Now here’s a monster mash that plans to go big. Like, really big. The first trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong has now stomped online, giving fans an epic sneak peek at the upcoming big-screen showdown between two of cinemas’ most iconic and badass monstrosities.
And it’s clearly something to roar about: The trailer plays out like a veritable death match as the King of the Monsters takes on the King of, well, Kong in a thrashing, smashing melee that leaves a cataclysmic wasteland in its wake.
Check it out:
Directed by Adam Wingard (Death Note), the film sees the return of Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler, along with franchise newcomers Alexander Skarsgard, Brain Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, and Demian Bichir, among others. And from what we can gather, they’re in for a seismic shakeup: The story focuses on a young girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who it seems can communicate with Kong. The girl's gifts may prove essential to a team of experts, led by Skarsgard, who seek the hulking beast. "We need Kong," Skarsgard's character, Nathan Lind, implores. "The world needs him, to stop what’s coming."
That ominous warning foreshadows the arrival of Godzilla, who literally makes a splash when he shoots out of the ocean to take on Kong, whom we see in the trailer is shackled on a boat. The action flits from sea to land, as these two clashing titans rampage through cities and mountains while the trailer teases a prehistoric backstory that pits titan against titan. "The myths are real," warns Hall's character, Ilene Andrews, who develops a bond with young Jia. "There was a war, and there’s a last one standing."
The collision of these two screen icons is the culmination of a long-awaited rematch of two beloved franchises. This isn’t the first time that Godzilla and King Kong have dueled — they squared off in the 1962 Toho film King Kong vs. Godzilla. But this is the first team-up film to be released after the Godzilla and King Kong franchises were successfully rebooted in recent years.
Godzilla was overhauled Stateside in 2014 with the Gareth Edwards-directed Godzilla, which raked in $524 million worldwide and spawned 2019’s king-sized (if overwrought) Godzilla: King of the Monsters sequel. (Let’s not even get into Hollywood’s dismal 1998 film, which was swiftly torched by critics and audiences. Can you say “Godzilla fire breath”?)
King Kong, meanwhile, saw a successful 2005 remake at the hands of Peter Jackson, whose VFX-savvy redo became the fifth top-grossing film of that year ($552 million worldwide). The beast lay dormant until 2017, however, when he returned in Kong: Skull Island, starring Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston, and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Feast your eyes on a teaser poster and production still below:
Godzilla vs. Kong should put this revitalized, supersized outing to the test. One thing you can expect, though, is that one creature will emerge victorious: In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wingard promised that there will be a winner.
“I do want there to be a winner,” the director said. “The original film [King Kong vs. Godzilla] was very fun, but you feel a little let down that the movie doesn’t take a definitive stance. People are still debating now who won in that original movie, you know. So, I do want people to walk away from this film feeling like, OK, there is a winner.”
So will a twofer team-up add up to monster-sized box office? We’ll have to wait until March 31, when Godzilla vs. Kong tears through screens and arrives simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, where it will be available to stream for a month.