King Kong and Godzilla could be headed for a big-screen showdown.
Legendary Pictures is looking to move its King Kong spinoff Kong: Skull Island from Universal to Warner Bros., the latter of which holds the sequel rights to Legendary’s 2014 Godzilla film, EW has confirmed. The potential studio shift, which was first reported by Deadline, would pave the way for a monster movie shared universe in which the giant ape might one day battle the towering radioactive reptile.
Shared cinematic universes have caught on in Hollywood in the wake of Disney’s success with its interconnected Marvel movies. Warner Bros. is plotting its own superhero universe based on DC Comics characters, and Universal has designs on a mega-franchise featuring classic horror characters like Dracula, the Mummy, and the Wolf Man.
Skull Island is currently slated to hit theaters March 10, 2017, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts directing a cast that includes Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson. Plot details are being kept under wraps, other than that it will be set on the mysterious island home of King Kong.
Legendary, the film finance and production company, had a distribution and co-production deal with Warner Bros. that wound down in 2013 but covered some films released in 2014, including director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, which grossed $529 million worldwide.
After parting ways with Warners, Legendary made a similar arrangement with Universal that took effect in 2014. Universal does not have a financial stake in Skull Island, and was only to distribute the film.
If the Skull Island deal goes through and King Kong and Godzilla do end up trading blows, it will come as a rematch: The big guys previously battled in 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla.