Godzilla vs. Kong
|Godzilla vs. Kong|
Official promotional poster
|Directed by||Adam Wingard|
by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper
|Music by||Tom Holkenborg|
|Edited by||Josh Schaeffer|
Godzilla vs. Kong is an upcoming American monster film directed by Adam Wingard. A sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, it is the fourth film in Legendary's MonsterVerse. The film is also the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, the 12th film in the King Kong franchise, and the fourth Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.[a] The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir.
The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary announced plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. The film's writers room was assembled in March 2017, and Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hawaii, Australia and Hong Kong, and wrapped in April 2019. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released on May 21, 2021, after being delayed from a November 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity's fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans' origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.— Legendary and Warner Bros.
- Alexander Skarsgård:
A geologist who works closely with Kong. Skarsgård described his character as a reluctant hero who is "not an alpha, bad-ass" and "thrown into this very dangerous situation and is definitely not equipped for it".
- Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell:
Mark and Emma's daughter. As Godzilla and Kong battle, Madison goes on a journey to decide which of them she will ultimately side with.
- Rebecca Hall:
Hall described her participation as "overwhelming" due to the film being her first project after her pregnancy, but found the experience "thrilling."
- Brian Tyree Henry
- Shun Oguri
- Eiza González:
González described her role as a "very smart woman behind a company". She also described the film as "slightly comedic".
- Jessica Henwick
- Julian Dennison
- Kyle Chandler as Dr. Mark Russell:
Madison's father and an expert anthrozoologist.
- Demián Bichir
- Adam Wingard – director
- Kenji Okuhira – executive producer
- Yoshimitsu Banno – executive producer (posthumous)
- Jon Jashni – executive producer
- Thomas Tull – executive producer
- Jay Ashenfelter – co-producer
- Jen Conroy – co-producer
- Tamara Kent – co-producer
- Owen Patterson – production designer
- Tom Hammock – production designer
- Ann Foley – costume designer
- John “DJ” DesJardin – VFX supervisor
In September 2015, Legendary moved Kong: Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together. In October 2015, Legendary confirmed that they would unite Godzilla and King Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong, at the time targeted for a May 29, 2020, release. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise "centered around Monarch" that "brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new." Producer Alex Garcia confirmed that the film will not be a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla, stating, "the idea is not to remake that movie." In May 2017, Adam Wingard was announced as the director for Godzilla vs. Kong.
In July 2017, Wingard spoke about the outline created by the writers room, stating, "We're going in very great detail through all the characters, the arcs they have, how they relate to one another, and most importantly how they relate to the monsters, and how the monsters relate to them or reflect them." He also stated that he and his team are going "beat by beat" on the outline, stating, "So once again, it's a discussion, and about feeling out how to make it as strong as possible, so that when Terry [Rossio] goes to write the screenplay, he has a definitive breakdown of what to include." In August 2017, Wingard spoke about his approach for the monsters, stating:
"I really want you to take those characters seriously. I want you to be emotionally invested, not just in the human characters, but actually in the monsters. It’s a massive monster brawl movie. There’s lots of monsters going crazy on each other, but at the end of the day I want there to be an emotional drive to it. I want you to be emotionally invested in them. I think that’s what’s going to make it really cool".
Wingard expressed his desire for the film to have a definite winner, stating:
"I do want there to be a winner. The original film was very fun, but you feel a little let down that the movie doesn’t take a definitive stance. People are still debating now who won in that original movie, you know. So, I do want people to walk away from this film feeling like, Okay, there is a winner".
In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong, with Terry Rossio (who co-wrote an early unproduced script for TriStar's Godzilla) leading a team consisting of Patrick McKay, J. D. Payne, Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin, Jack Paglen, and J. Michael Straczynski. On his experience with the writers room, Rossio stated:
"Godzilla vs. Kong was my first experience running a writer's room, and it was fantastic. It was a blast reading samples, meeting different writers, and crafting a story in a group setting. It felt similar to animation, where the film is happening up on the walls, and the end result is better than any one person could accomplish on their own".
Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, the director and co-writers of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, provided rewrites to ensure that certain themes from King of the Monsters were carried over and that some characters were properly developed. Dougherty revealed how he wrote for the title characters, and how the film would address their differing interactions with people. For Kong, Dougherty stated the film would feature "those very unique, and even warm, bonding moments" between Kong and humans since they've been a staple of the character since the 1933 film. For Godzilla, his connection to humans would be "more implied" as his softer side is rarely shown. Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein received a Screenplay By credit, while Rossio, Dougherty, and Shields received a Story By credit.
In June 2017, it was announced that Ziyi Zhang had joined Legendary's MonsterVerse, having a reportedly "pivotal" role in both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. In June 2018, Julian Dennison was cast alongside Van Marten, while Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler would reprise their roles from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Legendary also sent an offer to Frances McDormand for a role. In July 2018, it was revealed that Danai Gurira was in early talks to join the film. In October 2018, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Alexander Skarsgård, Eiza González, and Rebecca Hall were added to the cast. In November 2018, Jessica Henwick, Shun Oguri, and Lance Reddick were cast, with Oguri making his Hollywood debut.
Principal photography began on November 12, 2018 in Hawaii and Australia and was expected to end in February 2019 under the working title Apex. Production was initially slated to begin on October 1, 2018. For the Hawaii shoot, the crew filmed on the USS Missouri, at Manoa Falls, and in Downtown Honolulu. The crew established a camp in the Kalanianaole Highway, which had been closed until November 21. Local crews and extras were used for the film. In January 2019, filming resumed in Gold Coast, Queensland at Village Roadshow Studios for an additional 26 weeks. Filming locations in Australia included Miami State High School and parts of Brisbane such as the Newstead suburb, the Chinatown Mall in Fortitude Valley, and the Wickham Terrace Car Park. In April 2019, Wingard confirmed via Instagram that filming in Australia had wrapped. That same month, Wingard revealed Hong Kong as one of the final shooting locations and that principal photography had wrapped.
In May 2019, the first promotional one-sheet poster was revealed at the Licensing Expo. In June 2019, Warner Bros screened an early look to European exhibitors at CineEurope. In August 2019, it was announced that Disruptor Beam will develop a mobile game to tie-in for the film's release. In December 2019, a brief clip was revealed during a Warner Bros. reel at Comic Con Experience, and later leaked online. In January 2020, images from the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair displaying figures related to the film were leaked online. In February 2020, Toho and Legendary announced the Godzilla vs. Kong Publishing Program and licensees. Through the publishing program, Legendary plans to release two graphic novels, one following Godzilla and the other following Kong, an art book, novelizations, and a children’s book. Amongst the licensees named were Playmates Toys, Bioworld, Rubies, Funko, 60Out, and the Virtual Reality Company. In April 2020, images of toy figures were leaked online, revealing different forms for Godzilla and Kong, and a new monster named Nozuki. In July 2020, images of Playmate figures and packaging with concept art were released online.
Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 21, 2021, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where it will be distributed by Toho. The film was previously scheduled to be released on May 29, May 22, March 13, and November 20, 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was pushed to its current 2021 release, taking the release date initially intended for The Matrix 4. In February 2020, Warner Bros. hosted an unannounced test screening, which received a "mostly positive" response.
- The American releases of Godzilla (Godzilla, King of the Monsters!), King Kong vs. Godzilla, and The Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1985) featured additional footage with American actors filmed by small Hollywood production companies that merged the American footage with the original Japanese footage in order to appeal to American audiences. Invasion of Astro-Monster was the first Godzilla film to be co-produced between a Japanese studio (Toho) and an American studio (UPA). The first Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio was TriStar's Godzilla (1998).
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