Next fall's GODZILLA VS. KONG will pit the larger-than-life legendary lizard Godzilla against the skyscraper-sized King Kong for an epic cinematic battle. The titans will converge and clash in this new blockbuster sequel, which is slated to feature several more of our favorite movie monsters.
While this won’t be the first time that Godzilla and Kong have battled it out on screen (the pair previously went toe-to-toe in the 1962 Japanese film KING KONG VS. GODZILLA), it will certainly be the greatest. This isn’t a remake, and unlike the 1962 film, there will be a clear winner in the new battle. Read on for everything you need to know before GODZILLA VS. KONG stomps all over theaters. (Note that spoilers for KONG: SKULL ISLAND and the two recent GODZILLA movies follow.)
The bell will ring and GODZILLA VS KONG will go head to head on November 20, 2020. That puts the film in theatres just before the week of Thanksgiving, which suggests that Warner Bros. is confident about the film's appeal.
If you've seen other release dates for the movie, that's because the studio has moved it around on the calendar more than once. It was originally set for May 20, 2020, then it was pulled up by two months to March 12. That release date for GODZILLA VS KONG was almost exactly a year after the debut of the last film in the series, GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.
Unfortunately for those who want to see any images or footage from GODZILLA VS. KONG, there's not yet anything to share. We're excited to see these titans clash, but there isn't yet a GODZILLA VS KONG trailer! We will update the moment one arrives, however.
As far as movies go, Godzilla’s got the advantage over King Kong: He’s already headlined two films in the current franchise: GODZILLA (2014) and GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (2019). In GODZILLA, which was itself a reboot of the classic Japanese franchise, the ancient and powerful lizard Godzilla returns to battle a pair of Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms (MUTOs) as humanity is caught in the crossfire. We learn that a secret organization called Project Monarch was created to study Godzilla and similar ancient monsters, known as “Titans.” Godzilla ultimately triumphs over the MUTOs and returns to (presumably) hibernate in the sea. Some hail him as a hero and “King of the Monsters,” while others aren’t so sure he has our best interests in mind.
KING OF THE MONSTERS takes the complicated relationship between humans and Godzilla a step further. An eco-terrorist group unleashes a terrifying three-headed Titan in an effort to undo some of the environmental damage caused by an overpopulated Earth. The monster is revealed to be Ghidorah, an ancient alien that wants to completely destroy the world and remake it as he sees fit. As more Titans are awakened and begin causing mass destruction, Project Monarch calls on Godzilla – along with a new, friendly Titan named Mothra – to help save humanity once again.
In the end, Godzilla triumphs over Ghidorah, and the other Titans bow down to serve him. News reports reveal that the mere existence of the returned Titans is helping to repair the environment, and it seems that humans and monsters can live in harmony. But the leader of the eco-terrorist group remains at large and is seen in the post-credits scene purchasing one of Ghidorah’s severed heads (which was cut off during a battle with Godzilla) on the black market.
In 2017, Kong got an epic new reboot of his very own: KONG: SKULL ISLAND. Set in 1973, the film followed a team of researchers and soldiers as they traveled to an uncharted island, where they come face-to-face with the ancient super-beast known as Kong. The giant ape isn't the only potential antagonist on that remote rock, either. There's the native Iwi tribe, and Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), a World War II fighter pilot who has been living on the island ever since he crash-landed in 1944. Marlow explains that Kong is the protector of the island and its people, defending them from other giant monsters.
Unfortunately, one of the soldiers wants to destroy Kong, and it’s up to the rest of the group and their new pal Hank to stop him. During the movie’s post-credits scene, two members of the search team (played by Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson) are recruited by a mysterious group known as Monarch, which shows them top-secret footage of other “Titans,” including Godzilla, Mothra, and Ghidorah.
A teaser at the end of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS revealed that several Titans were heading toward Skull Island. It also showed ancient cave paintings depicting a fight between Kong and Godzilla – all of which is paving the way for an epic showdown. GODZILLA VS. KONG will pit these Titans against one another in a massive battle featuring several other monsters, like Rodan and Mothra.
While the monsters duke it out in spectacular fashion, Monarch embarks on a mission to uncover the origins of the Titans and protect them from a conspiracy that threatens to destroy them all (yes, even Godzilla).
Each of the films in Legendary's current monster series has had a different filmmaker at the helm. GODZILLA VS. KONG is directed by Adam Wingard, the filmmaker behind 2016’s BLAIR WITCH, which was both a sequel to and a reboot of another awesome franchise. He also made the excellent horror/comedy YOU'RE NEXT. The script is by Terry Rossio, who is best known as the writer on the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies.
Wingard has been working on this monster mash-up for the last couple of years. In 2017, he told Screen Crush, "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." He also said, "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 what’s going on."
We’re all about this epic monster fight, but there are some actual humans in this movie, too. Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler reprise their roles from KING OF THE MONSTERS, Doctor Mark Russell and his heroic daughter, Madison, who has a special bond with the Titans.
Zhang Ziyi reprises her dual roles as Dr. Ilene Chen and her twin sister, Ling – third-generation Monarch scientists who specialize in the mythology of the monsters. Their roles are an homage to the 1961 MOTHRA movie, and they have a very interesting connection to the moth-like creature. The rest of the cast is filled with new faces, like Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta”), Rebecca Hall (THE GIFT), Alexander Skarsgard (“Big Little Lies”), and the very funny Julian Dennison (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE).
All images courtesy of Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures.