Gareth Edwards has dropped out of Godzilla 2.
Deadline is reporting that the split between the director and studio Legendary was “amicable” and well in the works before the announcement that the film’s release date was being pushed back to March 22, 2019. If anything, the date change can now seen seen as a signal that the studio could be pushing back the production’s start date. They most very likely are doing so as they now have to find a new helmer.
Edwards landed the gig of directing Legendary’s first Godzilla on the strength of his indie film Monsters. He is currently finishing up work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first Star Wars film outside of the main saga. As such there is a lot of pressure on the director to make it succeed. Given that his Godzilla film also came with much close scrutiny, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was looking at taking a break and focusing instead on a smaller budgeted project that doesn’t come with so much baggage. He reportedly had been developing a few such smaller films and maybe he feels that now is the time to pull the trigger on one of them.
Legendary and Warner Brothers, meanwhile, will continue to develop their Godzilla/Giant Monster franchise. Next summer’s Kong: Skull Island will actually be the next installment in the series, which will set up the tussle between Kong and Godzilla that we will see in 2020.