Details Emerge on Godzilla vs. King Kong Crossover Movie
If you follow Hollywood politics, you know that Legendary Pictures, the company who have had a hand in everything from The Dark Knight to Jurassic World, is currently in a bit of a beef with Universal. After years of developing Kong: Skull Island for the studio, Legendary moved the project over to Warner Bros., where the legendary ape could mingle with the new Godzilla in a future movie. This saga of money and creative disagreements and big personalities was already interesting, but then it started dropping details about what we could expect from future King Kong and Godzilla movies.
The whole Legendary/Universal/Warner Bros. saga thus far is chronicled in an article over at The Hollywood Reporter, which causally drops all kinds of fascinating plot points in between the business reporting. For starters, it looks like Kong: Skull Island will help build a larger monster universe by featuring Monarch, the shadowy agency introduced in 2014’s Godzilla:
Now that Legendary has moved Kong, that settles a brewing argument over the script's references to Monarch, the secret government entity in Godzilla that employed the characters played by Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins. Obviously, the inclusion of Monarch in Kong is a move to tie the ape into a hoped-for Godzilla "universe." Warners, which held onto the right to participate in any Godzilla sequel, did not relish the idea of a Godzilla element in a Universal-backed Kong movie.
Since Kong: Skull Island is set in the ‘70s and Godzilla is set in modern times, this means Monarch has been around for awhile. That’s going to be useful for when new creatures begin to show up and throw down with the King of the Monsters. These movies now have their equivalent of Nick Fury – connective tissue and characters that will help fill in the blanks and explain what’s going on.
Interestingly, the article also directly addresses a big creative concern for any Godzilla vs. King Kong movie – how does Kong, a 50-foot ape who’s best known for climbing the Empire State Building, battle a lizard the size of the Empire State Building? They’ve apparently got that covered:
A threshold problem is that Kong supposedly is much smaller than Godzilla. That fact was not lost on Universal. "There were funny comments about him having to be the size of the Empire State Building instead of hanging off of it," says a studio insider. But a source close to Tull says Legendary is confident it can come up with a rationale to explain how Kong and Godzilla can do battle — and possibly become allies.
Could this be a Batman vs. Superman-style situation, where Kong has to be crafty and smart to take on his seemingly immortal foe? Because anyone with even a passing knowledge of giant movie monsters knows that Godzilla will triumph in any direct fight. [Ed. note: It's interesting that Legendary says they can “come up with” a rationale, which would indicate they’ve made it this far without one. You start development on a movie without having any idea how it would even work?]
Of course, any article about the film industry wouldn’t be complete without some juicy gossip, so here’s an unnamed source throwing shade at Legendary and the current state of Kong: Skull Island:
But "when you're taking a big swing like that," says an insider, "you'd better have your shit together." And Universal was not convinced that such was the state of Legendary's project.
So there you have it. King Kong and Godzilla will soon exist in their own Marvel-style shared universe. The two of them will duke it out eventually, but probably not until a few years after Godzilla 2 opens on June 8, 2018. Meanwhile, we’ll get our first glimpse at the new King Kong when Kong: Skull Island opens on March 10, 2017.