Godzilla is about to take on an entire army of otherworldly creatures in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. After that, fighting a big ape who spends most of his time battling snakes in the jungle (or on Broadway) seems like a cakewalk, right? But, according to Godzilla vs. Kong’s co-writer, who also directed and co-wrote King of the Monsters, we shouldn’t be writing off King Kong just yet.
The crossover has been Warner Bros.’ plan since 2014—starting with the and the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters sequel.
Despite the fact that these legendary movie monsters have been around for generations, it’s only the second time the two of them will battle onscreen (first time was back in 1962, in Toho’s King Kong vs. Godzilla). Feels like there’s a good reason for that: Godzilla is way bigger, tougher, and more powerful than King Kong. Come on, the lizard titan can shoot blue fire out of his face. What does Kong have, apart from a weird obsession with blonde women? Dougherty recognised that the fight isn’t evenly matched, with the odds stacked against Kong, comparing it to some classic underdog stories.
“We’re looking at an almost David versus Goliath situation. Because everyone, the moment you say Godzilla’s going to fight Kong, your first reaction is ‘Kong doesn’t stand a chance,’” he said. “You know, it’s like watching Rocky go up against Ivan Drago. It seems like it’s unfair—but clearly, this means the underdog might have a few surprises.”
What are those surprises going to be? According to Dougherty, King Kong is “extremely intelligent,” with extreme agility and the ability to use tools. He also added that the ape will have grown significantly since the events of Kong: Skull Island—given how he was basically a teenager in that movie, which took place in the 1970s, and this crossover happens decades later.
“If you really take the time to look at Kong as a character, it’s like, ‘OK, in Skull Island he was an adolescent, so he was still growing.’ So who knows how big he is since the 1970s when they first met him?” he said.
Of course, that still leaves the mystery of why the hell these two are fighting in the first place. Some have theorised that it could stem from humans trying to put an end to Godzilla after the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, using King Kong to try and bring down the final remaining titan. But come on: We all know it’s just because people like seeing giant monsters fight each other, and these two are the pinnacle of giant fighting monsters who seem destined to throw down. Dougherty confirmed as much.
“It’s no accident that Kong was a direct inspiration for Godzilla, that the Japanese filmmakers watched King Kong and were hugely inspired by him,” he said. “The hope is that their motivations for fighting each other are sound, and not contrived. But when you have two extremely hyper-aggressive masculine territorial animals who both believe that they’re the rightful rulers of an entire species, chances are they’re going to do more than have afternoon tea.”
Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuts May 30. Godzilla vs. Kong is set to come out March, 2020.