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King Kong, Godzilla, Pacific Rim and Theme Park Rides (Exclusive)

King Kong

Late last night it was announced that the untitled King Kong: Skull Island would be moving from Universal to Warner Bros., complete with cast & crew intact and Thomas Tull & Legendary remaining on board. Why? Because Warner Bros. controls the rights to Kong and instead of licensing them to Universal again, they’ve decided to take them back. The goal here is not only to re-launch Kong at WB, but also to eventually include him in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla 3, effectively creating a modern update of the 1962 classic King Kong vs. Godzilla.

What is Universal getting out of this, however? I’m sure their logo will remain in front of Skull Island, much as Paramount’s did in front of the some of the early Marvel films at Disney, but surely there is more to it than that? Surely Universal is getting some sort of consolation prize after losing a Tom Hiddleston-starring blockbuster giant monster movie? According to a trusted source, they are being compensated two-fold.

First up, is the obvious perk: theme park rides. Construction on their new Skull Island Kong attraction was recently delayed and this deal is why. Work will resume after the move happens and the attraction will be completed. Other Kong attractions might follow in the future at one or both parks and the studio will reportedly be granted the rights to fashion Godzilla attractions as well. I would assume that they would be geared towards WB’s Godzilla films, but with Toho still in the mix, perhaps they might be able to utilize some of their creations to a degree as well? Unlikely, as Toho is iffy about giving permission to such things, but you never know. The Warner Bros./Legendary/Toho relationship in regards to Godzilla is a strong one and anything is possible.

So what is the second? What possible, kaiju-related consolation prize could Universal be tempted with to not throw a tantrum over losing Kong? Pacific Rim. While the first film did well worldwide, it underperformed enough stateside that WB was fine with letting Legendary retain the rights and take Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom with them over to Universal. That project has seen a delay of some kind (and is likely to shift its a release date a bit to avoid Nolan’s new film), but is still moving forward. We are not talking Pacific Rim 2 here, however, but what will follow it.


That’s right! While plans could change with time, the idea here is that after Edwards’ completes his Big G trilogy with his own take on King Kong vs. Godzilla, both titular gigantic fiends will guest star in the trilogy-capper to Guillermo Del Toro’s own kaiju franchise. Kong appearing in the new Godzilla films seemed impossible enough, but this one punches through the stratosphere. What we have here is the making of a megaverse saga comprised of presumably 7 films that span across 3 franchises and 2 studios. In simple terms, it would basically look like this…

Pacific Rim (2013; dir. Guillermo Del Toro)
Godzilla (2014; dir. Gareth Edwards)
King Kong: Skull Island (2017; dir. )
Pacific Rim II: Maelstrom (2017, dir. Guillermo Del Tor)
Godzilla II (2018; dir. Gareth Edwards)
King Kong vs. Godzilla (TBA)
Pacific Rim III (TBA)

I’m assuming Edwards is expected to return for KvG, much like GDT probably couldn’t be kept away from a Godzilla and Kong-starring Pacific Rim III if his life had depended on it. Warner Bros. gets a shared mega-monster universe, Universal gets theme parks rights and a piece of the pie, and Toho likely gets Japanese distribution rights for the rest of the films yet to come. It’s a massive win for all involved and it’s a super-win for fans.

As for reconciling the continuities? It shouldn’t be too hard. Skull Island is supposed to be a prequel set in the ’70s, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla films are roughly set in our present, and the Pacific Rim films are all set far into the future. The latter has a vague past that doesn’t detail much of what happened before the opening of the rift and the kaiju war. It wouldn’t be too hard to work these monstrous kings into its back-history and I’m sure GDT can come up with a way to revive them in his post-apocalyptic monster-filled future.

Things could change, but for now we have before us a rather amazing potential shared universe that will keep us satiated with giant monsters for years to come, both in theaters and at Universal Parks. Sound like fun to you? It sure does to me!

Pacific Rim



  • wehoaks

    These fucking film universes need to be shot and killed. Hell, after reading Returns it seems Melton & Dunstan are even trying to do the same fucking thing with Halloween.

  • RidleyScottIsADirector@gmail.c

    I can’t wait to not have a complete, contained, narrative experience with the upcoming Film Universe Entry 3.2. I love love LOOOOOOVE perpetual middles!!!

  • Richter Belmont

    If Toho would license Mothra, Rodan, or King Ghidora, this news would definitely get me interested. To get me excited they need to get the Gamera rights from Daiei Films.

    Settle it in a once in a lifetime brawl for it all in Hollywood! Godzilla vs Gamera vs Kong!

    • Gadriel

      It seems that Toho “are” allowing Mothra, Rodan and King G to be used in the next US Godzilla movie, as they were happy with how the last one turned out.

      It would be freakin’ awesome if along the way they managed to get the usage of Gamera.
      A Pacific Rim movie with Godzilla, King Kong AND Gamera.
      Damn, that would be like having Freddy Vs Jason Vs Michael Vs Leatherface Vs Pinhead Vs Ash.

  • zombie84_41

    If this does happen I swear to god I’ll be the most happiest man on planet earth. I freaked out last night when I read they remaking KVG

  • concerned citizen

    Stupid idea

  • Stevie McThompson

    Skull Island – A Prequel set in the 70s ?????? Have I missed something?

    • D2Kvirus

      The 1870s?

    • The One and Only

      When J.K. Simmons was still on KONG:Skull Island, he mentioned that a part of the tale was set in Detroit in the 1970’s. That’s where they’ve been getting that.

  • ultrazilla2000

    Way to much unfounded speculation towards Godzilla vs Kong movie. You’re running with rumors here. They would need to do a complete reimagining of both creatures as Legendary Godzilla would step on Kong at his current size.

    • B.B. Booey

      This is what Brad does every time any rumor finds its way around. And then, whenever the rumor is proven false, he’ll post another article: “BREAKING NEWS: King Kong will NOT appear in Godzilla 3.” He generates his own cycle of speaking of speculations as facts, only to then “reveal” that they were false. This is how he gets clicks for this site, much to the detriment of anyone wanting to read actual news about horror films.

  • Jonny 2 Gnar

    a lot of non-facts here

  • Jonny 2 Gnar

    a lot of non-facts here

    …like nearly every Facebook post

  • おおかみ たける

    the amount of non-facts here is astounding… also, even the deadline article states it’s only speculating, IN THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE OF THE ARTICLE. One would have to know the definition of ‘portends’ to realize that, though 😉

  • Jobacca Wookiee

    C’mon….NO WAY Toho will allow this,right? RIGHT??? I mean…it would be awesome if they did….but this will never happen.

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  • Joseph

    I want King Kong: Skull Island action figure toys for the movie.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I still get sad every time I see it’s confirmed that Gareth is making the Godzilla sequel let alone the 3rd one. He is wayyyyy to boring let someone else take over like Del Toro he can make a bad ass Godzilla film to be honest. And how big do they expect Kong to be to pit him against Godzilla unless they decide to make a Gorilla the size of Godzilla which would be kind of ridiculous. I do however want a Godzilla and Pacific Rim match up that would make much more sense and a better film in my opinion. A Kajiu Vs Godzilla now that’s a real Monster Match!!!

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