Production is officially underway on Godzilla 2 in Atlanta, as Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have released a press release touting the full cast, synopsis, and production details for the follow-up. While previous reports pegged the movie’s title as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this press release goes out of its way to never actually refer to the film by any title, meaning that the title might be changing (which would be a bummer). The follow-up is described as “the next chapter” in WB and Legendary’s “cinematic MonsterVerse” which includes Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla, Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island, and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.
While Edwards was intending to direct Godzilla 2, he dropped off the project a while back. Instead, Trick r Treat and Krampus filmmaker Michael Dougherty is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Zach Shields (Krampus). Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins are reprising their roles from Godzilla alongside franchise newcomers Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, and Stranger Things breakout Millie Bobby Brown. The official synopsis is as follows:
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
This sounds like an all-out monster movie with lots of monster-on-monster action, which should satisfy fans who found Edwards’ Godzilla lacking in that department (though I personally found that film to be a refreshing spin on the blockbuster formula). The full cast also includes Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, and Zhang Ziyi, and I’m interested to see how the human roles relate to the ongoing monster wars that are no doubt being fought onscreen.
Dougherty’s behind-the-scenes team includes The Hangover and War Dogs cinematographer Lawrence Sher, who also served as DP on some of the additional photography for Godzilla. He’s also working with production designer Scott Chambliss (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), editor Roger Barton (Transformers), and costume designer Louise Migenbach (X-Men) while Oscar-winning Godzilla and Life of Pi VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron is also onboard.
As the third film in the MonsterVerse, this untitled Godzilla sequel will be followed by Godzilla vs. Kong, which recently landed You’re Next and Blair Witch filmmaker Adam Wingard to direct. I’m kind of loving the choice of these genre filmmakers for the MonsterVerse movies, and I can’t wait to see what Dougherty cooks up when Godzilla 2 hits theaters on March 22, 2019.