Godzilla vs. Kong is an American science fiction film directed by Adam Wingard and released in 2021. Thirty-third film starring Godzilla and ninth starring King Kong, this is the fourth installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse fictional universe Pictures, after Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters (2019).
The film was first released in theaters in several Asian countries (Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Taiwan). It was then released in the United States, simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max platform.
Five years have passed since the events that saw Godzilla triumph over King Ghidorah and after which he became the new King of the Monsters. However, while the reappearance of the titans yielded beneficial results for the planet and against all odds, Godzilla seems to turn against humanity and destroy everything in its path. Overwhelmed by events, the Monarch Organization decides to appeal to Kong, the only remaining titan who is not subject to Godzilla. The latter, forced by humans but having sworn to protect a young girl, is now humanity’s last hope and will have to embrace the legacy of his species by facing Godzilla. However, Mechagodzilla, who is at the origin of the events seems to move, determined to eradicate the Titans.
Five years after the clash between Godzilla and King GhidorahN 1, Kong and Godzilla are the last active Titans on the face of Earth and the heirs of an ancient interspecies rivalry. On Skull Island, the weather has been destabilized – Monarch is watching Kong, who resides in a giant dome. Kong receives a visit from Jia, the last Iwi daughter and adopted by Ilene Andrews.
In a side story, Bernie Hayes, an employee of Apex – a cybernetics and robotics company – and host of a titan conspiracy theory podcast, exfiltrates information suggesting sinister activities at a Florida Apex facility when Godzilla suddenly attacks. During the rampage, Bernie discovers an unidentified secret device that is being worked on.
Madison, a fan of the Bernie podcast, hires her friend Josh to investigate the cause of the Godzilla attack. Together, they find Bernie and sneak into the destroyed Apex base, discovering a secret facility deep underground. They are inadvertently locked and transported in a container carrying Skullcrawler eggs through an underground tunnel to Hong Kong. There, they unwittingly interfere with a test of Mechagodzilla, controlled telepathically by Ren via Ghidorah’s neural networks derived from one of his heads. The test is interrupted due to power supply limitations.
Walter Simmons of Apex recruits Nathan Lind, a former Monarch scientist turned Hollow Earth theorist, to guide them to the Hollow Earth in search of a powerful source of energy. Nathan travels to Skull Island and meets Ilene and convinces her to use Kong as a guide to the power source.
Nathan, Ilene and their team board a modified barge with Kong chained and lightly sedated. Maya, Walter’s daughter, joins them. We discover that Jia and Kong can communicate in sign language. Godzilla attacks the convoy, running into Kong. Kong is defeated, and Godzilla does not retreat until after the ships have deactivated their power. Realizing that Godzilla will keep coming for Kong if he’s seen as a threat, they change plans and transport Kong to Antarctica in a net carried by helicopters. Jia convinces Kong to enter the Hollow Earth Tunnel, and the teams follow in HEAVs (Hollow Earth Anti-gravity Vehicles).
In the hollow earth, they find an ecosystem similar to Skull Island. Kong leads the team to his ancestral throne room, where they find the power source. Kong finds a luminous ax that can be recharged from the power source. Maya returns the signature of the power source to the Apex base in Hong Kong.
Godzilla is coming to Hong Kong. He uses his atomic blast to create a hole in the hollow earth in Kong’s throne room. The hell hawks attack Kong, who pushes them back but kills the Apex team. Kong and the survivors escape through the hole to Hong Kong. Godzilla and Kong fight again. Kong ends up knocking down Godzilla and Lind comments that Kong won “round 2”. However, they soon fight again and Godzilla comes out on top, neutralizing Kong.
In the Apex base in Hong Kong, Ren warns Walter that they haven’t tested the new Hollow Earth power source, but Walter ignores his calls and orders him to activate Mechagodzilla. Bernie, Madison and Josh are stopped by security and brought to Walter. Mechagodzilla goes haywire under the influence of Ghidorah’s power source and neural networks, and Ren is shocked to death. Mechagodzilla wakes up with a mind of her own and kills Walter in front of the trio.
Mechagodzilla emerges from the base of Victoria Peak and attacks the city. Godzilla turns to the machine. Josh tries unsuccessfully to guess the password on the console to shut down Mechagodzilla over a satellite link.
Godzilla and Mechagodzilla fight but Godzilla is outmatched. Jia tells Illene and Nathan that Kong is dying. Nathan creates a defibrillator from their HEAV and uses it to wake Kong up. Jia convinces Kong to help Godzilla.
Godzilla and Kong team up against Mechagodzilla. To end the close quarters combat, Godzilla supercharges Kong’s ax with his atomic blast. Kong swings and destroys Mechagodzilla with the ax.
Bernie, Madison, and Josh reunite with Mark, while Godzilla weakly stands up and he and Kong look at each other. Kong drops his ax and Godzilla roars in the sky before leaving.
Finally, Ilene and Jia watch Kong at a Hollow Earth observation post.1
- Original Title: Godzilla vs. Kong
- Director: Adam Wingard
- Screenplay: Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, Based on a Story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, Based on Godzilla Created by Tomoyuki Tanaka and Tōhō and King Kong by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack and RKO Radio Pictures .
- Photography: Ben Seresin
- Editing: Josh Schaeffer
- Music: Junkie XL
- Sets: Tom Hammock and Owen Paterson
- Costumes: Ann Foley
- Producers: Alex Garcia, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull
- Production Companies: Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures
- Distribution companies: Warner Bros. (United States and France), Tōhō (Japan)
- Budget: $ 200 million [ref. necessary]
- Country of Origin: Flag of the United States United States
- Original language: English
- Format: color – 2.35: 1 – Dolby Digital sound | Dolby Atmos | DTS | Dolby Surround 7.1 | IMAX 6-Track | Auro 11.12
- Genre: science fiction, action, fantasy
- Run Time: 113 minutes
- Release dates3:
– Asia: March 24, 2021
– United States: March 31, 2021 (in theaters and on HBO Max)
– Canada: March 31, 2021 (in theaters and video on demand)
– France: May 19, 20214 Date subject to change
– France: All audiences with warning when it is released in theaters
– United States}: PG-13 (prohibited for children under 13)
- Alexander Skarsgård: Nathan Lind
- Kyle Chandler: Mark Russell
- Millie Bobby Brown: Madison Russell
- Rebecca Hall: Ilene Andrews
- Brian Tyree Henry: Bernie Hayes
- Shun Oguri: Ren Serizawa
- Eiza González: Maya Simmons
- Julian Dennison: Josh Valentine
- Demián Bichir: Walter Simmons
- Kaylee Hottle: Jia
- Hakeem Kae-Kazim: Admiral Wilcox
- Ronny Chieng: Jay Wayne
- John Pirruccello: Horace
- Chris Chalk: Ben
- Zhang Ziyi: Dr Chen
- Lance Reddick: The Director of Monarch
- Drew Walton: David Lind
- Van Marten: Dr. Chen’s assistant
- Daniel Nelson: Hayworth
Genesis and development
Legendary Pictures confirms at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2014 that the company has acquired the rights to Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah from Toho and hinted at upcoming films with the phrase, “Conflict: Inevitable.” Let them fight ”5. In September 2015, Legendary announced that the Kong: Skull Island movie would not be developed with Universal Studios. Instead, it’s produced in conjunction with Warner Bros .. This sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong were going to appear in a joint film6,7.
In October 2015, Legendary unveiled its plans and confirmed that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film titled Godzilla vs Kong, which was then slated for release in 2020. Legendary unveiled the creation of a common cinematic universe “centered around Monarch” ( the secret government agency that appeared in the 2014 Godzilla) that “brings Godzilla and King Kong from Legendary together in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new.” While Legendary remains under Universal’s control, the company continues to collaborate with the Warner Bros. for this franchise8. Later, in October, it was announced that Kong: Skull Island will contain references to Monarch9.
In May 2016, Warner Bros. announces that Godzilla vs Kong will be released on May 29, 2020, and that Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters is postponed from June 2018 to March 2019. In October 2016, Legendary announces that Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters will be filmed at Oriental Film Metropolis in Qingdao, in China’10. That same month, it was revealed that Legendary is reuniting its writers to create the joint Godzilla – Kong cinematic universe, with Alex Garcia overseeing the project11.
At the beginning of January 2017, Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary, resigned from the head of the company but will remain producer of the common universe, then named MonsterVerse12. In March 2017, Legendary brought together its writers to develop the story of Godzilla vs Kong13.
Distribution of roles
In June 2017, it was announced that Zhang Ziyi had joined Legendary’s MonsterVerse, having an allegedly “pivot” role in both Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. In June 2018, Julian Dennison was cast alongside Van Marten, while Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler would reprise their roles from Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters. Legendary also sent Frances McDormand an offer for a role. In July 2018, it was revealed that Danai Gurira was at the start of talks to join the film. In October 2018, Brian Tyree Henry, Demián Bichir, Alexander Skarsgård, Eiza González, and Rebecca Hall were added to the cast. In November 2018, Jessica Henwick, Shun Oguri, and Lance Reddick were cast, with Oguri making her Hollywood debut. Although not confirmed by the studio, Gurira was briefly named among the cast by Collider and ScreenGeek.14
Principal photography began on November 12, 2018 in Hawaii and Australia and was scheduled to end in February 2019 under the working title Apex. Production was originally scheduled to begin October 1, 2018. For filming in Hawaii, the crew filmed on the USS Missouri, Manoa Falls and downtown Honolulu. The team established a camp on the road to Kalanianaole, which had been closed until November 21. Local crews and extras were used for the film. In January 2019, filming resumed in Gold Coast, Queensland at Village Roadshow Studios for an additional 26 weeks. Filming locations in Australia included Miami State High School and parts of Brisbane such as the suburb of Newstead, the Chinatown Mall in Fortitude Valley, and the Wickham Terrace parking lot. In April 2019, Wingard confirmed via Instagram [archive] that filming in Australia was completed. That same month, Wingard revealed Hong Kong as one of the final filming locations and that the main photography was finished.15
In June 2020, Tom Holkenborg is announced as composer [ref. necessary].
As with previous trailers for Legendary’s Godzilla films, György Ligeti’s Requiem is used, followed by Chris Classic’s Here We Go. The soundtrack album is released by WaterTower Music on March 26, 2021.
List of titles
All the music is composed by Tom Holkenborg.16
- Pensacola, Florida (Godzilla Theme) – 2:18
- Skull Island (Kong Theme) – 7:24
- Apex Cybernetics – 2:02
- A New Language – 2:29
- Just Now – 1:50
- Tasman Sea – 9:30
- Through There – 1:25
- Antarctica – 2:36
- Hollow Earth – 3:48
- The Throne – 2:11
- Lunch – 1:59
- Nuclear Blast – 3:59
- The Royal Ax – 4:48
- Mega – 7:39
- Hong Kong – 13:14
Exit and welcome
In May 2019, the first one-sheet promotional poster was revealed at the Licensing Expo. In June 2019, Warner Bros. presented a first overview of European exhibitors at CineEurope. In August 2019, it was announced that Disruptor Beam would develop a mobile game to integrate for the film’s release. In December 2019, a brief clip was revealed on a Warner Bros. reel. at Comic Con Experience, then leaked online. In January 2020, images of the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair displaying figures related to the film were leaked online. In February 2020, Tohō and Legendary Pictures announced the Godzilla vs Kong release schedule and licensees. Through the publishing program, Legendary plans to publish two graphic novels, one after Godzilla and the other after Kong, an art book, romanizations and a children’s book. Among the named licensees were Playmates Toys, Bioworld, Rubies, Funko, 60Out and the Virtual Reality Company.
In April 2020, toy figure images leaked online, revealing different shapes for Godzilla and Kong, Mechagodzilla, and a new monster named Nozuki. In July 2020, images of Playmate figurines and packaging with concept art were uploaded. In December 2020, brief clips of the film were shown during Comic Con Experience. In January 2021, shorter footage was included in a preview of HBO Max. That same month, the first teaser poster went live, with confirmation of the trailer’s release date. The first full trailer was released on January 24, 2021. It became Warner Bros.’s biggest trailer debut, gaining 25.6 million views in 24 hours on YouTube; 15.8 million from the Warner channel and 9.8 million additional views from the studio’s secondary channels.
Cinemas and streaming
Godzilla vs. Kong hits theaters in multiple countries on March 24, 2021. In the US, it hits theaters March 31, simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max platform. It is theatrically released worldwide by Warner Bros., except in Japan, where it will be released by Tōhō on May 14, 2021. WarnerMedia will air the film for one month on HBO Max in the United States. Regal Cinemas will exhibit the film with a limited release when it reopens on April 2, 2021.
The film’s release has been repeatedly delayed: it was previously scheduled for release in 2020 on March 13, May 22, May 29, November 20, and later postponed to May 21, 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In February 2020, Warner Bros. organized an unannounced screening test [Where?] which received a “mostly positive” response [ref. necessary].
In November 2020, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the film was being considered for a streaming release. Netflix had offered $ 200-250 million but WarnerMedia blocked the deal in favor of their own offer to release the film on HBO Max. However, Warner Bros. reiterated that their theatrical release plans would go according to plan. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and Warner Bros. President Ann Sarnoff considered options that included simultaneous theatrical and streaming release, a strategy Warner Bros. had implemented for Wonder Woman 1984. As of December 2020, Warner Bros. announced that the film, along with their other tentpoles slated for 2021, will receive simultaneous same-day releases in theaters and HBO Max, with one-month access for its streaming release [ref. necessary].
A week after the announcement, Variety and Deadline.com reported that Legendary Entertainment, financiers, and talent with backend deals [What?] Weren’t happy with WarnerMedia’s multi-release plans and non-transparent intentions. Legendary was not given advance notice of the multiple release decision nor had any say in how Dune and Godzilla vs Kong would be distributed. The studio is scheduled to have talks with Warner Bros. regarding a “more generous deal” but legal action was considered. Weeks later, Deadline.com reported that the film could keep its release on HBO Max, but only if Warner Bros. matches Netflix’s $ 250 million bid. In January 2021, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a legal battle had been avoided because Legendary and WarnerMedia were close to an agreement to keep the film concurrently released.
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On the American aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film garners 80% favorable opinions for 156 reviews and an average rating of 6.5⁄10. The consensus of the site is “Justifying its title outright, Godzilla vs Kong eliminates character development and human dramaturgy to provide all the spectacle you expect from giant monsters fighting” 19. On Metacritic, it obtains an average score of 62⁄100 for 43 reviews20.
Jamie Graham of Total Film gave the film a 3 out of 5 rating, writing, among other things, “Watching these famous monsters share the screen for the first time since King Kong vs. Godzilla in 1963, in a series of expertly choreographed battles, is really impressive, although you can’t help but wish the screen was 30 feet tall in your local cinema. “[Ref. necessary]
John Nugent of Empire magazine gives it a rating of 2 out of 5: “Godzilla Vs. Kong mainly keeps his promise of a big monster fighting another big monster. It just depends on whether you are ready to sit through the toes. “In his review for The Age, Jake Wilson rates the film 2.5 out of 5 and writes in particular:” […] director Adam Wingard started making spiritually brutal horror films on a low budget before becoming a studio soldier for hire. Absolutely no sign of his former personality is evident here.21 ”
A week before its release in the United States, Godzilla vs Kong is releasing in nearly 38 countries. It is estimated to make around $ 70 million in its first five days [ref. necessary]. In China, where it is expected to debut at around $ 50 million, the film grossed $ 21.5 million (140 million RMB) on day one [ref. necessary].
Variety estimates the film will make around $ 23 million in its first weekend of operation on U.S. soil, compared to around $ 68 million in a pre-COVID market