Three films in, it would seem Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse has hit something of a bump in the road. Michael Dougherty’s 2019 Godzilla: King of the Monsters was meant to take the series to new heights by giving us an authentic American version of a classic Japanese kaiju monster mash, but the film failed to live up to the operatic grandeur of its trailers, and audiences seemed to respond with indifference. The film made significantly less than was projected in the U.S. but was partially saved by foreign box office, ending up at $385 million. Still, that’s much less than the $500+ million earned by both 2014’s Godzilla and follow-up Kong: Skull Island, leaving the series less sure of its footing. And that new level of doubt seems to be impacting the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong, which just saw its release date pushed back 8 months, to Nov. 2020.
Godzilla vs. Kong, directed by Adam Wingard, was originally supposed to open in March of 2020, a date that was clearly chosen by producers thinking the film would be following hot on the heels of an ultra-successful King of the Monsters. It would have been less than a year since the previous Godzilla film, which makes it easy to see why producers are now hoping for more time between the releases. Many had already suspected that this kind of bump was coming, given the total lack of promotion that has existed so far for Godzilla vs. Kong—no photos, no footage, no nothing.
When the film does arrive, it’s uncertain what format it will take, although it will reportedly feature returning characters from King of the Monsters, including Julian Dennison, Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry. Timeline wise, it will be almost 50 years since the events of Kong: Skull Island, which will presumably have allowed the “still growing” Kong to roughly … quadruple? ... in size in order to be a legitimate threat to the truly vast Legendary version of Godzilla. We assume we’re the only geeks paying attention to this sort of discrepancy, so whatever.
Godzilla vs. Kong still represents the most major, high-profile opportunity in the career of director Adam Wingard, who impressed with indie thrillers You’re Next and The Guest before cooling with the terrible Blair Witch remake and Netflix’s Death Note. The film he’s been handed seems like it was meant all along to be the series biggest profile payoff, The Avengers equivalent of the MonsterVerse shared universe. Here’s hoping that whenever we get a look at Godzilla vs. Kong, Wingard is up to the task, as this will likely be a make-or-break project for him.