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Deadline: Legendary Challenges Warner on Godzilla vs. Kong's Streaming Debut

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Warner Bros. announced simultaneous online HBO Max, theatrical release for 18 films

Entertainment website Deadline reported on Monday that Legendary Entertainment is sending legal letters to Warners Bros. to oppose the latter's plan to release the Dune film, and possibly Godzilla vs. Kong, on HBO Max simultaneously with their theatrical screenings. Deadline adds that Legendary reportedly did not have any advance notice on the new release strategy.

Warner Brothers announced last week that it intends to release Godzilla vs. Kong and 17 other films in its 2021 slate online through HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously. Entertainment news source The Hollywood Reporter reported on November 26 that Netflix had offered to purchase the streaming rights for Godzilla vs. Kong.

Godzilla vs. Kong was once slated to open theatrically on May 22, 2020, but was delayed to November 22, and once again to May 21, 2021. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the most recent delay was due to the impact of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the production and release schedules of the entire Warner Bros. film slate.

The companies describe the film's story:

In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity's fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans' origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.

Warner Bros. Pictures is planning to distribute the film worldwide outside Japan in 2D and 3D, as well as at IMAX theaters. Toho Co., LTD. will distribute the film in Japan.

Actor Shun Oguri (live-action Gintama, Gokusen, Hana Yori Dango) will make his Hollywood acting debut as an "important role" in the film. The confirmed cast also includes Julian Dennison (Deapool 2), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), Demian Bichir (The Nun), Eiza González (Baby Driver), Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies), Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, Iron Man 3), Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Manchester by the Sea), and Lance Reddick (Bosch, John Wick). The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that Van Marten (Avengers: Infinity War) and Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) are part of the cast.

Adam Wingard (Death Note, The Guest, You're Next) is directing the film.

Legendary Entertainment set up a writer's room led by Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean films) to write the new film's script in March 2017. Other writers involved in the script include Patrick McKay, J.D. Payne (Star Trek Beyond), Lindsey Beer, Cat Vasko, T.S. Nowlin (Maze Runner), Jack Paglen (Transcendence), and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5).

Legendary licensed the Godzilla film rights in 2010, and produced Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla film. The film opened in the United States in May 2014, and earned over US$500 million worldwide. The sequel, Godzilla: King of Monsters, opened on May 22, 2019.

Sources: Deadline (Peter Bart, Mike Fleming Jr.), IndieWire (Zack Scharf)


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