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Godzilla vs. Kong Full Movie

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Godzilla vs. Kong is a 2021 American monster film directed by Adam Wingard. A sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, it is the fourth film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse. The film is also the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, the 12th film in the King Kong franchise, and the fourth Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.

The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir.

The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary announced plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. The film’s writers room was assembled in March 2017, and Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hawaii, Australia and Hong Kong, and wrapped in April 2019. After being delayed from a November 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Godzilla vs. Kong was theatrically released internationally on March 24, 2021, and is scheduled in the United States on March 31, where it will be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Synopsis

Legends collide in Godzilla vs. Kong as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

— Legendary and Warner Bros.[8]

Cast

  • Alexander Skarsgård as Dr. Nathan Lind:
    A Monarch geologist who works closely with Kong. Skarsgård described his character as a reluctant hero who is “not an alpha, bad-ass” and “thrown into this very dangerous situation and is definitely not equipped for it”.[9][10][11]
  • Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell:
    The daughter of Monarch scientists Mark and the late Emma Russell. Madison believes there is a reason for Godzilla’s erratic behavior, suspecting a conspiracy formulated by the Apex Corporation. She proceeds to investigate with Josh Valentine and Bernie Hayes. Brown described the film as a coming of age story for Madison, noting that the character has “grown up” and become more “independent” since the events of the previous film, stating, “Her storyline has definitely evolved greatly in the way she deals with things, her attitude towards life, how much more stronger of a person”. Producer Alex Garcia described Madison as the “advocate for Godzilla in this film” who tries to “vindicate” Godzilla and his reasons.[6][12]
  • Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews:
    Jia’s adoptive mother. Hall described her participation as “overwhelming” due to the film being her first project after her pregnancy, but found the experience “thrilling”.[13][14]
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes:
    A former Apex technician turned conspiracy theorist aiding Madison and Josh to expose Apex. Henry described Bernie as a “crackpot” with a level of “heart” and “loyalty”. Henry noted that the tragic death of Bernie’s wife shaped him to become a conspiracy theorist with a podcast and further elaborated, “his goal is to use the tools at his disposal to bring the truth to the people. I always refer to Bernie as Anonymous. He can see the injustices, but no one really listens to him.” Due to Bernie’s protective nature of Madison and Josh, Henry jokingly likened Bernie to Brienne of Tarth.[6][12]
  • Shun Oguri as Ren Serizawa:
    The son of the late Monarch scientist Ishirō Serizawa, and an Apex scientist and tech engineer.[15] Oguri described Ren’s goal as trying to “protect the Earth”, however, the means to his goal differ from “everyone else, and his father”. Oguri noted that Ren “sort of” followed in his father’s footsteps but stated “he doesn’t believe he was heard by his father”.[6]
  • Eiza González as Maya Simmons:
    González described her role as a “very smart woman behind a company”. She also described the film as “slightly comedic”.[16]
  • Julian Dennison as Josh Valentine:
    A friend of Madison aiding her and Bernie to investigate the source of Godzilla’s erratic behavior. Dennison described his character as a “nerd” and Madison as his “only friend”. Dennison called Josh the “realist in the duo”, stating, “he kind of brings it, ‘Oh, we shouldn’t do that because we’ll die.’ And she’s, ‘No, it will be fine.’ So, I think they play very well. And they’re a very good mix of just craziness”. Dennison screen tested with Brown using scenes from Romeo and Juliet.[12][6]
  • Kyle Chandler as Dr. Mark Russell:
    Madison’s father, a director at Monarch, an animal behavior, and communication specialist.[6]
  • Demián Bichir as Walter Simmons:
    The founder and CEO of Apex, a tech organization invested in trying to solve the Earth’s “Titan problem”. Walter is a visionary entrepreneur and billionaire who wants to help humanity and make the world a safer place, but clashes with Monarch over their differing ideals on what’s best for humanity. Producer Alex Garcia said Walter “has risen to a place… in the seats of power, and is wanting to help to stem and stop the madness and the destruction. Garcia stated that Walter isn’t necessarily a villain or a Machiavellian character but is “a very complex character who believes he’s doing the right thing. And he may be, but that’s where the mystery at the core of the film comes into play.”[15]
  • Kaylee Hottle as Jia:
    A young orphan Iwi girl who forms a special bond with Kong, and is Ilene’s adopted daughter.[17][14]

Additionally, Zhang Ziyi reprises her role as Ilene Chen from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, with Van Marten cast as her assistant. Lance Reddick and Jessica Henwick have been cast in undisclosed roles, while Hakeem Kae-Kazim appears as Admiral Wilcox and Benjamin Rigby appears as Sonar Operator.[18]

Production

Production credits[19]

  • Adam Wingard – director
  • Jay Ashenfelter – executive producer
  • Herbert W. Gains – executive producer
  • Dan Lin – executive producer
  • Roy Lee – executive producer
  • Yoshimitsu Banno – executive producer (posthumous)
  • Kenji Okuhira – executive producer
  • Jen Conroy – co-producer
  • Tamara Kent – co-producer
  • Owen Patterson – production designer
  • Tom Hammock – production designer
  • Ann Foley – costume designer
  • John “DJ” DesJardin – visual effects supervisor

Development

In September 2015, Legendary moved Kong: Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together.[20][21] In October 2015, Legendary confirmed that they would unite Godzilla and King Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong, at the time targeted for a May 29, 2020, release. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise “centered around Monarch” that “brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new.”[22] Producer Alex Garcia confirmed that the film will not be a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla, stating, “the idea is not to remake that movie.”[23] In May 2017, Adam Wingard was announced as the director for Godzilla vs. Kong.[24]

In July 2017, Wingard spoke about the outline created by the writers room, stating, “We’re going in very great detail through all the characters, the arcs they have, how they relate to one another, and most importantly how they relate to the monsters, and how the monsters relate to them or reflect them.” He also stated that he and his team are going “beat by beat” on the outline, stating, “So once again, it’s a discussion, and about feeling out how to make it as strong as possible, so that when Terry [Rossio] goes to write the screenplay, he has a definitive breakdown of what to include.”[25] In August 2017, Wingard spoke about his approach for the monsters, stating:

“I really want you to take those characters seriously. I want you to be emotionally invested, not just in the human characters, but actually in the monsters. It’s a massive monster brawl movie. There’s lots of monsters going crazy on each other, but at the end of the day I want there to be an emotional drive to it. I want you to be emotionally invested in them. I think that’s what’s going to make it really cool”.[26]

Wingard expressed his desire for the film to have a definite winner, stating:

“I do want there to be a winner. The original film was very fun, but you feel a little let down that the movie doesn’t take a definitive stance. People are still debating now who won in that original movie, you know. So, I do want people to walk away from this film feeling like, Okay, there is a winner”.[27]

Wingard also confirmed that the film will tie in with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, be set in modern times, and feature a “more rugged, a bit more aged Kong.”[28]

Writing

In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong, with Terry Rossio (who co-wrote an early unproduced script for TriStar’s Godzilla)[29] leading a team consisting of Patrick McKay, J. D. Payne, Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin, Jack Paglen, and J. Michael Straczynski.[30] On his experience with the writers room, Rossio stated:

Godzilla vs. Kong was my first experience running a writer’s room, and it was fantastic. It was a blast reading samples, meeting different writers, and crafting a story in a group setting. It felt similar to animation, where the film is happening up on the walls, and the end result is better than any one person could accomplish on their own”.[31]

Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, the director and co-writers of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, provided rewrites to ensure that certain themes from King of the Monsters were carried over and that some characters were properly developed.[32] Dougherty revealed how he wrote for the title characters, and how the film would address their differing interactions with people. For Kong, Dougherty stated the film would feature “those very unique, and even warm, bonding moments” between Kong and humans since they’ve been a staple of the character since the 1933 film. For Godzilla, his connection to humans would be “more implied” as his softer side is rarely shown.[33] Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein received a Screenplay By credit, while Rossio, Dougherty, and Shields received a Story By credit.[34]

Casting

In June 2017, it was announced that Ziyi Zhang had joined Legendary’s MonsterVerse, having a reportedly “pivotal” role in both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong.[35] In June 2018, Julian Dennison was cast alongside Van Marten, while Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler would reprise their roles from Godzilla: King of the Monsters.[36] Legendary also sent an offer to Frances McDormand for a role.[37] In July 2018, it was revealed that Danai Gurira was in early talks to join the film.[38] In October 2018, Brian Tyree Henry,[39] Demián Bichir,[40] Alexander Skarsgård,[41] Eiza González,[42] and Rebecca Hall were added to the cast.[43] In November 2018, Jessica Henwick,[44] Shun Oguri,[45] and Lance Reddick were cast, with Oguri making his Hollywood debut.[46] Despite not being confirmed by the studio, Gurira was briefly named amongst the cast by Collider and ScreenGeek.[47][48]

Filming

Principal photography began on November 12, 2018 in Hawaii and Australia and was expected to end in February 2019 under the working title Apex.[49][50] Production was initially slated to begin on October 1, 2018.[51] For the Hawaii shoot, the crew filmed on the USS Missouri, at Manoa Falls, and in Downtown Honolulu. The crew established a camp in the Kalanianaole Highway, which had been closed until November 21. Local crews and extras were used for the film.[52] In January 2019, filming resumed in Gold Coast, Queensland at Village Roadshow Studios for an additional 26 weeks.[53][54] Filming locations in Australia included Miami State High School and parts of Brisbane such as the Newstead suburb, the Chinatown Mall in Fortitude Valley, and the Wickham Terrace Car Park. In April 2019, Wingard confirmed via Instagram that filming in Australia had wrapped.[55] That same month, Wingard revealed Hong Kong as one of the final shooting locations and that principal photography had wrapped.[56]

Music

 

Godzilla vs. Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by

Tom Holkenborg
Released March 26, 2021
Genre Film score
Length TBA
Label WaterTower Music
Tom Holkenborg chronology
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
(2021)
Godzilla vs. Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2021)
Army of the Dead
(2021)
MonsterVerse chronology
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
(2019)
Godzilla vs. Kong
(2021)

In June 2020, Tom Holkenborg was announced as the film’s composer.[57] Wingard met with Holkenborg in 2018, to which he admitted to recreationally writing music for Godzilla years prior due to Holkenborg being a fan. Holkenborg began communicating with the director afterwards, tweaked the material, and played it for the director, stating that Wingard was “totally in love”. Holkenborg requested a bass drum roughly ten feet in diameter, but the builder was only able to scale it down to eight feet.[58] As with Legendary’s previous Godzilla trailers, György Ligeti’s “Requiem” was used, followed by “Here We Go” by Chris Classic.[59][60] The soundtrack will be released by WaterTower Music on March 26, 2021.[61]

All music is composed by Tom Holkenborg.

Godzilla vs. Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. “Pensacola, Florida (Godzilla Theme)” 2:18
2. “Skull Island (Kong Theme)” 7:24
3. “Apex Cybernetics” TBA
4. “A New Language” TBA
5. “Just Now” TBA
6. “Tasman Sea” TBA
7. “Through There” TBA
8. “Antarctica” TBA
9. “Hollow Earth” TBA
10. “The Throne” TBA
11. “Lunch” TBA
12. “Nuclear Blast” TBA
13. “The Royal Axe” TBA
14. “Mega” TBA
15. “Hong Kong” TBA

Release

Marketing

In May 2019, the first promotional one-sheet poster was revealed at the Licensing Expo.[62] In June 2019, Warner Bros screened an early look to European exhibitors at CineEurope.[63] In August 2019, it was announced that Disruptor Beam will develop a mobile game to tie-in for the film’s release.[64] In December 2019, a brief clip was revealed during a Warner Bros. reel at Comic Con Experience, and later leaked online.[65] In January 2020, images from the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair displaying figures related to the film were leaked online.[66] In February 2020, Toho and Legendary announced the Godzilla vs. Kong Publishing Program and licensees. Through the publishing program, Legendary plans to release two graphic novels, one following Godzilla and the other following Kong, an art book, novelizations, and a children’s book. Amongst the licensees named were Playmates Toys, Bioworld, Rubies, Funko, 60Out, and the Virtual Reality Company.[67]

In April 2020, images of toy figures were leaked online, revealing different forms for Godzilla and Kong, Mechagodzilla, and a new monster named Nozuki.[68] In July 2020, images of Playmate figures and packaging with concept art were released online.[69] In December 2020, brief clips from the film were shown during Comic Con Experience.[70] In January 2021, more brief footage was included in a preview for HBO Max.[71] That same month, the first teaser poster was released online, along with confirmation of the trailer’s release date.[72] The first full trailer was released on January 24, 2021.[73] It became Warner Bros’ biggest trailer debut, earning 25.6 million views in 24 hours on YouTube; 15.8 million from Warner’s channel and an additional 9.8 million views from the studio’s secondary channels.[74]

Theatrical and streaming

Godzilla vs. Kong was theatrically released internationally on March 24, 2021,[75][76] other international markets on March 25, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 31, where it will be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.[77] It will be theatrically distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho on May 14, 2021.[78] WarnerMedia will stream the film for a month on HBO Max in the United States.[79] Regal Cinemas will exhibit the film with a limited release upon its reopening on April 2, 2021.[80] The film was delayed several times, and was previously scheduled to be released in 2020 on March 13, May 22, May 29, November 20, and later pushed to May 21, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[81][82] In February 2020, Warner Bros. hosted an unannounced test screening which received a “mostly positive” response.[83]

In November 2020, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the film was being considered for a streaming release. Netflix had offered $200–250 million[2] but WarnerMedia blocked the deal in favor of their own offer to release the film on HBO Max. However, Warner Bros. iterated that their theatrical release plans will proceed as scheduled. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and Warner Bros. chairman Ann Sarnoff considered options that included a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release, a strategy that Warner Bros. had done for Wonder Woman 1984.[84] In December 2020, Warner Bros. announced that the film, along with their other tentpoles scheduled for 2021, will be given same-day simultaneous releases in theaters and HBO Max, with a one month access for its streaming release.[79]

A week after the announcement, Variety and Deadline Hollywood reported that Legendary Entertainment, financiers, and talent with backend deals were not pleased with WarnerMedia’s multi-release plans and non-transparent intentions. Legendary was not given advanced notice of the multi-release decision nor given a say in how Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong would be distributed. The studio planned to have discussions with Warner Bros. regarding a more “generous deal” however legal action was considered.[2][85] A few weeks later, Deadline reported that the film could keep its HBO Max release but only if Warner Bros. matches Netflix’s $250 million bid.[86] In January 2021, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a legal battle was averted due to Legendary and WarnerMedia nearing an agreement to keep the film’s simultaneous release.

Reception

Box office forecast

A week prior to its United States release, Godzilla vs Kong was released in 38 overseas countries and is projected to gross around $70 million over its first five days, including $50 million from China.[87] Variety estimated the film would gross around $23 million in its domestic opening weekend, compared to debuting to around $68 million in a pre-COVID marketplace.[88]

Critical response

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of five critic reviews of the film are positive, with an average rating of 7.7/10.[89]

Notes

  1. ^ In December 2020, Variety reported the budget to be $160 million,[2] while TheWrap reported the budget to be $165 million.[3] In January 2021, both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood stated the budget to be $200 million.[4][5] In February 2021, Comingsoon.net also noted the film’s budget to be $200 million.[6]
  2. ^ The American releases of Godzilla (Godzilla, King of the Monsters!), King Kong vs. Godzilla, and The Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1985) featured additional footage with American actors filmed by small Hollywood production companies that merged the American footage with the original Japanese footage in order to appeal to American audiences.[7] Invasion of Astro-Monster was the first Godzilla film to be co-produced between a Japanese studio (Toho) and an American studio (UPA). The first Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio was TriStar’s Godzilla (1998).