‘Godzilla Vs. King Kong’ Director Adam Wingard Has A Clear Favorite

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Godzilla will return in 2019. Legendary Pictures

Adam Wingard, the newly announced director of Godzilla vs. King Kong, the upcoming sequel to Kong: Skull Island and the 2014 American Godzilla, has already picked a side. If his Twitter account is any indication, Wingard is far more invested in Japan’s big lizard than America’s own giant ape.

The Hollywood Reporter announced on Tuesday that Wingard would direct Godzilla vs. King Kong, expected to be the fourth movie in an ongoing giant monster series. Much like other franchises, particularly the Transformers series, Godzilla vs. King Kong has an entire writers’ room at its disposal, including Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean), Lindsey Beer (The Kingkiller Chronicle), Jack Paglen (Transcendence lol) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5).

Thankfully, Wingard is a director with a strong vision and several movies under his belt, increasing the possibility he’ll be able to overcome some of the pitfalls of committee franchise-making. His second film, The Guest , is one of the best thrillers of the decade and everything we’ve seen from his upcoming adaptation of Death Note (for Netflix) looks great.

And he’s made it abundantly clear he loves the characters — particularly Godzilla. But since Godzilla has gone through so many iterations over the years, most recently the amazing Shin Godzilla, what kind of kaiju should we expect from Wingard?

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Wingard’s called out a few influences, particularly director Yoshimitsu Banno’s Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), which saw Godzilla take on a toxic smog creature made grown from Earth’s pollution. Though Wingard hasn’t stated what he loves about Hedorah, it has two great strengths that might inform Godzilla vs. King Kong. First, Hedorah is weird, definitely one of the series’ oddest entries, offering Godzilla a threat stranger than the typical monster-with-a-punchable-face. Second, Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a message movie (much like the original 1954 Gojira, which Wingard named as his favorite), with a political message about the toxic feedback caused by human-caused environmental destruction.

Wingard has also been polling his followers about the coming head-to-head. Things aren’t looking good for King Kong:

But probably more important to understanding the shape of Godzilla vs. King Kong is Wingard’s previous movies. He began as a horror director with 2011’s You’re Next, a kinetic and bloody home invasion movie. Chances are those horror instincts will be on full display, perhaps bridging the feverish insanity of Kong: Skull Island and the more serious, darker tone of 2014’s Godzilla. Wingard’s strong instincts for music and tone should help define Godzilla vs. King Kong as more than just another franchise entry.

The head-to-head monster jam, slated for May 22, 2020, will follow the 2019 release date for Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, starring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) and directed by Michael Dougherty (Krampus).

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