In 1962, Toho Studios released King Kong vs. Godzilla, an epic clash of two of filmdom’s most iconic monsters. The American Kong, who made his debut way back in 1933, squared off against Japan’s Godzilla, who had already terrorized Tokyo in two classic films. It was the color debut for both beasts and was one of the biggest releases in Japanese film history at the time. Though the movie certainly shows its age these days, it’s still a really fun, occasionally cheesy romp featuring two of the most famous monsters to ever appear on the silver screen.
And it looks like a rematch is on its way.
It was announced on Friday that Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Warner Bros. are in the midst of working out a deal that would send the currently-in-development picture Kong: Skull Island over to WB with the expectation to eventually pit ol’ Kong against Godzilla. Now there’s still plenty of studio mumbo-jumbo to wade through, and frankly I don’t care about any of it. All I care about is the idea that I might get to see King Kong square off against Godzilla on the big screen again. As a lover of all things giant monster, this is pretty much the best idea I’ve ever heard.
There’s no denying that giant monsters are making a comeback. Films like Cloverfield and Pacific Rim helped set the table for last year’s Godzilla to be one of the biggest hits of 2014, pulling in over $500 million worldwide. Pacific Rim 2 is happening (eventually…probably), and Godzilla will return in a 2018 sequel. Add to that Skull Island’s 2017 release and the stage will be set for the biggest throwdown in film history.
I’ll get to the “shared universe” thing in a second, because that’s really the most exciting aspect of this whole thing. But even from a standalone perspective, the prospect of a modern-day King Kong vs. Godzilla is incredibly tantalizing. This is basically the kaiju version of Batman v Superman, only hopefully it will be met with less mindless snark than that film has had to deal with. This is bigger than Freddy vs. Jason and Alien vs. Predator, and if the care that was put into making Godzilla is any indication, it should be infinitely better than either of those films.
Yes, I know there’s the glaring issue of the disparity in size of the monsters with Godzilla dwarfing the much smaller Kong, but there are some options here. First, they either make Kong bigger via some crazy convoluted science stuff or give him a jaegar-style machine to help him take on the much bigger Godzilla (Mechani-Kong, anyone?). I mean, if you go into a movie already accepting the fact that a giant monkey is fighting a giant lizard who breathes fire, you’re pretty much obligated to accept whatever route they choose to take to balance the scales. And if that doesn’t work, then they can just borrow from the original film and have Kong be big enough to fight Godzilla with no explanation offered. Maybe they can even establish Kong’s size in Skull Island so it’s a total non-issue by the time this film comes along. Really, it’s giant monsters beating the s*** out of each other. Let’s not overthink this, ok?
Now, back to that shared universe idea. Because that’s where things get really interesting. It’s been long-rumored that the world of Pacific Rim could crossover into a movie with Godzilla. Even though now it seems King Kong will be making that move first, this doesn’t mean we won’t eventually see Godzilla and/or Kong face off against a jaeger or two. Godzilla 2 is rumored to feature classic Toho kaijus Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. Nothing’s confirmed yet, of course, and things might get a little dicey now that Toho is planning their own Godzilla reboot for next year. But just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s the plan. With those three monsters thrown into the mix, plus Godzilla, Kong, and all the Pacific Rim folks, we could ultimately be looking at a Destroy All Monsters-type film that could be the biggest thing (literally and figuratively) since The Avengers. And even if the Toho monsters wind up not being available, whatever monsters replace them (and who knows what new beasts we’ll see in Skull Island?) could still get the job done.
(Not to sound greedy or anything, but can we get some Gamera up in here? After all, Gamera is really neat. He is filled with turtle meat.)
If the idea of King Kong vs. Godzilla and all the subsequent potential for awesomeness doesn’t fill you with glee, then I just don’t know what you want out of life. I applaud Warner Bros. for their ambition to make this film a reality and cannot wait to see the two most iconic movie monsters bash each other’s brains out on the big screen. LET. THEM. FIGHT!
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