The fated rematch between the two most famous giant movie monsters just got a little bit closer, as Warner Bros. has come to terms with Legendary Entertainment on the release of Godzilla vs. Kong and moved up its release date, from May 21 to March 26, 2021. Warner Bros. had been embroiled in legal entanglements with Legendary over its decision to simultaneously debut all its 2021 films in theaters and on HBO Max, without consulting partner studios such as Legendary. Netflix had reportedly been trying to jump in on the action, with an offer of up to $200 million in exchange for Godzilla vs. Kong, the latest in the Legendary “MonsterVerse” that has already seen the release of Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Warner Bros. is still negotiating with Legendary about the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which currently has an Oct. 1 release date, but that may turn out to be a placeholder.
Godzilla vs. Kong, meanwhile, has been anticipated for a good while at this point, having been announced way back in Oct. 2015 and beginning filming in 2018. The film is directed by Adam Wingard, well known to genre geeks for exciting films like You’re Next and The Guest, along with misfires like the remake Blair Witch. This will amount to his first shot at a truly big budget undertaking, a “make or break” moment in the career of a successful indie filmmaker. The film returns some stars from Michael Dougherty’s ultimately disappointing King of the Monsters, including Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler and Brian Tyree Henry, while also adding others such as Alexander Skarsgård, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, and Demián Bichir.
Godzilla vs. Kong had originally been scheduled for a Nov. 2020 release, before the coronavirus put the kibosh on those plans, but this latest schedule change finally moves it in the right direction for once. It’s unknown what Legendary is planning for the MonsterVerse following Godzilla vs. Kong, especially considering the lackluster U.S. box office for King of the Monsters, so the future of the series may depend on audience reaction to this particular entry.
We don’t have a trailer yet for Godzilla vs. Kong, but it’s probably safe to expect one to arrive in the near future.