While many studios have tried, let's be honest here- the whole idea of shared universes hasn't been a total success in Hollywood. Marvel kicked things off tremendously with their inter-connected series of films and while it looks like DC might be making a comeback this weekend with Wonder Woman, many others have tried and failed to create a web of popular movies. And yet as always, that won't stop them from trying. Universal is going all-in on the idea of Dark Universe (we'll see how The Mummy fares next month), while Warner Bros. clearly established that Godzilla and King Kong live in the same universe. Of all the potential movie mash-ups, this has the best chance of becoming a smash hit. Both the 2014 Godzilla reboot and this year's Kong: Skull Island were fairly well-received hits, and I think audience demand is high to see these two classic characters beat each other senselessly. Today saw a major development in the world of giant monsters at Warner Bros., and it's safe to say that my anticipation levels are at an all-time high.
Minutes ago, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed that Adam Wingard, the filmmaker behind Blair Witch and The Guest, has finalized a deal to direct Godzilla vs. Kong. Wingard's breakthrough feature was the 2011 low-budget horror film You're Next, and in the years since, the director has seen his clout and popularity significantly rise. On August 25, Wingard's Death Note, a bloody adaptation of the popular Japanese anime that has already generated plenty of controversy, will be released on Netflix. As for the giant monster film that will undoubtedly take up a good deal of Wingard's time, the filmmaker is the second major piece of the puzzle. According to THR, Warner Bros. has created a writer's room to pen the screenplay for the film, a team that will be comprised of Terry Rossio, J. Michael Straczynski, Patrick McKay, J.D. Payne, Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin, and Jack Paglen. Wingard's film will certainly be influenced by Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the next film in this giant monster-verse, which is coming courtesy of Krampus director Michael Dougherty. The cast is led by Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Ken Watanabe, O'Shea Jackson Jr., and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, and the film will be released on March 22, 2019.
As for Wingard's hiring, I can't think of a better filmmaker to take on this project. I'm one of the few who has been relatively mixed on both of the films in this universe so far, but I like that Warner Bros. is continually selecting interesting directors for these massive endeavors. The Guest is one of the most coolly entertaining films I've seen in recent years, and if Wingard can bring that same sense of style and flair to Godzilla vs. Kong, we're in for a hell of a treat. Plus, as Blair Witch showed us all, the guy isn't half-bad at scaring the hell out of people either. Wingard has great pop sensibilities and a terrific eye for horror, making him the perfect fit. I cannot wait to see what he does with this thing- my excitement is through the roof.
Godzilla vs. Kong will hit theaters on May 22, 2020. Consider me pumped.
Images: Lionsgate, IMDB