Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse Kicks into Gear as the Next Godzilla Feature Gets Underway
Director Michael Dougherty helms the film in which stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi take on the King of the Monsters…and more!
June 19, 2017 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following the global success of 2014’s “Godzilla” and this year’s “Kong: Skull Island,” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse: an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history.
The film, which begins principal photography today, is being directed by Michael Dougherty (“Krampus”), and stars Oscar nominees Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring” films), and Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”) and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), both reprising their “Godzilla” roles; Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Manchester by the Sea”); Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) in her feature film debut; Bradley Whitford (“Get Out”); Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”); Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”); O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”); Aisha Hinds (“Star Trek Into Darkness”); and Golden Globe nominee Zhang Ziyi (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Dougherty directs from a script he wrote with Zach Shields. The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull, with Barry H. Waldman, Zach Shields, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers and Alexandra Mendes co-producing for Legendary.
Behind the scenes, Dougherty’s creative team includes director of photography Lawrence Sher, whose past credits include “War Dogs” and “Godzilla,” for which he handled additional photography; production designer Scott Chambliss (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”); editor Roger Barton (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the “Transformers” films); costume designer Louise Migenbach (the “X-Men” and “Hangover” films); and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron (“Godzilla,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and part of the Oscar-winning team behind “Life of Pi ”).
Filming is taking place mainly in Atlanta, Georgia. A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the film is currently scheduled for release in March 2019, and will be distributed in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.
With Kong; Skull Island in theaters, and looking like it will do well thanks to the positive reviews, most will soon be turning their attention to the future MonsterVerse films, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters and Godzilla Vs. Kong.
The fact that the two films will be released within a year or so apart from each other lends to the possibility of the two being filmed back to back but it isn't only that. Most films in the same series have usually a break between them of two years at the minimum, take the current Star Wars trilogy which are each spaced two years apart (with the solo Star Wars films in between).
Another thing is the announcement today of a writing group to work on Godzilla Vs. Kong, consisting of Terry Rossio, Patrick McKay, J.D. Payne, Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin, Jack Paglen, and J. Michael Straczynski. Godzilla: KOTM is only slightly ahead of this with writing being worked on and the director, and a few actors being named. It wouldn't surprise me to see this group help with rewrites that surely will happen with Godzilla: KOTM.
It would completely make sense to do this and give a flow from one film to the next given they will most likely take place in the same time frame unlike Kong: Skull Island and the first Godzilla film. It could also ensure the actors in Godzilla: KOTM film return for the next film, something which may not happen with the Godzilla actors for Godzilla: KOTM.
While this is pruly speculation only time will till if this ends up being true.
Vera Farmiga has joined the cast of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters along with Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler as a family Chandler is the dad, Farmiga the mom, and Brown as their daughter, the first film featured a similar family unit too. Along with director Michael Dougherty the film is beginning to take shape. There is no plot/story yet but it's say Chandler plays a sceintist. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is slated for release on March 22, 2019.
It was posted a while back that Michael Dougherty would write the Godzilla sequel with Zach Shields, now it has been announced he will direct it as well. He has apparently been working on writing it for a while and now was offered the director's chair. He has worked with Legendary before so he was known to them. Alex Garcia will oversee the project for Legendary. No word on Thomas Tull's involvement.
Godzilla 2 is currently dated for Mar. 22, 2019, with Godzilla vs. Kong set for May 29, 2020.
Both the Godzilla and Pacific Rim sequels have got official title by way of an Legendary press release. The Godzilla sequel will be called Godzilla: King Of The Monsters and the Pacific Rim sequel will be called Pacific Rim: Uprising (not Maelstrom that has been falsely reported). They are revealed in the third paragraph of the press release below.
Legendary today announced the hiring of three veteran production executives to its feature film operations including Herbert W. Gains, who has been named EVP of Physical Production, Valerie Flueger Veras who has been named SVP of Post- Production and Sara Flamm who will take on the SVP Physical Production role. The new additions were announced by Mary Parent, Legendary’s Vice Chairman of Worldwide Production.
“Herb comes to us with a tremendous body of experience working alongside some of the most prolific filmmakers in our industry,” said Parent. “His strong business acumen and commitment to supporting the vision of storytellers with preeminent production resources makes him an excellent complement to our team here at Legendary.” Gains will report directly to Parent, effective immediately.
Best known for his work as Executive Producer on such films as Warner Bros’ The Judge and Watchmen, as well as the recently released Jack Reacher: Never Go Back from Paramount, Gains’ responsibilities will include overseeing production of Legendary’s feature film slate including such highly anticipated projects as Pacific Rim: Uprising, Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu and Godzilla: King of Monsters. Gains will also work closely with the post-production team insuring that the filmmaker’s vision remains intact through production to final distribution.
“I’m extremely gratified to be entrusted with this unique opportunity,” said Gains. “Legendary’s evolution over the past decade has been nothing short of remarkable. I am proud to take a key role in the company’s continued growth in feature film production and excited by the potential of its established franchises and the diverse slate of films currently in development.”
Reporting to Gains at Legendary, is Valerie Flueger Veras, who will assume the role of SVP of Post-Production. “I have had the good fortune of working closely with Valerie on multiple films over the last few years,” said Parent. “She brings experience from all aspects of filmmaking to the post-production process and really understands how to support filmmakers whether they are making an intimate character drama or a big VFX driven tentpole.”
Flueger Veras is a seasoned executive who has lead the post-production efforts on some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the last decade including Oscar-nominated feature films, The Revenant, Selma and Nebraska. As SVP of Post-Production, Flueger Veras will immediately begin overseeing post on the upcoming Spring action film, Kong: Skull Island.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Legendary,” said Flueger Veras. “In addition to having an opportunity to re-team with Mary Parent who I have long respected, I am extremely excited to be working alongside such an imaginative and highly respected team of professionals and can’t wait to dive in on this truly iconic slate of films.”
Rounding out Legendary’s production team is Sara Flamm, who will step into the SVP of Physical Production role and will also report to Gains. “Sara brings with her a wealth of experience working on the types of genre films that Legendary is best known for,” said Parent. “We’re excited to be adding her expertise to this skilled new team.”
Most recently Flamm worked alongside Gains as Unit Production Manager on on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and the upcoming film Geostorm. She has also worked as Production Supervisor on numerous hit films including The Judge as well as comic adaptations, Green Lantern and Legendary’s own Watchmen. In Flamm’s new role she has already begun work on the production of Pacific Rim: Uprising, currently shooting in Australia.
“Having worked with Legendary in the past, I’ve long admired their focus on delivering a truly elevated cinematic experience to their audiences,” said Flamm. They’ve had an incredible history of blockbuster films, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this team’s continued success.”
Warner Bros has announce that they updated some release dates for future films including Godzilla 2 (March 22, 2019) and Godzilla Vs King Kong (May 29, 2020). While this gives G Vs KK an official date, Godzilla 2's date is moved nearly 9 months, from original date of June 8, 2018.
The main reason for the move is Transformers 6 had the same release date (and the Jurassic World sequel being scheduled to be released two weeks later) but some may wonder why move it so far into the future. Other thing is 2018 is a pretty full year release wise, there are a number of major movie releases. 2019 is far less crowded and March will put it far enough away from the two biggest releases Avengers Infinity War Part 2 and Justice League Part 2 (May and June releases).
There is possibly other reasons that have not been said to explain the length of the shift. Pacific Rim was originally scheduled for March 2017, a little over a year before Godzilla 2 original release, it was moved to August 2017 when Kong: Skull Island was moved to March 2017. Pacific Rim has since been pulled from the calendar but with a recent announcement of director Steven S. DeKnight being added to it the possibility of Pacific Rim being added back to the calendar is likely it would not be placed in the vacated spot from Godzilla 2 so it may get a later 2018 date.
Another possibility is Monsterpocalypse, Warner Bros got the movie rights to this kaiju board game and it would need to be added as well to the calendar of releases. There could be other simpler reasons like a normal delay (because of director or actors involved) or just that they want the two Godzilla movies closer together. In any case fans just need to be patient and hope for a great film(s).
Following Legendary’s and Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2014 success with the global reinvention of the Godzilla franchise, the companies have come together to create an epic, new shared cinematic franchise. All-powerful monsters become towering heroes for a new generation, revealing a mythology that brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new. Monarch, the human organization that uncovered Godzilla in the 2014 film, will expand their mission across multiple releases.
The announcement that the reinvention of monsters continues was made today by Legendary CEO, Thomas Tull, and Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. The initial trio of films are 2017’s KONG: SKULL ISLAND; GODZILLA 2 in 2018; and then GODZILLA VS. KONG, arriving in theaters in 2020. 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. Production on KONG: SKULL ISLAND begins October 19th.
Warner Bros. and Legendary released Godzilla in May 2014 with an agreement to release Godzilla 2 on June 8, 2018. Both films feature the human Monarch organization. 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. This paved the way for developing a franchise centered around Monarch and anchored by Godzilla, King Kong, and other famous creatures.
When Legendary announced films centered on Godzilla and Kong, fans all over the world speculated these two characters might one day meet in the same film. Classic Toho monsters including King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan, as announced at Comic-Con 2014, may also join the Legendary pantheon of giant monster mayhem going forward.
“Audiences really responded to Godzilla,” stated 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 Tsujihara. “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.”
About the Productions:
KONG: SKULL ISLAND stars Tom Hiddleston, Sam Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, and Toby Kebbell. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Dan Gilroy, and Derek Connolly, KONG: SKULL ISLAND will 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. Warner Bros. will distribute the film in 3D and IMAX 3D on March 10, 2017.
GODZILLA 2 will be written by Max Borenstein and directed by Gareth Edwards. Legendary is producing with Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia will executive produce. The film is set to be released by Warner Bros. on June 8, 2018.
GODZILLA VS. KONG will be released in 2020.
About Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world's most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $12 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit: www.legendary.com.
Upcoming Legendary releases via its home at Universal Pictures include CRIMSON PEAK and KRAMPUS in 2015 and WARCRAFT in 2016.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment
Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD and Blu-ray, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product and brand licensing, and broadcasting. Warner Bros. Pictures has been at the forefront of the motion picture industry since its inception and continues to be a leading creative force in the industry.
Early designs of Godzilla and his foes for the 2014 film were revealed on concept artist Josh Nizzo's site they feature his two combatants Rokmutul (above) and Pterodactyl (below) they were eventually changed to being the two Mutos. Check out all his designs here.
Legendary's Godzilla is getting it's Japanese release with a 60th Anniversary set that includes the "Poster" version of the S.H. MonsterArts figure we posted a few days ago here.
The set includes (from the translation) 5 disc, a full color booklet that includes extra artwork, and the figure. The disc include a 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, bonus disc, and special Japanese only 60th Anniversary bonus disc.
The Japanese only disc is to include (translated from site):
Godzilla revival! ! - Documentary to follow the state of up to "GODZILLA" released in Japan
'60 Of Godzilla, 60 questions - "Godzilla Final Wars" staff who supported the 28 pieces of Godzilla movie until the interview collection from "Godzilla"
Godzilla birth 60 Anniversary Talk - "Godzilla," "Mothra vs. Godzilla," "Invasion of Astro-Monster" Akira Takarada who appeared in many of the Godzilla movies such as talks about the charm of Godzilla movie. LaSalle Ishii also appeared in "Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla" in monster fan also participated! (Included the Nico Nico live broadcast special program of November 3, 2014 broadcast)
Yoshimitsu Banno interview - Is the director of "Godzilla vs. Hedorah", interview with Banno's executive producer of "GODZILLA"
Monster Planet of Godzilla - The recorded video that has been published as a theme park attraction in 3D. Godzilla is Ginza, destroy Tokyo Station, further Mothra also appeared to large battle deployment!
Godzilla Poster Collection - The recorded "Godzilla movie of former poster in a still image
"GODZILLA" Japan version theater brochure - The recorded brochure that has been sold in public during the theater in a still image
There will also be separate Blu-ray and DVD releases.
The set will retail for about $130 US, the others ranging from $60 to $30 US. They will be released Feb 4, 2015.
Two new viral sites have launched with the upcoming release of Godzilla on Blu-ray and DVD, Godzilla Stomp started a couple of weeks ago and Godzilla Map Of The Pacific, both sites feature interactive content including video and audio features. Both are similar to the ones that Warner Bros and Legendary had before Godzilla hit theaters in May.
Hi-res Character Poster Banners.