After Godzilla vs. Kong became the highest grossing film during the pandemic era, it seemed like an easy bet that Legendary Pictures would be interested in making another installment in the MonsterVerse. Now the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Adam Wingard, the director of Godzilla vs. Kong is in early talks to return to the franchise with a film, tentatively titled Son of Kong. No doubt some reference to the original 1933 sequel where they return to the island only to find that Kong had a son.
In 2017, after the successes of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, an image was leaked on the internet that showed the film that would come after Godzilla vs. Kong, titled Destroy All Monsters. No other news came from this as Legendary attempted to scrub it from the internet, but giant monster fans were encouraged that there seemed to be a prosperous future for the MonsterVerse. After the financial disappointment of Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019, Legendary became very quiet about what the future of the franchise would be, making it seem like Godzilla vs. Kong would be the end of it on the big screen (A Netflix anime was announced in late 2020).
Now it looks like Legendary was taking a “wait and see approach”. Truthfully, this seems like a smart move. Giant monster films don’t connect with American audiences the same way they do in the east so rather than attempting a more Marvel like approach, waiting to see how each film does before moving on with the next entry makes the most sense at this point. This approach would allow Legendary to focus on one movie at a time, making sure each one could be a success, rather than attempting to chase after the Marvel juggernaut.
While no plot details have been released, the tentative title of Son of Kong points to a pretty bright future for the newly crowned king of the hollow earth. The character of King Kong has been stuck in his own personal time loop for almost 90 years. Maybe you’ve heard this before: An endeavor to an uncharted island, a beautiful blonde, the giant protector of the island falls for the blonde and he’s taken to New York City where, after escaping, he is killed at the top of the Empire State Building. Half of the American Kong films end up going this way. Before Kong: Skull Island, it was the little known sequels and Japanese films that tried to break the King of Skull Island from this never ending loop. While Godzilla has enjoyed almost 70 years of fighting different monsters and constantly being reinvented for newer audiences, Kong has remained stagnant, even though he’s just as well known.
Kong: Skull Island was the first film to reinvent Kong and create new monsters for him to fight and it successfully broke him from this 90 year story prison. Even Godzilla vs. Kong gives the giant ape his own happy ending in a new home. Finally a new mythos for Kong can be explored with new enemies for him to fight. A rogues gallery of giant monsters all his own, and hopefully, just as iconic as Godzilla’s. If Toho is unwilling to move forward with more American Godzilla films, then Kong could be the key to continuing the franchise anyway.
If Adam Wingard does return to play in the MonsterVerse, then it might be a few years until we see it. Adam Wingard has a Thundercats adaptation and a sequel to the cult classic Face/Off to potentially get off the ground before this. However, It’s encouraging that Legendary is looking to explore the MonsterVerse future, no matter how long it takes to get Son of Kong off the ground.