Warner Brothers and Legendary Entertainment has signed Adam Wingard to direct Godzilla Vs Kong, the fourth installment in their Monsters Universe franchise.
Wingard comes from a low-budget horror background, having previously helmed You’re Next, The Guest and the recent remake of Blair Witch. He recently wrapped production on a live action version of the Japanese anime Death Note. His hiring for this big tentpole project continues the studio’s pattern of bringing on board directors whose previous work was only in the much lower budgetary realm.
The franchise kicked off with 2014’s Godzilla, which was directed by Gareth Edwards, whose only previous feature film directorial credit was the low-budget Monsters. This year’s Kong: Skull Island had The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts behind the camera. The Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, is currently in production under the guidance of Trick ‘R Treat helmer Michael Dougherty.
While some have complained that these days there’s a lack of mid-budget features for directors to get more solid experience before handing them a big-budget franchise picture, it has been paying dividends for the studio in this franchise. So far both Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island have pulled in over $500 million at the international box office apiece.
Earlier this year, the studio held a “writers’ room” conference with a number of scripters to hammer out a story for the project. Original Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy co-screenwriter Terry Rossio headed things up, with
Star Trek Beyond co-writers Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, Lindsey Beer (the upcoming The Kingkiller Chronicles for Lionsgate), Cat Vasko (the upcoming Queen Of The Air), T.S. Nowlin (The Maze Runner franchise), Jack Paglen (Alien: Covenant) and Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski. There has been no word as to which of the writers in the room landed the job to turn that story outline into a screenplay.
Currently, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is set for a March 22, 2019 release with Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown starring.
Godzilla Vs Kong is set for release on May 29, 2020.