This article contains Kong: Skull Island spoilers both of a small yield tactical variety and of the strategic thermo-nuclear 57 mega-ton world-ending variety. Approach with caution.
Now we've all seen the super-sized simian sultan of Skull Island swat seventies Hueys out the sky to the tune of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid', two obvious questions beg themselves to be answered: When will King Kong have a titanic tussle with Godzilla and how can that even happen?
Although the first of these queries is pretty easy to answer (#GodzillaVsKong releases 29 May 2020 to be exact), the second does present some interesting issues — for a multitude of reasons.
Isn't Kong Too Small To Fight Godzilla?
Minor spoilers ahead!
Firstly, as many viewers pointed out when the initial images and trailer for #KongSkullIsland released, King Kong still appears a mere stripling compared the recently proclaimed King of the Monsters that is Godzilla. Surely a fight between these beasties would be no contest?
Don't get me wrong, this is certainly the biggest Kong we've ever had, and it's doubtful the Empire State Building could ever support the weight of this greatest of great apes. However, similarly, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla was also the biggest Godzilla we've ever seen - towering over most the skylines of the cities he deigns to raze 'neath his mighty toes.
Well, it seems the production staff behind Kong's latest adventure have pre-empted this pedantry, as they inserted a small throw away line into Kong: Skull Island which seems to suggest everything will be alright by the time 2020 swings around.
At one point, John C. Reilly's plane-wrecked character, Hank Marlow, reveals that Kong still has a lot of growing to do. So when you consider Godzilla was set in the present day, and Kong: Skull Island was set in 1973, that suggests Kong still has almost 50 years to do some serious growing up. Hopefully, by the time he takes on Godzilla, he can at least hold his own.
Check out the final Kong: Skull Island trailer below:
But How Will Godzilla and Kong Actually Meet?
Huge spoilers ahead!
The second burning question isn't so handily answered in a line of dialogue. The setting in terms of time and location for Kong do not immediately endear themselves to a Kong vs Godzilla throwdown. Firstly, Kong is stuck on a famously inaccessible island surrounded by a perpetual storm. Secondly, it is established in Godzilla, that despite Monarch having existed since after World War II, the public were still none-the-wiser about giant monsters in 2014, despite the encounter with Kong in 1973. So somehow, Kong and Godzilla need to get together in 2020, but how? Well, here are some dubious theories of fluctuating likelihood!
1. They Use The Original King Kong vs Godzilla Storyline
Likelihood: Pretty unlikely
In the original 1962 Toho production of King Kong vs Godzilla, the two are introduced due to the unfortunate coincidence of a poorly executed marketing scheme and a naval accident happening at the same time.
Mr. Tako, head of the wealthy Pacific Pharmaceuticals, is bored with the poor state of television his company is sponsoring and decides to capture the rumored Kong from his home on Faroe Island. Simultaneously, an American submarine on patrol collides with an iceberg which contained the frozen Godzilla (having been trapped there since 1955). As soon as Godzilla reawakens he sets off on a journey to destroy his most famous foe: the greater Tokyo metropolitan area.
Meanwhile, Kong awakens on the raft carrying him to Japan and breaks free, swimming for the mainland. As you can imagine, both famous kaijus are finally face to face and waste no time in slapping each other around.
Ultimately, after a series of literally electrifying bouts, Kong appears to defeat Godzilla and heads back to his home island.
This storyline is unlikely to appear for a number of obvious reasons. Firstly, Godzilla, as far as we know, isn't enclosed in ice. However, with one more standalone Godzilla movie to come before 2020, it's not impossible this could happen in the meantime.
Having said that, the storyline is a little flimsy by today's standards, although with word about giant monsters existing breaking out in 2014's Godzilla, perhaps some nefarious company does try to capture Kong for financial reasons?
Finally though, both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla are markedly different from their original incarnations. Both movies certainly took inspiration from the monster classics, but Legendary has also made it clear they intend to forge their own monster universe independent from the originals. What's more, it seems likely Godzilla and Kong will likely reconcile Batman v. Superman style (although hopefully not over a shared maternal Christian name) in order to take on the other (more traditionally evil) monsters teased by the Kong: Skull Island post-credit scene.
2. Kong and Godzilla Are Weaponized For International Conflict
Likelihood: Not outrageously unlikely
Both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla had some subtle hints that state militaries would be interested in the war-fighting potential of these massive beasties.
Firstly, by the final climax of 2014's Godzilla, the US had seemingly almost deputized him into the navy - with Godzilla leading an American armada and (most likely unintentionally) helping the military with their mission.
Secondly, the opening scenes of Kong: Skull Island showed a world of heightened Cold War tension. With the threat of the Russians always on the horizon, John Goodman's Bill Randa, a member of Monarch, is able to use this fear and paranoia to persuade reluctant politicians to fund his expedition. The winning argument it seems is that if the Americans don't go to Skull Island, the Russians certainly will.
Now, presumably, with the US fleeing the island and likely in no mood to head back any time soon, it can be assumed the dastardly Ruskies also make a trip to Skull Island and encounter Kong. Would they be tempted to take the King of Skull Island and transport him back to Russia? There's certainly a lot of land for them to conceal even an ape the size of a skyscraper, and even if they do not hide him above land, they could always smuggle him underground as part of the film universe's 'Hollow Earth theory'.
So, by the time 2020 swings around, would the US and Russia unleash their monsters to fight each other? Seeing a hammer and sickle armed Kong take on a US army emblazoned Godzilla would certainly make for an epic showdown, but it also seems somewhat unlikely. For one thing, the storyline is perhaps a little too incendiary for the current climate, especially for a frothy popcorn monster movie.
However, one potential workaround is that the weaponized Kong project is either stolen by some nefarious evil Bond villain-esque bad guy or that he simply breaks free from his imprisonment. With this in mind, the world (with Godzilla) might have to unite to stop Kong.
So how do they all reconcile at the end? Well, in my imagination, I'm sure Brie Larson's character, Mason Weaver, might be persuaded to come out of retirement (Arnold Schwarzenegger Commando-style) to calm down an ape-shit Kong.
3. Godzilla Simply Swims To Skull Island
Likelihood: Likely, but also kind of boring
Perhaps the simplest solution to this problem is that Godzilla simply swims to Skull Island. We know he can cover massive distances in the water, and if a 1960s helicopter can survive the storm surrounding Skull Island it stands to reason Godzilla could.
Of course, Kong is likely not to look too kindly on this interloper (especially considering his aversion to all things scaley), and so he might have to step up to defend his turf and his rather stoic worshippers.
This would, of course, be easy enough to believe, but it's not exactly the most compelling storyline. What's more, it would mean setting another film on Skull Island, which might not be entirely interesting - although I'm sure there's still much more of the island to see.
Furthermore, if both monsters fight on Skull Island, there's less impetus for the human characters to become involved and break up the fight like the only designated driver at a bar brawl.
But, as mentioned above, all these theories could be thrown into disarray by the forthcoming Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Presumably, Godzilla will have to find another massive monster to fight, which means by the time 2020 comes around, perhaps he has already become the People's Super-Fucking Heavy Weight Champion of the World, and Kong is simply his next challenger?