New King Kong vs. Godzilla Movie Is Being Planned, But How Will They Do It?


Well, this is an odd development, for many reasons. The next Kong and Godzilla movies aren’t even done yet, but now Legendary is apparently switching Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., because that’s who they have the Godzilla movie deal with.

Here’s the thing: Deadline reports that King Kong is a character in the public domain, but it’s not quite that simple, due to many legal battles over the years on behalf of Kong creator Merian C. Cooper. Anybody can make a giant ape movie and call that ape Kong, but Universal owns the distinctly Peter Jackson-made version, for example, while Paramount owns the design and elements of the 1976 Kong who climbed the World Trade Center. Publishing rights to any books about King Kong appear to still be owned by the Cooper estate, and Time Warner owns the rights to the original 1933 movie and its sequel, Son of Kong.

Point being, unless Legendary got Universal’s full blessing to do this, it will probably have to be a redesigned Kong that doesn’t look like the Jackson version. Though if they want him to believably fight the Godzilla we last saw onscreen, he’ll have to change anyway, and grow by a lot – the last big-screen Kong could have been picked up Fay Wray style by the king of the kaiju. Unless Godzilla has a nuclear accident and shrinks.

This also pretty much confirms that Skull Island is set in the present day, as I suspected from their last casting news.

About Author

Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.) Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist