After establishing the MonsterVerse with Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island and this year's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the two titanic behemoths, King Kong and Godzilla, are expected to finally crossover for an epic showdown in next year's Godzilla vs. Kong. Fans have been anticipating the two kaiju battling one another for years now, and both Skull Island and King of the Monsters confirm the films are in the same cinematic universe, while continuing to tease an inevitable fight.
As King of the Monsters opens in theaters everywhere, here's an overview of next year's eagerly anticipated MonsterVerse crossover.
The crossover monster mash serves as both a direct sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, putting the two iconic kaiju on an unavoidable collision course with one another. As Monarch races to learn the true origins of kaiju on Earth, a human conspiracy to eradicate titans, regardless of whether they serve as allies or enemies to humanity, is underway.
Plans for a MonsterVerse began in 2015 after Legendary Entertainment moved development of Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., where the studio shared the American cinematic license for Godzilla after the success of the 2014 reboot. Later that year, Legendary announced plans for Godzilla vs. Kong with a May 2020 targeted release date. Picking up on a plot thread from the 2014 film, the intergovernmental kaiju monitoring agency Monarch linked the various films of the MonsterVerse together and set the stage for the eventual crossover, with the agency appearing in the post-credits scene for Skull Island in 2017.
While there was a five-year gap between Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Legendary Entertainment is wasting no time in releasing the monster mash follow-up, with the crossover film currently in the middle of principal photography in Australia.
Originally slated for release on May 22, 2020, Kong vs. Godzilla has been moved up to open in theaters everywhere on March 13, 2020. There was speculation that the change in release date was to avoid direct competition with Universal's Fast and Furious 9, which is scheduled to open on the former date, though this has been refuted by Warner Bros.
Presumably taking place shortly after the events of King of the Monsters, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown reprise their roles as Dr. Mark Russell and his daughter Madison, respectively. Zhang Ziyi also reprises her King of the Monsters role as Dr. Ilen Chen, a Monarch scientist who studies the kaiju alongside Dr. Russell.
They are joined by a new, all-star cast consisting of Bryan Tyree Henry (Atlanta), Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2), Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver), Lance Reddick (John Wick), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3), Demian Bicher (The Hateful Eight) and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood). While most of the new cast's roles have yet to be revealed, Skarsgard will be playing a soldier caught in the titanic conflict.
And, of course, also returning are the titular monsters, Godzilla and King Kong, ready for a visual effects-heavy showdown.
Skull Island & King of the Monsters Connections
The connections throughout the MonsterVerse were seeded as far back as the 2014 Godzilla reboot with the introduction of Project Monarch, a top-secret international organization that has studied kaiju activity all over the world since their assumed creation through atomic testing in the 1950s. By Kong: Skull Island, the organization's name had been simplified to Monarch (despite taking place decades before the events of Godzilla), while King Kong made his MonsterVerse debut as the guardian titan of Skull Island.
The post-credits scene for the film also confirmed Skull Island was in the same cinematic universe as Godzilla, revealing that Monarch possessed classified cave paintings of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. The film also saw Monarch scientists confirm that Kong was still in his juvenile state and growing, presumably to eventually match Godzilla in size.
Early in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Skull Island and Kong are both shown briefly in the film before the action switches to focus on the arrival of new kaiju around the world. Additional links in King of the Monsters includes the presence of Joe Morton, portraying a much older incarnation of Dr. Houston Brooks, who appeared in Skull Island where he was portrayed by Corey Hawkins as a young seismologist.
Given the newspaper clippings briefly updating audiences on Kong's activities and a cave painting prophesying the coming battle, the confrontation between Godzilla and Kong may have been anticipated far longer than Monarch initially suspected.
Godzilla vs. Kong, directed by Adam Wingard, is scheduled for release on March 13, 2020. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Ziyi Zhang, Millie Bobby Brown, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry, Demian Bichir, Alexander Skarsgard, Jessica Henwick and Julian Dennison.