Warner Bros. and Legendary have officially united their “Godzilla” and “King Kong” franchises and will release “Godzilla vs. Kong” in 2020, the studios jointly announced on Wednesday.
Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases, including the “Godzilla” sequel.
The initial trio of films are “Kong: Skull Island” in 2017 and “Godzilla 2” in 2018, followed by “Godzilla vs. Kong” two years later. Production on “Kong: Skull Island” begins Oct. 19.
While Legendary maintains its new home at Universal Pictures, the “Godzilla” films remain in partnership with Warner Bros., who will now also distribute “Kong” as a part of this franchise.
Warner Bros. and Legendary released “Godzilla” in May 2014 with an agreement to release “Godzilla 2” on June 8, 2018. Shortly following Legendary’s pact with NBC Universal, Legendary acquired rights to additional classic characters from Toho’s “Godzilla” universe, including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, who are also expected to join the monster mayhem going forward. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” said Legendary CEO Thomas Tull. “Today, I’m excited to reveal that film was only the beginning of an epic new entertainment universe. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I’ve always wanted to see the ultimate showdown, and today we’re pleased to be announcing that and more.”
“Working with our partners at Legendary, we enjoyed tremendous creative and commercial success with ‘Godzilla,’” said Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. “It’s great to be able to revisit these characters and help create a franchise with so many creative possibilities for filmmakers. Fans love these big, globally iconic films and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
Tom Hiddleston is set to star in “Kong: Skull Island” alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct from a script written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroyand Derek Connolly. The film aims to fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.
Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce with Mary Parent. Alex Garcia and Eric McLeod will executive produce the film, which Warner Bros. will release in 3D and IMAX 3D onMarch 10, 2017.
Gareth Edwards will return to direct “Godzilla 2” from a script by Max Borenstein. Legendary is producing with Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia will executive produce. Warner Bros. will release the film on June 8, 2018.