Warner Bros, Legendary Close to Reaching Deal Over ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ Release

Legendary considered legal options after Warner Media announced it would release its 2021 slate on HBO Max

Last Updated: January 8, 2021 @ 2:22 PM

Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment are close to reaching a deal regarding the release of “Godzilla vs. Kong” following WarnerMedia’s decision to put its entire 2021 release on HBO Max, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

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.

Conversations about the release of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” are still being underway, the insider said. Currently, the sci-fi epic starring Timothée Chalamet is set for an October release.

Representatives for Warner Bros. and Legendary have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Legendary financed 75% of the roughly $200 million budget for “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which is currently slated to be released on May 21, 2021. 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.

Should Warner give special treatment to a film like “Dune” or “Godzilla vs. Kong,” other filmmakers, such as Lana Wachowski for “Matrix 4,” are likely to demand the same. How Warner Media will uphold its day-and-date strategy for its entire 2021 is therefore unclear.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.