Godzilla X Kong’s Been Crushing At The Box Office, But There’s Some Bad News For MonsterVerse Fans Looking Forward To The Sequel

 Kong stands roaring in front of lava, while holding an axe in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.
Kong stands roaring in front of lava, while holding an axe in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

Although 2023 was a big year for the MonsterVerse thanks to spreading into the TV realm with the shows Skull Island and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, which can be respectively streamed with a Netflix subscription and Apple TV+ subscription, at the end of March, the franchise made its theatrical return with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Since dropping on the 2024 release schedule, the latest MonsterVerse movie has been doing quite well at the box office, ranking #2 worldwide with its $563.8 million haul, trailing only behind Dune: Part Two. As a result, development on a sequel has begun, but some bad news on that front has come in today.

After being hired to direct 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong, and then reprising his helming duties for Godzilla x Kong, Adam Wingard will reportedly not return to direct a third movie in the MonsterVerse. According to THR, the filmmaker going his separate ways with Legendary Entertainment, which controls the franchise, is “described as amicable and stemming from timing issues.” It’s also said “the door remains open” for him to return to the MonsterVerse someday.

While it’s a shame that Adam Wingard’s time in the franchise is over (for now), this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise for those who keep track of his career. The man has a number of movies he’s already committed to for the coming years, including the A24 action thriller Onslaught, the Face/Off sequel and a live-action adaptation of Thundercats. THR mentions that Wingard’s commitment to doing Onslaught next didn’t mesh with Legendary wanting to move forward with another Godzilla/Kong movie quickly, so now the search begins for a new director to follow in his footsteps.

Still, it’s not like it’s all bad news for the next pairing of Godzilla and Kong on the big screen. Earlier this month, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings writer Dave Callaham was tapped to write the Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire sequel. This will be his second foray into the MonsterVerse, as he received a ‘Story By’ credit for 2014’s Godzilla, but now he has the opportunity to pen a full script centered on the Titans.

Although Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire was met with mixed critical reception, with our own Mikes Reyes skewing more positively with a 4 out of 5 stars score in his Godzilla x Kong review, it will soon become the highest-grossing MonsterVerse movie. As of this writing, that top spot is currently held by 2017’s Kong: Skull Island with $568.6 million, so anyway now, it’ll get knocked to second place. Godzilla vs. Kong made $470.1 million worldwide, and was among the early cinematic successes when movie theaters started to reopen after being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fact that it was simultaneously released to Max subscribers.

While we wait for more updates on how the Godzilla x Kong sequel is coming along, don’t forget that the MonsterVerse will keep expanding on the small screen thanks to Monarch: Legacy of Monsters being renewed for Season 2. Apple TV+ will also be the home of other live-action spinoff series tied to the franchise.