In something of an anticipated development, the film community discovered today that Hollywood would be combining two more film universes, a sign of the movie industry’s increasing efforts to bring more crossovers, multiverses, and mega-franchises to moviegoing audiences. Deadline has reported that Legendary Pictures has moved Kong: Skull Island to Warner Bros., a calculated move that signifies an almost inevitable pairing of Kong with Legendary’s other valued property, Godzilla.
Kong: Skull Island was previously being developed under Universal Pictures, but sources say that Legendary has decided to shift the property under Warner Bros. as a matter of facilitating the likely crossover film and keeping all of their properties in one house. Just last month, director Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak) even alluded to a possible Godzilla/Pacific Rim crossover, as Pacific Rim is also under the Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. banner.
Audiences may remember that a King Kong/Godzilla crossover had happened previously under the Japanese Toho Studios, in the 1962 film titled King Kong Vs. Godzilla, directed by the legendary Ishiro Honda. In many ways, that film was one of the earliest examples of the franchise crossover tradition that has taken ahold of Hollywood more recently. Nowadays, franchises like Aliens, Predators, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th have all gotten involved in crossover films with Alien vs. Predator, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, and Freddy vs. Jason respectively. There’s also the obvious union of comic book properties, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe being the most famous example, as well as the current Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for Warner Bros.
Meanwhile, the cast for Kong: Skull Island is shaping up to be quite formidable, with Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers), John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph), Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four), Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), and Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service) all having roles in the upcoming film. Both Hiddleston and Jackson have some familiarity with crossover films and share a connection through the Marvel universe, where the actors play Nick Fury and Loki, respectively. Kong: Skull Island will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and was set for a March 10, 2017 release under Universal. There has been no news yet on how the move from Universal to Warner Bros. will affect Skull Island‘s release date, but there should be more details forthcoming regarding the production.