Legendary has tapped Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields to pen its sequel to 2014’s GODZILLA, according to Variety.
Dougherty, who scripted X2 and SUPERMAN RETURNS, found success with Legendary with his 2007 Halloween classic TRICK ‘R TREAT, which he wrote and directed. In 2015, he returned to direct the Christmas horror film KRAMPUS for the studio. Shields co-wrote the film with Dougherty.
With an eye toward expanding its GODZILLA and KING KONG properties, Legendary is reportedly setting up a writer’s room to map out a shared universe that spotlights a new “ecosystem” of giant super-species. And Dougherty and Shields could become a key part of that development, especially if their GODZILLA 2 script dazzles Legendary.
Alex Garcia, executive vice president, creative affairs at Legendary Entertainment, is overseeing the franchise’s evolution.
The shared universe’s next installment, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, opens in theaters March 10, 2017 with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“YOU’RE THE WORST,” THE KINGS OF SUMMER) at the helm. He will work from a script by Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins and Dan Gilroy. The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly.
Legendary’s opening installment, GODZILLA, was a box office success in 2014, grossing $200 million domestically and $529.1 million worldwide. It was directed by Gareth Edwards (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, MONSTERS) and starred Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn.
For fans of giant rampaging monsters, Legendary’s upcoming confrontation between Godzilla and King Kong should prove to be a engaging piece of spectacle, especially with an expanding universe of monsters in the mix to spawn new tales. Like Marvel, Legendary has the foundation for a thriving franchise.
No director has been announced for GODZILLA 2; although, Dougherty is an obvious candidate.
The film is slated to hit theaters March 22, 2019; it will be followed by GODZILLA VS. KONG on May 29, 2020.