Director Adam Wingard promises that 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong will have an underlying darkness in it. The film will be the culmination of Legendary’s current expanding shared monster movie universe; after kicking off with Gareth Edwards’ mostly successful Godzilla reboot in 2014, audiences got to see and learn more about the history of Godzilla’s inevitable opponent in this year’s Kong: Skull Island. And now, moviegoers only three years away from getting to see Godzilla vs. Kong on the big screen, following the release of Krampus director Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019.
It’s only been a few months since Godzilla vs. Kong hired Adam Wingard – one of the most exciting up and coming filmmakers in the industry right now – as its director as well, in a move similar to the hiring of Dougherty and Gareth Edwards at the helm of the Godzilla films and Jordan Vogt-Roberts for Kong: Skull Island. And according to Wingard, he’s hoping to bring more than just stylistic, blood-pumping action to the highly-anticipated blockbuster face-off.
Wingard talked about the tone of Godzilla vs. Kong recently while speaking with Coming Soon, teasing that the movie won’t just be about seeing King Kong and Godzilla fight each other (though that is the surface appeal), but will also acknowledge and play into the dark origins and realities of the destruction that these two fighting each other will cause:
“It’s a cool tradition to jump into, but it’s also one of those things where at a certain point you have to take it very seriously. Even though these are big, wild monster movies the origin of that is really from World War II and Hiroshima. If you watch that first film it’s really a sad movie. It’s a really depressing exploration of that, so you always have to remember at the end of the day the reason you’re here is because a major catastrophe took place. There’s this underlying darkness under it all, but at the end of the day it is for kids as well. Its evolved into this whole other thing that means so many things to different people.”
Wingard is no stranger to playing around with dark premises and tones in his previous films, while also shrouding that central darkness with fun stylized action either. With films like The Guest and You’re Next, Wingard proved he could make exciting, violent, and tense horror flicks without completely disregarding the sadness of the emotional trauma that those films’ characters suffer throughout. And with Netflix’s upcoming American take on Death Note, Wingard is playing around with a similar kind of tone and style.
Now, there’s no telling how well Godzilla vs. Kong will do at balancing all of that, especially given how most audiences will be expecting epic monster vs. monster combat and massive destruction. But Wingard’s comments here certainly make it feel like he’s not interested in making just another standard blockbuster film about famous characters fighting each other. And that ambition/commitment to staying focused on the film’s tone and characters, is likely, one of the biggest reasons Legendary felt comfortable entrusting Wingard with the responsibility of bringing Godzilla vs. Kong to the big screen in the first place.