Godzilla vs. Kong – Film

About Godzilla vs. Kong – Film

Godzilla vs. Kong Film

Godzilla vs. Kong is a 2021 American monster film directed by Adam Wingard. Produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is a sequel to Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and is the fourth film in the MonsterVerse. It is also the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, the 12th film in the King Kong franchise, and the fourth Godzilla film to be completely produced by an American film studio. The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir. Brown and Chandler reprise their roles from the previous Godzilla film. In the film, Kong clashes with Godzilla after humans move the ape from Skull Island to the Hollow Earth, homeworld of the monsters known as “Titans”, to retrieve a power source for a secret weapon intended to stop Godzilla’s mysterious attacks.

The project was announced in October 2015 when Legendary Pictures declared plans for a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and King Kong. The film’s writers’ room was assembled in March 2017, and Wingard was announced as the director in May 2017. Principal photography began in November 2018 in Hawaii, Australia, and Hong Kong, and wrapped in April 2019.

After being delayed from a November 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Godzilla vs. Kong was theatrically released internationally on March 24, 2021, and in the United States on March 31, where it was released on HBO Max simultaneously. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for the visual effects and action sequences, but criticism towards the human characters. It broke several pandemic box office records, and grossed $470 million worldwide, against a production budget between $155–200 million and a break-even point of $330 million, making it the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2021. The film was a streaming hit, becoming the most successful launch title in HBO Max’s history until it was overtaken by Mortal Kombat. A sequel, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, is scheduled to be released on April 12, 2024.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong


Five years after the dragon-like extraterrestrial King Ghidorah awakened the monstrous “Titans”, around the world and was defeated by Godzilla, Kong is monitored by Monarch within a giant dome on Skull Island, which has been taken over by the storm that previously kept it hidden from the world. Kong is visited by Jia, the last Iwi native and young adopted daughter of Kong expert Ilene Andrews. Jia is deaf and communicates with Kong via sign language.

Apex Cybernetics employee and Titan conspiracy podcast host Bernie Hayes extracts data suggesting sinister activities at Apex’s Pensacola facility. Godzilla attacks the facility and Bernie stumbles on a massive device during the rampage. Madison Russell, a listener to Bernie’s podcast, enlists Josh Valentine to investigate Godzilla’s attacks.

Apex CEO Walter Simmons recruits former Monarch scientist and Hollow Earth theorist Nathan Lind to guide a search for a power source into the Hollow Earth, the Titan’s homeworld. Lind is hesitant as his brother died in an expedition to the Hollow Earth due to a strong reverse-gravitational effect. He agrees when Walter reveals that Apex has developed HEAVs, specialized craft able to withstand the gravity field.

Lind convinces Andrews to let Kong guide them via an outpost in Antarctica. Nathan, Ilene, and an Apex team led by Simmons’ daughter Maia board a barge escorted by the U.S. Navy, carrying a sedated and restrained Kong. Godzilla attacks the convoy and defeats Kong, then retreats after the ships trick him into thinking they are destroyed. Kong is airlifted to the Hollow Earth entrance and the team follows him into the tunnel in the HEAVs.

Bernie joins Madison and Josh in their investigation. They sneak into the wrecked Apex base, discover a secret underground facility, and become locked into a hyperloop transport to Apex’s Hong Kong headquarters where they find a test of Mechagodzilla. It is telepathically controlled by Ren Serizawa, the son of the late Ishirō Serizawa, via neural networks from the severed head of a Ghidorah. Walter intends to harness the Hollow Earth’s energy to overcome Mechagodzilla’s power supply limitations.

Inside the Hollow Earth, Kong and the team find an ecosystem similar to Skull Island. In his species’ ancestral throne room they find the remains of an ancient war with Godzilla’s kind, and a glowing axe made from another Godzilla’s dorsal plates. Identifying the power source, the Apex team sends its signature back to their Hong Kong base despite Andrews’ protests. Attracted by Mechagodzilla’s activation, Godzilla arrives in Hong Kong. Godzilla drills a shaft directly to the throne room with his atomic breath. Maia and the Apex team’s HEAV is crushed by Kong. Kong, Andrews, Jia, and Lind ascend to Hong Kong, where Kong engages Godzilla in a final battle in which Godzilla emerges victorious, leaving Kong in a dying state.

Madison, Josh, and Bernie are caught by security and taken to Simmons, who orders Ren to activate Mechagodzilla, which is then possessed by Ghidorah’s consciousness. It kills Simmons, electrocutes Ren, and overwhelms Godzilla. Lind revives Kong by destroying the HEAV on his chest, and Jia convinces him to help Godzilla. As Mechagodzilla overpowers both Titans, Josh momentarily short-circuits Mechagodzilla’s controls with Bernie’s flask of liquor on its control panel. Godzilla charges Kong’s axe with his atomic breath, allowing Kong to destroy Mechagodzilla. Madison, Bernie, and Josh reunite with Madison’s father Mark, while Godzilla and Kong acknowledge each other and go their separate ways.

Monarch establishes an observation post in the Hollow Earth, where Kong now rules.


  • Alexander Skarsgård as Dr. Nathan Lind:
    A Monarch geologist and chief cartographer who works closely with Kong and charts the mission into the Hollow Earth. Skarsgård described his character as a reluctant hero who is “not an alpha, bad-ass” and “thrown into this very dangerous situation and is definitely not equipped for it.” Skarsgård called Nathan an homage to 1980s films like Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone, Lethal Weapon, and Die Hard. Skarsgård prepped for the film by researching the Hollow Earth, and learning sign language to communicate with Kaylee Hottle.
  • Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell:
    The daughter of Monarch scientists Mark and the late Emma Russell. Madison believes there is a reason for Godzilla’s erratic behavior, suspecting a conspiracy formulated by the Apex Cybernetics. She proceeds to investigate with Josh Valentine and Bernie Hayes. Brown described the film as a coming of age story for Madison, noting that the character has “grown-up” and become more “independent” since the events of the previous film, stating, “Her storyline has definitely evolved greatly in the way she deals with things, her attitude towards life, how much more stronger of a person.” Producer Alex Garcia described Madison as the “advocate for Godzilla in this film” who tries to “vindicate” Godzilla and his reasons.
  • Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews:
    A Monarch anthropological linguist, and Jia’s adoptive mother. Hall described her participation as “overwhelming” due to the film being her first project after her pregnancy, but found the experience “thrilling”. Hall described Ilene as “the Jane Goodall of Kong”.
  • Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes:
    An Apex Cybernetics technician turned conspiracy theorist and whistleblower aiding Madison and Josh to expose Apex. Henry described Bernie as a “crackpot” with a level of “heart” and “loyalty”. Henry noted that the tragic death of Bernie’s wife shaped him to become a conspiracy theorist with a podcast and further elaborated, “his goal is to use the tools at his disposal to bring the truth to the people. I always refer to Bernie as Anonymous. He can see the injustices, but no one really listens to him.” Due to Bernie’s protective nature of Madison and Josh, Henry jokingly likened Bernie to Brienne of Tarth.
  • Shun Oguri as Ren Serizawa:
    The son of the late Monarch scientist Ishirō Serizawa, and Apex’s chief technology officer, who is the telepathic pilot for Mechagodzilla. Oguri described Ren’s goal as trying to “protect the Earth”, however, the means to his goal differ from “everyone else, and his father.” Oguri noted that Ren “sort of” followed in his father’s footsteps but stated, “he doesn’t believe he was heard by his father.” Wingard stated that the character was underwritten due to a lack of time to explore the character and felt it was interesting to leave him a mystery.
  • Eiza González as Maia Simmons:
    A top-tier Apex Cybernetics executive, and Walter Simmons’ daughter. González described her role as a “very smart woman behind a company”. She described the film as “slightly comedic”. González noted having enjoyed the fact that her character was a Latina woman with a high position within a company, and not forced into a stereotype.
  • Julian Dennison as Josh Valentine:
    A friend of Madison aiding her and Bernie to investigate the source of Godzilla’s erratic behavior. Dennison described his character as a “nerd” and Madison as his “only friend”. Dennison called Josh, Madison’s “tech wingman”, and the “realist in the duo”, stating, “he kind of brings it, ‘Oh, we shouldn’t do that because we’ll die.’ And she’s, ‘No, it will be fine.’ So, I think they play very well. And they’re a very good mix of just craziness.” Dennison screen-tested with Brown using scenes from Romeo and Juliet.
  • Lance Reddick as Guillermin:
    The director of Monarch. Reddick’s role was originally larger, Wingard stated, “There was a scene earlier in the film, a big board room scene where they’re setting up the mission. He had a larger role, but ultimately we didn’t need that scene.” He only appears in two brief scenes.
  • Kyle Chandler as Dr. Mark Russell:
    Madison’s father, Monarch’s deputy director of special projects, and an animal behavior and communication specialist.
  • Demián Bichir as Walter Simmons:
    Maia’s father, CEO, and founder of Apex Cybernetics, a tech organization invested in trying to solve the Earth’s “Titan problem”, secretly creating Mechagodzilla to exterminate them. Walter is a visionary entrepreneur and billionaire who wants to help humanity and make the world a safer place, but clashes with Monarch over their differing ideals on what is best for humanity. Producer Alex Garcia said Walter “has risen to a place… in the seats of power, and is wanting to help to stem and stop the madness and the destruction.” Garcia stated that Walter is not necessarily a villain or a Machiavellian character but is “a very complex character who believes he’s doing the right thing. And he may be, but that’s where the mystery at the core of the film comes into play.”
  • Kaylee Hottle as Jia:
    A young, deaf orphan Iwi native who forms a special bond with Kong, and is Ilene’s adopted daughter.



In September 2015, Legendary moved Kong: Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., which sparked media speculation that Godzilla and King Kong would appear in a film together. In October 2015, Legendary confirmed that they would unite Godzilla and King Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong, at the time targeted for a May 29, 2020, release. Legendary plans to create a shared cinematic franchise “centered around Monarch” that “brings together Godzilla and Legendary’s King Kong in an ecosystem of other giant super-species, both classic and new.” Producer Alex Garcia confirmed that the film would not be a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla, stating, “the idea is not to remake that movie.” Executive producer Jay Ashenfelter found the project to be challenging due to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, stating, “it was also such a humongous monster ballet that the question became, what can we do to top that?”

In May 2017, Adam Wingard was announced as the director for Godzilla vs. Kong. Wingard had previously been considered by Peter Jackson to direct a sequel to his 2005 version of King Kong that went unproduced. Wingard was offered the project by Mary Parent, stating, “I jumped at it immediately. Doing both characters in one film, and being the filmmaker who gets to answer the age-old question of ‘Who would win?’ I couldn’t resist.” Wingard emphasized his intent for audiences to invest emotionally in the monsters as characters and his goal for the battle to have a definitive victor.

Wingard prepared by watching every Godzilla and King Kong film. Before receiving a script, Wingard had already pictured the final battle taking place in a “synthwave-style futuristic city backdrop.” He chose this due to being a fan of electronic video game music and 1980s film scores, he stated, “my vision basically started there. How can we get these two monsters fighting on a synthwave album cover?” Wingard confirmed that the film would tie in with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, be set in modern times, and feature a “more rugged, a bit more aged Kong.”

Wingard cited the 1976 remake of King Kong and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah as touchstones for evoking empathy in the film. Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and Shin Godzilla served as inspiration for the monsters’ scale. Legendary financed $120 million while Warner Bros. financed $40 million.


March 31, 2021


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