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1/29/2021 • 4 min read
GODZILLA VS. KONG pits the larger-than-life legendary lizard Godzilla against the skyscraper-sized King Kong for an epic cinematic battle. The titans 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 almost certainly be the greatest. This isn’t a remake, and unlike the 1962 film, there will probably 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 March 31, 2021.
That means GODZILLA VS KONG will arrive almost exactly two years after the debut of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS.
What a trailer! That footage looks like a killer combination of the scope of the last Godzilla movie and the hyper-stylized images of Kong's recent big-screen outing. And the actual monster battles — whoa! Kong has an axe that is somehow powered by Godzilla's atomic breath!? That looks amazing… and maybe like a weapon crafted from one of the spikes on Godzilla's back. Is this a relic of an earlier battle between the two titans? We'll find out in March!
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.
The recovery of one of the heads of Ghidorah will likely be an important point for the story here. 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. (Is that a painting of the battle that led to Kong having that axe?) GODZILLA VS. KONG will pit these Titans against one another in a massive battle featuring several other monsters.
Knowing that Godzilla is seen as a balancing force, there's probably a lot more going on than a simple battle royale — and Godzilla and Kong will likely not entirely be enemies. 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).
He's a monster and a robot in one! What could be better? Mechagodzilla was originally introduced in the 1974 movie GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, and the basic idea of this towering hunk of metal is pretty obvious: It's a man-made version of the giant atomic lizard, created as a defense mechanism to protect against kaiju attack.
One of the first images in the GODZILLA VS. KONG trailer shows an attack on a city. At first, it seems like Godzilla is behind the chaos, but a brief close-up shows what really appears to be a metal creature. Later in the trailer, we see the image just above. That's Shun Oguri as Ren Serizawa, the son of the character played by Ken Watanabe, seemingly standing in front of a schematic for Mechagodzilla.
Does Monarch or some other organization pay for the creation of a gigantic anti-Godzilla robot? That doesn't seem like a totally left-field possibility.
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 <a href="https://screencrush.com/adam-wingard-godzilla-vs-kong-emotional/">Screen Crush</a>, "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 Warner Bros. Pictures.
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