It appears that Godzilla 2 not only has new writers, but may also have a new director now as well. Legendary and Warner Bros. announced the follow-up shortly after the release of the swell 2014 reboot Godzilla, noting that they were more than happy to wait for Gareth Edwards to complete his directing duties on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. However, earlier this year in the midst of rumors about production difficulties on Rogue One, Edwards dropped out of Godzilla 2, leaving the sequel’s director’s chair vacant.
The follow-up is key to an interconnected universe that Warner Bros. is building, which will continue with next summer’s Kong: Skull Island and culminate in a big Godzilla vs. Kong movie in 2020. We got some movement on Godzilla 2 yesterday with the news that Krampus screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields would be penning the script for Godzilla 2, and now ScreenCrush is reporting that not only is Dougherty co-writing the film, he’s also directing it.
Dougherty first made a splash as co-writer on the terrific X-Men 2, working once again with director Bryan Singer as co-writer on Superman Returns. From there, however, Dougherty moved on to make his directorial debut with the now cult-classic horror anthology film Trick ‘r Treat. The Halloween-themed pic has become a seasonal staple, and Dougherty made his long-awaited return to the director’s chair last year with the Christmas-themed horror film Krampus, produced by Legendary.
Legendary is apparently big fans of Dougherty’s after his work on Krampus. A few years ago, they announced that they were finally moving forward with Trick ‘r Treat 2…sometime after Dougherty made Krampus. But now if Dougherty is directing Godzilla 2, it seems doubtful we’re going to see the Trick ‘r Treat sequel anytime soon.
Along with the news of Dougherty and Shields writing Godzilla 2 yesterday, we also learned that Warner Bros. is mulling the prospect of opening a writer’s room to develop ideas for this shared universe. This is a new trend in Hollywood and was put to use by Paramount to develop Transformers sequels and spinoffs, and the idea is to bring a bunch of writers together to develop the upcoming Godzilla-King Kong universe. The decision hasn’t been made just yet, and it’s unclear if this would create even more spinoffs than just Godzilla and King Kong sequels, but it does seem to be the way a lot of studios are going about creating franchises.
We should hear more fairly soon as Warner Bros. continues post-production on Skull Island. Godzilla 2 is already slated for release on March 22, 2019.