Update 10-15-2015: Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures have confirmed that the crossover film Godzilla vs. Kong will hit theaters in 2020. The lead-up to the film will feature Kong: Skull Island in 2017, then Godzilla 2 in 2018.
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” says Legendary CEO Thomas Tull in a statement accompanying the announcement. “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.”
The Monarch organization that discovered Godzilla in the 2014 film will reportedly tie all of the films together.
The most famous giant monsters in the world might find themselves on the same screen again, thanks to some behind-the-scenes changes related to the upcoming Kong: Skull Island origin movie.
Legendary Pictures has reportedly shifted distribution for Skull Island from Universal Pictures to Warner Bros. Pictures, the home of last year’s Godzilla reboot. The move is being made to put the two giant-monster franchises under the same roof — and likely pave the way for a crossover down the road.
According to Deadline, the upcoming sequel to Godzilla will be followed by a film that brings the two behemoths together for an epic big-screen brawl, and the shift from one distributor to the other is happening quickly in order to get an early start on planning the meeting between the characters regarded as “The Eighth Wonder of the World” and “The King of the Monsters.”
Currently scheduled to hit theaters March 10, 2017, Kong: Skull Island is expected to begin shooting either later this year or early 2016. The Kings of Summer filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts is directing the film, based on a script by Flight screenwriter John Gatins and — appropriately — Godzilla and Godzilla 2 screenwriter Max Borenstein. Now that both Skull Island and the Godzilla sequel are under the same roof, having the same writer on both upcoming films should provide ample opportunity to seed both films with elements foreshadowing the two monsters’ impending clash.
The sequel to Godzilla is expected to premiere June 8, 2018. Gareth Edwards, who directed the 2014 film and is directing the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is attached to reprise his role behind the camera.
It’s worth noting that a future brawl between King Kong and Godzilla won’t be the first time the two have clashed. The 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla (pictured above) brought both creatures together on the same screen and was not only one of the most successful films in the entire Godzilla franchise, but was also one of the most successful films of all time in Japan.