We’ve seen studios assemble writers rooms to crack stories for interconnected universes in recent years, but here’s something a bit different: a writers room coming together to crack the story for one movie. Per THR, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have tapped Pirates of the Caribbean veteran Terry Rossio to head up a team of writers that will help crack the story for the upcoming monster movie Godzilla vs. Kong, which is planned as the culmination of the studios’ burgeoning interconnected monster franchise. Gareth Edwards’ 2014 film Godzilla was retroactively fitted as the inaugural installment of the monster universe, while Kong: Skull Island—opening this weekend—is the second. Casting is underway on the Godzilla sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will serve to tee up the mash-up feature Godzilla vs. Kong.
So who will be putting their heads together to come up with a story worthy of these two massive monsters? The writers room is as follows:
- Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, who wrote the initial Star Trek Beyond screenplay and are currently scripting Star Trek 4.
- Lindsey Beer, who’s writing Lionsgate’s The Kingkiller Chronicles.
- Cat Vasko, who’s working on Warner Bros.’Queen of the Air
- S. Nowlin, the scribe behind the Maze Runner movies and the upcoming Pacific Rim: Uprising.
- J. Michael Straczynski, co-creator of Sense8 and co-writer of World War Z.
The idea here is that once Rossio and his writers crack the story for Godzilla vs. Kong, a writer will be chosen to spearhead the script. So they’re basically crowdsourcing the story and then tasking one writer with putting it all together. This has become commonplace as of late, as Paramount assembled a writers room to come up with ideas for future Transformers movies, and in that writers room the idea for Transformers 5 and a separate idea for a spinoff were combined to become Transformers: The Last Knight. That room also spawned the Bumblebee spinoff to be directed by Kubo and the Two Strings helmer Travis Knight, and over at Universal they’ve got a writers room developing stories and scripts for future Universal Monster Movies that will tie into this summer’s The Mummy.
Godzilla vs. Kong is currently slated for release on May 29, 2020, and before you think maybe these writers will also crack the story for Godzilla 2, that film is already well into casting as Krampus helmer Michael Dougherty is directing. The ensemble for the follow-up thus far includes Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, and Vera Farmiga, and it’s set for release on March 22, 2019.
I suppose it’s possible this writers room could also come up with ideas for movies beyond Godzilla vs. Kong, or for a Kong: Skull Island sequel, but as of now THR’s report only mentions that they’re coming together to focus on Godzilla vs. Kong. That’s certainly odd, but here’s hoping they come up with a story worthy of these two monster kings.