It appears that ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ will be roaring for Warner Bros. after all. Warner Bros. is nearing a deal with Legendary to resolve the conflict surrounding ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ that ensures a theatrical and HBO Max release, The Hollywood Reporter.
An agreement means the parties are close to averting a potential legal confrontation over Warner Media’s surprise decision to put its entire 2021 slate on its HBO Max streamer on the same date that the films open in theaters. Warners’ unprecedented Dec. 3 announcement caught all talent and filmmakers off guard and Warners is now engaged in negotiations with dozens of parties seeking compensation for potential loss of profit participation.
The two studios joined forces in 2014 to launch the MonsterVerse with Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot. The success of the film spawned Kong: Skull Island in 2017 and Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019. Both of these films put the universe in a position to see Godzilla and Kong clash.
Fans of the MonsterVerse were understandably excited with the idea of seeing the two Toho monsters square off on the biggest screen possible. Following a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic shutting down theaters, WB and Legendary moved Godzilla vs. Kong to May 2021. However, WB shocked the entire entertainment industry in late 2020 with the announcement that every film on their 2021 slate would now debut on HBO Max the same day as in theaters.
This decision came as a surprise to Legendary, especially since WB blocked a deal to sell Godzilla vs. Kong to Netflix for more than $200 million. It didn’t take long for reports to surface that Legendary, who financed 75% of the film, and the stars and creative’s involved with the film were not happy with the idea of a simultaneous theater and streaming launch.