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The King of the Monsters needs a new director after Godzilla filmmaker exits sequel

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The king of the monsters will need to find a new filmmaker to helm his next adventure, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards has reportedly exited the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla reboot.

Currently scheduled to hit theaters in 2019, the sequel to Godzilla is expected to pave the way for giant monster mash-up movie Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020, and Edwards’ decision to leave the project is rumored to have been an amicable split between the filmmaker and studios Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. According to Deadline, Edwards is hoping to turn his attention to smaller projects after directing two back-to-back, big-budget releases in Godzilla and the upcoming Rogue One.

Plot details for the Godzilla sequel are scarce at this point, but Legendary Pictures indicated back in July 2014 that the follow-up to the film would pit the popular, city-stomping monster against some of his classic foes, including the winged dinosaur-like monster Rodan, the massive insect Mothra, and the multi-headed dragon Ghidorah. The impending kaiju brawl was teased during the studio’s panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego that year.

The sequel to Godzilla is just one of several projects planned for Legendary’s monster-based cinematic universe, with the King Kong prequel film Kong: Skull Island set to hit theaters in 2017, then the Godzilla sequel in 2019, and finally, Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020. The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts directs Kong: Skull Island, which concluded principal filming a few months ago.

The initial report of Edwards’ departure indicates that the filmmaker’s decision to leave the Godzilla sequel was made prior to the film getting its release date, and will likely see him returning to smaller budget films like the one that first earned him the attention of Hollywood: 2010’s impressive monster-movie travelogue, Monsters.

Edwards’ Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One, will hit theaters December 16, 2016.

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