May, compared to the first two films.
Adam Wingard takes over from Michael Dougherty in directing this latest chapter in the ongoing saga of a world being torn apart by titanic creatures considered, as of “King of the Monsters,” to be an “immune system” of sorts for the world against the destructive presence of mankind. Returning from the aforementioned film is Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), who will join an all-new cast for “Godzilla vs. Kong” in Alexander Skarsgard, Brian Tyree Henry and Rebecca Hall. Speculation on the postponement of the film’s release until later in 2019 would have it that Legendary might be retooling the franchise.
“Godzilla” in 2014 and “Kong” three years later were box office blockbusters with respective earnings of $524 million and $566 million. In comparison, “King of the Monsters” had only $385 million to show after its production cost of $200 million. Time will tell if “Godzilla vs. Kong,” a loose adaptation of the 1962 original film by Toho, will prove that the Monster-Verse has real staying power with audiences. The November 20 premiere will decide things.
Image courtesy of Variety