The original king of the monsters Kong is back on screens at last – but preparations are already underway for a rematch with that other challenger for his crown.
‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ is lined up to hit screens in 2020, following on from Warner Bros and Legendary’s 2014 ‘Godzilla,’ current release ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ and the upcoming ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters,’ a follow-up to the 2014 movie which is expected to see some more iconic Toho kaiju enter the fray.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ is intended to be “the culmination (at least at this point) of the company’s series of movies featuring silver screen super species,” so all concerned are naturally keen to get it just right. To this end, a special writer’s room has been put together to work on the story.
THR tells us the team includes Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne (first draft writers of ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ currently working on the fourth film in that series) Lindsey Beer (now adapting fantasy novel series ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ for Lionsgate), and Cat Vasko (‘Queen of the Air,’ which will star Margot Robbie).
Also on board are T.S. Nowlin (‘The Maze Runner’ series), Jack Paglen (‘Transcendence,’ ‘Alien: Covenant’), and J. Michael Straczynski (TV’s ‘Babylon 5’ and ‘Sense8’), and heading up the team is Terry Rossio, experienced blockbuster writer whose high profile credits include the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies and the original ‘Shrek.’
It might have been more encouraging if they hadn’t picked Rossio to captain the ship (if anyone can explain the porridge-thick plots of the second and third ‘Pirates’ movies, please do), but this certainly looks like an impressive assembly of scribes. Between them, I’m sure they can come up with something better than the original 1962 ‘King Kong Vs Godzilla,’ which saw the two titans brought into battle because of something to do with an evil corporation trying to steal magic berries from Kong’s island.
It’s all the more impressive that Legendary and Warners are going to this much trouble for ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ alone. While movie writers rooms of this sort aren’t too out of the ordinary, it’s rare to see them employed for literally one film, as they tend to be assembled specifically for cinematic universes in the Marvel style: Universal are reported to have put rooms together to work on their monster movie and ‘Fast & Furious’ franchises, whilst Paramount have done likewise for ‘Transformers.’
Of course, THR note that ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ is only the provisional culmination of the Legendary giant monster universe. If ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ prove a big enough commercial success, it’s not hard to see them wanting to make more.
It might also be worth noting that one writer on the team, TS Nowlin, has worked on another upcoming Legendary production, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ – and there has been speculation (and/or wishful thinking from fans) that the kaiju of that series might also join the mix. As to whether or not that’s a possibility, we can but wait and see.
In the meantime, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ is in pre-production with writer-director Mike Dougherty (‘Trick ‘R Treat,’ ‘Krampus’) at the helm and cast including Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga, scheduled to open March 2019 – and of course, ‘Kong: Skull Island’ is in cinemas now.