There’s long been talk of the supposed “end of the blockbuster franchise era.” With Marvel’s cinematic universe now heading for a period of reformation following the events of Endgame, the Skywalker saga coming to an end, and DC still struggling to give shape to their own cinematic universe, that argument gains more weight. However, few names can challenge that perception as Godzilla vs. Kong…in the same movie. When Legendary announced the fourth movie in their Monsterverse universe would be an epic face-off between Kong and Godzilla, movie lovers geared up for chaos on the screen.
The two characters have not shared the screen since 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla. This will be the 36th installment in the Godzilla franchise and the 12th in the King Kong franchise. With the latest trailer being released on 24th January 2021, we now have official footage from the upcoming movie. Read on to see the key takeaways from the trailer and some rather bold predictions. Most importantly, information on when and where to watch the two iconic monsters come head-to-head:
While the movie trailer seems action-packed with loads of references and easter-eggs, it’s essential to look at some of the key takeaways. These takeaways may also hint at the movie’s potential plot and, eventually, how the fight will play out. Here are the most notable easter eggs, references, and takeaways from the first trailer of Godzilla vs. Kong:
Kong, The God
Godzilla fans may argue otherwise, but the trailer seems to solidify the notion that Kong is a god from ancient times. Godzilla might be the boss of the monsters, but Kong may one-up him on the screen. In the opening scenes of Kong, we see him communicating with a little girl. Very little is known about the girl or why she’s got such a bond with Kong. Still, the image of them both touching the tips of their finger is reminiscent of Michelangelo Buonaarroti’s painting of God and Adam on the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
It’s a “blink-and-you’ll-miss” moment, but you can see plans for a “mechanized” version of Godzilla in the background where Monarch technicians are discussing possible strategies against Godzilla. Interestingly, the official movie synopsis still portrays humans as the real villains. Ardent fans of the Godzilla franchise may recall the end-credit newspaper clippings where Monarch was working on a “mechanized giant” on Skull Island. Time and more trailers will tell, but right now, it’s looking like Mechagodzilla will be making an appearance in the movie, in one form or another.
Aliens Among Us
In case you were wondering how much more ambitious can a movie about King Kong and Godzilla fighting each other get, enter UFOs. Yes, the trailer gives us a scene where Kong enters what appears to be his ancient cave. In the background, a distinct flying mechanical object can be seen. Considering this is a flashback to hundreds of years ago, this may be an alien UFO “scouting” Kong. The likelihood of this being true is further enhanced when you factor in the revelation in the last movie about King Ghidorah being an alien working to terraform Earth.
A Crowded Affair
One of the most gripping moments from the trailer was the sight of Kong using a snake-like creature to hit another bat-like giant. Although new fans to the franchise may have easily missed this, they are none other than Nozuki and Warbat. You may recall a scene in Godzilla: King of the Monsters how Monarch kept mentioning the 11 missing Titans. These are two of those missing Titans. In the kaiju folklore, they’re known to hibernate for centuries and only come out when they sense a battle on the horizon.
Kong actually has two scenes with them. The first one sees him fight them off both, while in the second one, he’s wielding an ax and chasing after Warbat. The second scene likely occurs near the climax of the big-fight, where Kong has to defeat Godzilla’s lieutenants before having a final go at him.
It’s still nearly two months until we can see the movie. However, the first trailer has given us some helpful insight into some potential plotlines. However, I will make some bold predictions that may defy the conventional Hollywood movie playbooks of modern blockbusters.
I’ll get this over with from the start. Yes, Godzilla will win…but only just. The most convenient and generic way to approach the plot here would be to have them go at each other a couple of times and then have them call a truce at the end. It would be a letdown, and considering how the previous Monsterverse movies have performed better when they’ve ditched the classic movie tropes and taken risks, I’m predicting a win for Godzilla.
It serves another purpose, Godzilla’s taken on much stronger enemies, more than one at the same time, and come out on top. That last scene in King of the Monsters was supposed to cement him as the most powerful monster in the world right now. Someone that screams an atomic ray that is over 1 million °C in temperature. On the other hand, we saw Kong being injured via conventional military weaponry. A helicopter attack wounded his right arm severely while all it took was some red berry gas to knock him unconscious. The odds are heavily stacked against Kong, and it’d only be a mixture of a miracle and plot armor where Godzilla doesn’t come out on top at the end.
No team up
It’s become somewhat of a running joke. In 2016, we saw two franchises release two blockbusters with a conflict between their two titular characters at the movie’s heart. Batman took on Superman while Ironman vowed to bring down Captain America. However, that conflict didn’t last long and ultimately ended with them teaming up (Ironman and Captain America do fight again at the end, but that after they’d already teamed up…so the point remains). However, I do not think we’ll see a repeat of that in Godzilla vs. Kong. For one thing, we’ve already seen two movies establish Godzilla as the king of the monsters. He’s fought powerful foes, later turning allies, but only when they submitted to him.
Similarly, Kong has been a loner and has a backstory that depicts him as someone unwilling to submit. When two such personalities clash… it’s hard to see them putting their egos aside.
Most importantly, it’d be highly anti-climactic. Far too often, we’ve seen movies being billed as a fight between characters and having that “fight” last mere minutes before the mundane team-up. Legendary has so far opted for gambles with the Godzilla franchise by portraying him as humanity’s ally and even promoting him to be the king of the monsters. I’m betting on them dropping the team-up idea for a more precise versus movie.
Mechagodzilla is the real villain
I’m basing this prediction on two things. First, neither Kong and Godzilla are being hyped up as villains. The official synopsis still states that humans are the real villains in this. The only for humans to be villains in a movie about King Kong and Godzilla is if they can come up with a being that’s equally as powerful. Furthermore, we’ve had multiple easter eggs in previous movies, and within the trailer itself, Monarch has been designing a mechanical beast for sometime…maybe even before Godzilla’s appearance.
I’d say the movie will borrow a page from the 1962 movie’s playbook and have humans push Kong and Godzilla into a fight to weaken the latter so that they can finish him off with their ultimate weapon. Godzilla, at his full strength, is invincible. No other Titan has been able to match him. So, the only way to beat Godzilla would be to create another Godzilla that’s even more powerful, Mechagodzilla.
When Does It Release?
Warner Bros. recently announced that their entire movie slate for 2021 would be released simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max. While Toho has retained rights of distribution in Japan, WarnerMedia will release it everywhere else. The movie was scheduled to release on 13th March 2020, then in May 2020, and finally November 2020. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic saw the release delayed by a full year.
But now, Warner Bros. and Legendary have announced that there will be no delays this time. Fans can expect to see their two favorite monsters trade blows on the big screen and HBO Max on 26th March 2021.