“Godzilla Vs Kong,” the Warner Bros. and Legendary monster epic, will now open March 26 of this year, moving up two months from its planned summer release in May 2021.
The schedule change comes after Warner Bros. and Legendary were reported to be close to reaching a deal for the film following WarnerMedia’s decision to put its entire 2021 release on HBO Max.
Last month, TheWrap reported that Legendary, the producer-financier behind upcoming Warner tentpoles like “Dune” and “Godzilla vs Kong,” was considering legal options against Warner Bros. over the studio’s seismic decision to send its movies to HBO Max at the same time they premiere in theaters — a move that would undercut the films’ box office and Legendary’s expected earnings on the film. Legendary financed 75% of the roughly $200 million budget for “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner last fall blocked a planned deal for Netflix to purchase the film for $225 million.
Numerous insiders said that WarnerMedia did not give Legendary executives advance notice ahead of the announcement. An agreement between the two companies would prevent a legal fight as both parties discuss several windowing options and appropriate compensation.
Conversations about the release of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” are still underway, the insider said. Currently, the sci-fi epic starring Timothée Chalamet is set for an October release.
“Godzilla Vs. Kong” is the mashup between the rebooted “Godzilla” and “King Kong” franchises and is directed by Adam Wingard from a script by Terry Rossio.
The movie stars people from both franchises, including Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir.
Warner Bros. also recently moved “The Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark” out of a March debut to now open in the fall.