MonsterVerse

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MonsterVerse
Monsterverse logo.jpg
Logo featured on merchandise for Kong: Skull Island
Original work Godzilla
Owner Legendary Entertainment
Warner Bros.
Films and television
Film(s) Godzilla
Kong: Skull Island
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Godzilla vs. Kong
Miscellaneous
Director(s)
Producer(s)
Based on

The MonsterVerse[1] is an American media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of monster films featuring Godzilla and King Kong, produced by Legendary Entertainment and co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The first installment was Godzilla (2014), a reboot[2] of the Godzilla franchise, which was followed by Kong: Skull Island (2017), a reboot[3] of the King Kong franchise. The next film to be released will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), followed by Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). The series has grossed over $1 billion worldwide so far.[4]

Development

Legendary Entertainment confirmed at the July 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International that it had acquired the rights to Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah from Toho and revealed concept footage with the closing title cards reading "Conflict: inevitable. Let them fight".[5] In September 2015, Legendary announced that the film Kong: Skull Island would not be developed with Universal Studios. Instead, it would be developed with Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together.[6][7]

In October 2015, Legendary announced plans to unite Godzilla and King Kong in a film titled Godzilla vs. Kong, set for a 2020 release date. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise "centered around Monarch" (the secret government agency which debuted in 2014's Godzilla) and that "brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new".[8] Later in October, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island would have references to Monarch.[9]

In May 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Godzilla vs. Kong would be released on May 29, 2020, and that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be pushed back from its original June 2018 release date to March 22, 2019,[10] however, the film was later pushed back again to May 31, 2019.[11] In October 2016, Legendary announced that Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be filmed at its parent company Wanda's Oriental Movie Metropolis facility in Qingdao, China, along with Pacific Rim Uprising.[12] That same month, it was revealed that Legendary was planning a writers room to create their Godzilla–Kong cinematic universe, with Alex Garcia overseeing the project for Legendary.[13]

In early January 2017, Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary, resigned from the company but will remain as producer for the Godzilla–Kong series, which was revealed as the "MonsterVerse".[14] In March 2017, Legendary assembled a writers room to develop the story for Godzilla vs. Kong.[15]

Films

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Story by Screenplay by Producer(s) Status
Godzilla May 16, 2014 (2014-05-16) Gareth Edwards David Callaham Max Borenstein Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers Released
Kong: Skull Island March 10, 2017 (2017-03-10) Jordan Vogt-Roberts John Gatins Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, and Alex Garcia
Godzilla: King of the Monsters May 31, 2019 Michael Dougherty Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, and Brian Rogers Post-Production
Godzilla vs. Kong May 22, 2020 Adam Wingard Terry Rossio, Patrick McKay, J.D. Payne, Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin, Jack Paglen, J. Michael Straczynski Terry Rossio[16] Filming

Godzilla (2014)

Theatrical poster for Godzilla.

The film reimagines Godzilla's origins in contemporary times and is set 15 years after a nuclear meltdown in Japan which subsequently awakens two giant parasitic creatures, known as "MUTOs". As the MUTOs ravage the countryside in order to reproduce, they awaken a larger ancient alpha predator, known as "Godzilla", whose existence has been kept secret by the U.S. government since 1954. The film introduces Godzilla, the MUTOs, and the Monarch organization to the MonsterVerse.

In 2004, director Yoshimitsu Banno acquired permission from Toho to produce a short IMAX Godzilla film which was in development for several years until the project was eventually turned over to Legendary Pictures.[2][17] In March 2010, Legendary announced to have acquired the rights to Godzilla for a feature film reboot.[18] In January 2011, Gareth Edwards was announced as the director for the film.[19] The film was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures with filming completed in 2013 in Canada and the United States for release in 2014.[20] Godzilla was released on May 16, 2014 to positive reviews from critics[21][22] and was a box office success, grossing $200 million domestically and $529 million worldwide against its $160 million budget.[23]

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Theatrical poster for Kong: Skull Island.

The film is set in 1973 and follows a team of scientists and Vietnam War soldiers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific and encounter terrifying creatures and the mighty Kong. The film introduces King Kong, Mother Longlegs,[24] Sker Buffalos,[24] Mire Squid,[24] Leafwing,[24] Psychovulture,[24] Spore Mantis,[24] Ramarak,[25] and the Skullcrawlers to the MonsterVerse and a post-credits scene introduces Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah to the MonsterVerse.[26]

In July 2014 at the San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary announced a King Kong origin story, initially titled Skull Island, with a release date of November 4, 2016, and Universal Pictures distributing.[27] In September 2014, Jordan Vogt-Roberts was announced as the film's director.[28] In September 2015, Legendary moved development of the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Bros. to create an expanded cinematic universe.[29] Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii and various locations around Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was released on March 10, 2017 to positive reviews from critics[30][31] and was a box office success, grossing $168 million domestically and $566 million worldwide against its $185 million budget.[32] The film received a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 90th Academy Awards.[33]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

SDCC poster for Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

The Monarch agency struggles to ensure humanity's survival in an age of god-sized monsters. Three new monsters named Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah rise to challenge Godzilla for supremacy.[34]

Prior to announcing a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong, Legendary originally intended to produce a Godzilla trilogy, with Gareth Edwards attached to direct all films.[35] However, Edwards left the sequel in May 2016 to work on smaller scale projects.[36] In January 2017, Michael Dougherty was announced as the director and co-writer for the film.[37] Principal photography began on June 19, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia and wrapped on September 27, 2017.[38] The film is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2019, in 2D, 3D, and select IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan where the film will be distributed by Toho.[11][34]

Godzilla vs. Kong (2020)

The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary announced plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. Adam Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in October 2018 in Atlanta, Hawaii and Australia and is expected to conclude in February 2019. Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2020 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Cast and characters

List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's presence in the film has not yet been announced.
  • An M indicates the character appears through use of motion capture.
  • A Y indicates an appearance by an actor portraying a younger version of a character.
Character Released films Upcoming films
Godzilla Kong:
Skull Island
Godzilla:
King of the Monsters
Godzilla vs. Kong
2014 2017 2019 2020
Monsters
Godzilla T.J. StormM Silent cameo TBA
King Kong   Terry NotaryM   TBA
Toby KebbellM
King Ghidorah   Silent cameo Jason LilesM  
Alan MaxsonM
Richard DortonM
Mothra TBA  
Rodan    
Humans
Ford Brody Aaron Taylor-Johnson  
CJ AdamsY
Elle Brody Elizabeth Olsen  
Ishiro Serizawa Ken Watanabe   Ken Watanabe  
Joe Brody Bryan Cranston  
Sandra Brody Juliette Binoche  
Vivienne Graham Sally Hawkins   Sally Hawkins  
William Stentz David Strathairn  
James Conrad   Tom Hiddleston  
Hank Marlow   John C. Reilly  
Will BrittainY
Victor Nieves   John Ortiz  
Preston Packard   Samuel L. Jackson  
Bill Randa   John Goodman  
San Lin   Jing Tian  
Mason Weaver   Brie Larson  
Mark Russell   Kyle Chandler
Emma Russell   Vera Farmiga  
Madison Russell   Millie Bobby Brown
Stanton   Bradley Whitford  
Sam Coleman   Thomas Middleditch  
Barnes   O'Shea Jackson Jr.  
Dr. Chen   Zhang Ziyi

Reception

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other territories Worldwide North America Worldwide
Godzilla May 16, 2014 $200,676,069 $328,400,000 $529,076,069 183 165 $160 million [23]
Kong: Skull Island March 10, 2017 $168,052,812 $398,600,000 $566,652,812 268 144 $185 million [32]
Total $368,728,881 $727,000,000 $1,095,728,881 $345 million [4]

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Godzilla 74% (301 reviews) [39] 62 (48 critics) [40] B+[41]
Kong: Skull Island 75% (335 reviews) [42] 62 (49 critics) [43] B+[41]

Tie-in material

Books

Title Release date Writer(s) Note
Godzilla – The Official Movie Novelization May 20, 2014 Greg Cox Novelization of Godzilla
Kong: Skull Island – The Official Movie Novelization March 14, 2017 Tim Lebbon Novelization of Kong: Skull Island

Comics

Title Release date Writer(s) Story by Illustrator(s) Cover Artist(s) Note
Godzilla: Awakening May 7, 2014 (2014-05-07) Max Borenstein and Greg Borenstein Eric Battle, Yvel Guichet, Alan Quah, and Lee Loughridge Arthur Adams Tie-in prequel comic to Godzilla
Skull Island: The Birth of Kong April 12, 2017 Arvid Nelson Zid   Tie-in prequel/sequel comic to Kong: Skull Island

Video games

Legendary's Godzilla was featured as a playable character in Bandai Namco's 2014 video game Godzilla as "Hollywood Godzilla".[44][45]

Title Release date Developer Publisher Note
Godzilla: Crisis Defense May 7, 2014 Legendary Legendary Tie-in web game to Godzilla
Godzilla: Strike Zone[46] May 15, 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Warner Bros. International Enterprises Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla
Godzilla: Smash 3[46] May 16, 2014 Rogue Play Pipeworks Tie-in mobile game to Godzilla

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ "MonsterVerse Trademark Application of Legendary Pictures, LLC". Justia Trademarks. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Lambie, Ryan (September 21, 2010). "Producer Brian Rogers discusses US Godzilla reboot". Den of Geek. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  3. ^ Williams, Trey (March 11, 2017). "Kong: Skull Island is Step 1 in Warner Bros. reboot of 1933 classic as monster franchise". Market Watch. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Godzilla and Kong Universe". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Wickman, Kase (July 26, 2014). "Holy Mothra: Gareth Edwards Reveals 'Godzilla 2' Monsters At Comic-Con". MTV. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (September 10, 2015). "King Kong On Move To Warner Bros, Presaging Godzilla Monster Matchup". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Masters, Kim (September 16, 2015). "Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary Over 'Kong: Skull Island' (and Who Says "Thank You")". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Cinematic Franchise Uniting Godzilla, King Kong and Other Iconic Giant Monsters" (Press release). Legendary Pictures. October 14, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Masters, Kim (September 16, 2015). "Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary Over 'Kong: Skull Island' (and Who Says "Thank You")". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  10. ^ Rahman, Abid (May 10, 2016). "Warner Bros. Moves Dates For 'Godzilla 2,' 'Godzilla vs Kong'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Schaefer, Sandy (May 23, 2018). "Godzilla 2 & The Shining Sequel Get New Release Dates". Screen Rant. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Galuppo, Mia (October 17, 2016). "Wanda Unveils Plans for $8 Billion 'Movie Metropolis,' Reveals Details About Film Incentives". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 20, 2016). "Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields to Write 'Godzilla 2' for Legendary (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  14. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Masters, Kim (January 17, 2017). "Thomas Tull to Exit Legendary Entertainment (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (March 10, 2017). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Film Sets Writers Room (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Gingold, Michael (July 20, 2017). "Adam Wingard Talks Godzilla vs. Kong And Directorial Freedom". Birth.Movies.Death. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  17. ^ Corneth, Roth (September 22, 2010). "'Godzilla' Will Return To His Roots In Legendary Pictures Reboot". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (March 29, 2010). "'Godzilla' stomps back to screen". Variety.
  19. ^ Kit, Borys (January 4, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: 'Monsters' Director Stomps to 'Godzilla'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  20. ^ Weintraub, Frosty (September 13, 2012). "CCI: GODZILLA Invades Theaters May 16, 2014; Studio Expects 3D Release". Collider. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  21. ^ Silman, Anna (May 16, 2014). "Review Roundup: One of the Scariest Things in Godzilla Is Bryan Cranston's Wig". Vulture. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  22. ^ Shaw-Williams, H. (May 2, 2014). "'Godzilla': First Audience Reactions Promise a Slow Reveal". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Godzilla (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Spry, Jeff (March 8, 2017). "Meet the crazy creatures of Kong: Skull Island with 6 monster bio cards". Syfy Wire. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  25. ^ "Ramarak The Skullcrawler Trademark Application of Legendary Pictures, LLC". Justia Trademarks. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  26. ^ Goldberg, Matt (March 11, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island' Post-Credits Scene Explained". Collider. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  27. ^ Sciretta, Peter (July 27, 2014). "Legendary Announces King Kong Prequel 'Skull Island' Movie For 2016 [Comic Con 2014]". Slashfilm.com. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  28. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (September 16, 2014). "Legendary's 'Skull Island'; Tom Hiddleston Stars, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Helms King Kong Origin Tale". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  29. ^ Kit, Borys (September 10, 2015). "'Kong: Skull Island' to Move to Warner Bros. for Planned Monster Movie Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  30. ^ Goldberg, Matt (March 10, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island': What Did You Think?". Collider. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  31. ^ Mendelson, Scott (March 13, 2017). "'Kong: Skull Island': Four Lessons For 'Justice League' And The DC Films Franchise". Forbes. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Kong: Skull Island (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  33. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse Kicks Into Gear as the Next Godzilla Feature Gets Underway" (Press release). June 19, 2017.
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (May 22, 2014). "'Star Wars' Spinoff Hires 'Godzilla' Director Gareth Edwards (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  36. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (May 13, 2016). "Director Gareth Edwards Exits 'Godzilla 2'". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  37. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 23, 2017). "'Godzilla 2' Finds Director in Michael Dougherty". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  38. ^ http://screenrant.com/godzilla-2-filming-done/}
  39. ^ "Godzilla (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  40. ^ "Godzilla (2014) Reviews". Metacritic.
  41. ^ a b "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  42. ^ "Kong: Skull Island (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  43. ^ "Kong: Skull Island Reviews". Metacritic.
  44. ^ "Godzilla The Game - PS4 Gameplay Trailer". Bandai Namco Entertainment America. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  45. ^ Spencer (July 13, 2015). "Godzilla Developer Was So Passionate About Their Favorite Monster They Snuck It In The Game". Siliconera. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  46. ^ a b "Godzilla (2014) Licensed Products Guide". SciFi Japan. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
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