The King of Kong and the King of the Monsters are going toe-to-toe – again!
For a lot of regular monster fans, when asked to identify the most famous one, they would pick Godzilla. When asked to pick another, it would probably be King Kong. They’re the big names in giant-monster-fandom; the ones that keep getting movies, the ones who are truly groundbreaking and kickstarted the whole genre. Back when that was going strong, there were a lot of ‘VS’ movies that came out, and naturally some smart Toho exec realised that throwing the characters together in a big movie would be a good idea. That was the aptly-named King Kong vs. Godzilla from 1962, which unfortunately wasn’t the biggest critical or commercial success. However, that means the door is still wide open to make the definitive movie featuring the two characters.
AND IT’S TOTALLY HAPPENING!
A little backstory first: a few years ago, Legendary Pictures ended its exclusive deal with Warner Bros. as a production partner. They are one of the biggest studios in Hollywood and it was a fairly sad ending, as the partnership had given financing to pretty much every major WB movie in the past ten years, ranging from The Dark Knight Trilogy to Clash of the Titans. Legendary then hooked up with Universal Studios starting in 2014, so they haven’t really had the chance to slap their name on too many big movies yet, the biggest of which being Jurassic World. One exciting blockbuster they are developing is Kong: Skull Island, a prequel with an impressive cast that includes Tom Hiddleston as the lead and Samuel L. Jackson. You’ll also remember that Warner Bros. made another Godzilla movie last year (which kinda sucked, but hey-ho); they hold the rights to that character in partnership with Toho, and Kong is apparently in the public domain. Fans were clamouring for the 2018-dated Godzilla sequel to be all about fighting the giant ape, and when Skull Island was announced the excitement started to build. Despite the difference in studios, the project is now super-officially happening – at Warner Bros!
Deadline revealed that Legendary have set up shop at their old digs for this movie, which will happen after Kong: Skull Island in March 2017 and Godzilla 2 in 2018. The prequel was set to start shooting either later this year or early next year, but given the short production time don’t be too surprised if it’s pushed back again (the date was originally next November or December). Who’s hyped?!?
Despite the awesomeness of this news, there’s still a lot of technicalities to be worked out, both in the real world and within this monster-infested one. What does Universal get out of this? I mean, it’s not as if they’re married now – Legendary are obviously allowed to go forward with this project at WB, but they might be a lil’ bummed out that they won’t be getting some of that sweet monster money – well, they might do, but just not as much. Also, how heavily will this affect the story of Skull Island? It would be a bad idea to just throw them together with no real warning; it needs to be built up. We know that it’s set in the 70’s or 80’s, so perhaps Kong is the result of nuclear testing or radiation? That would certainly tie it in with Zilla’s new origins.
The question on my mind, though, is that of logistics. Godzilla is now, like, a bazillion feet tall.
150m. Will Kong be that big? The character is, traditionally, nowhere near that size, considering he needs to be able to climb up the Empire State Building. Either this is going to be a very different version to what we’re used to or this is gonna be a very unfair fight.
Either way, the movie is still four or five years away from hitting theaters, and we certainly have no idea of the full scope of Legendary’s growing monster plans. For now, let’s just celebrate that we’re going to see two of the world’s most iconic monsters going at it in the most awesome way possible.
Y’know, Legendary also makes the Pacific Rim movies…