The monsters are climbing into our world, but nobody’s complaining. Today, Warner Bros. released a trailer for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the next film in Legendrary’s Monsterverse series. This time, based on the trailer, the action begins in that monster world found in the earth’s core, where a new gorilla nemesis requires the combined might of King Kong and Godzilla to stop him. Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottle, and Brian Tyree Henry return from the previous Monsterverse entry, Godzilla vs. Kong; they’re joined by Dan Stevens, Fala Chen, Alex Ferns, and Rachel House. Also back is director Adam Wingard, who brings frequent collaborator Simon Barrett on as a screenwriter, along with Terry Rossio and also-returning Jeremy Slater. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire will hit theaters on April 12, 2024, and you can see the trailer below:
It looks like fun, which is what I want most from these monster movies. That’s why, despite it being an okay-at-best film, Godzilla vs. Kong is my favorite Monsterverse movie so far. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire looks like it’s trying to recapture that sense of monster-clashing entertainment, with glimpses of a horde of evil gorilla creatures for the big two to fight. I also love seeing Godzilla introduced as emerging from an iceberg; this is a reference to King Kong vs. Godzilla, my favorite ToHo movie as a kid. The special effects mostly look good, although a couple of shots are a bit rough – the final image of Godzilla and King Kong running into battle, for example. There are few shots of the main villain, which is fine; I don’t mind waiting for the movie to find out more about him, and I’ve enjoyed the teases they’ve shown in previous ads. It also looks like they’re doing a “Son of Kong” story with that baby gorilla (although it has more in common with Son of Godzilla than Son of Kong), which doesn’t excite me much; I never thought those were interesting in the older movies, and would rather just spend the time with King Kong and Godzilla. However, if it takes time away from the humans, who are always as dull as unwrapped linens in these films, I’ll happily accept it. Speaking of the humans, what the hell did they do to Rebecca Hall? There’s a real epidemic of movies that dowdy up gorgeous women nowadays, and it’s not like this is some artistic choice in a film where a lizard and a gorilla fight monsters in a Jules Verne environment. But, again, it shouldn’t be about the people; it should be about the monsters, and after the spectacle of the last one, I’m hopeful that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire will deliver on that score.