Godzilla x Kong sequel gets a very disheartening update

After the success of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, there will be a sequel to the MonsterVerse movie, but it comes at a cost.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved /

We're nearly at the halfway point of 2024 and one of the biggest surprises of the year so far has to be the gigantic levels of success that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire experienced. There's no denying the draw of both of its titular movie monsters, but the MonsterVerse has struggled in the past, only truly finding its own footing in what was expected to be its final installment. But the success of Godzilla vs. Kong spawned a sequel that was, well, unexpected. And that sequel did the impossible; surpassing its predecessor to take the franchise to its second-best box office performance yet (it's currently only a hair away from surpassing 2017's Kong: Skull Island).

A sequel wasn't just expected, it was inevitable; and it was confirmed just over a month after the film's release, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that David Callaham (who penned Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings for Marvel Studios) would be writing the script. Needless to say, this was an exciting development for a franchise that once seemed like it was on the verge of extinction. There has since been another development about the franchise's next installment, and it's not quite as exciting.

Adam Wingard won't be back for Godzilla x Kong 3

According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Adam Wingard will not be returning for the third Godzilla x Kong movie. The parting of ways between the director and the franchise is said to be amicable, which does allow for him to return for a future installment should the stars align.

The report also states that the reason he won't be back is timing, and that makes sense. Legendary is reportedly eager to set the wheels in motion on the new movie after the monumental success of its predecessor, but Wingard is currently working on a new original movie titled Onslaught, which unfortunately rules him out as director. They were hoping he could return but the decision to fast-track the project seemingly won out.

While it will no doubt be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here, Wingard's departure is a blow that it didn't need. The MonsterVerse is riding high right now because of his involvement. Granted, there were success stories before the Godzilla x Kong movies started, but by the time Godzilla: King of the Monsters had come out, the franchise was running out of momentum. Wingard turned things around with Godzilla vs. Kong, using what was supposed to be the franchise's "endgame" to launch a new chapter of genuinely fun monster movies, improving on a lot of the issues from the film series' earlier days.

Godzilla X Kong
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved /

The 2021 film was released during the pandemic and accompanied its theatrical debut with a streaming release on HBO Max. It naturally enjoyed a great deal of success on the streamer but it also overperformed at the box office, being credited as one of the films that truly brought cinema back during a very uncertain time for the medium. That overperformance led to sequel Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which overperformed again, grossing an incredible $567 million, putting it just shy of Kong: Skull Island's $568 million.

With Wingard's departure, the slate could be wiped clean. Will the characters he introduced to the MonsterVerse stick around, or will we see a completely new cast of characters? The earlier MonsterVerse movies rarely stuck with the same characters, so it would be a bit underwhelming if we went back to that when the Godzilla x Kong saga have managed to produce some solid character-work. Furthermore, the Godzilla x Kong movies found the perfect balance between characters and the titular Titans, knowing full-well what its audience wants to see; this is something that the earlier movies didn't get right, so you can see why fans would be apprehensive.

Wingard had previously spoken about his desire to make a third movie a bit more Godzilla-focused after the previous two saw Kong at the heart of them, so it remains to be seen if the finished project will take that sentiment as inspiration or start a brand new chapter for the franchise.

It's definitely going to be exciting to see where the MonsterVerse saga goes after this, but it will certainly miss Wingard's highly entertaining approach.

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