In just a few years the movies’ most famous gorilla will clash with the biggest and baddest kaiju in a giant monster movie mashup. Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong will be the fourth entry in Legendary’s MonsterVerse – no, not that monster universe – which will find the Japanese legend meeting the furry beast. And Godzilla and King Kong have met before. But Wingard, the director of Blair Witch and You’re Next, wants to bring something unique to this battle: Monsters that will make you cry.

On Friday I caught up with Wingard to talk about his new film Death Note, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga by Tsugumi Ohba. When I asked about Godzilla vs. Kong, he told me that plenty of surprises are in store and how the film will differ from previous monster movies.

To prepare for the film, Wingard revisited a handful of Godzilla and King Kong films he grew up watching, which revived a sense of empathy he felt for the monsters as a kid. And that emotional element is exactly what he wants to bring to his mega monster crossover:

Some of those Godzilla movies I haven’t seen since I was a kid so revisiting them was a lot of fun. To be able to almost go back in time and re-experience what that was like – I was able to directly empathize with that feeling when I really felt like, maybe Godzilla really is going to lose in this movie. That was really important because it helped me remember, going forward on [Godzilla vs. King Kong], the kind of feelings people are going to have when they watch it.

That’s what I want to do, 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. If I had my way, I want people to really be teary-eyed at the end of the movie, and be that invested in to what’s going on.

But don’t worry, we’re not just getting a monster melodrama. Wingard promises lots of action will go down:

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.

When Legendary’s MonsterVerse was first announced back in 2015 we learned the studio had purchased the rights to three other Godzilla monsters, including King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Roda. When I asked if any would appear in is movie Wingard was hesitant to name names, but promised that additional monsters will absolutely show up.

Godzilla vs. Kong, set to hit theaters in 2020, will pit Godzilla from Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film against the title ape from Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ Kong: Skull Island. We’ll meet up with the kaiju one more time before 2020 in Michael Doughtery‘s sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters, set to open March 19, 2019. Before that, you can see Wingard take on a different sort of monster when a high schooler gets his hands on a murderous notebook in Death Note, which arrives on Netflix on August 25.

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