Adam Wingard Is Your GODZILLA v. KONG Director

After Gareth Edwards’ 75% butt/25% awesome as hell Godzilla and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ visually bold Kong: Skull Island, the world has waited at rapt attention to find out who would be given the keys to the Kaiju kingdom for the inevitable Kong v. Godzilla.  We now know that answer: Adam Wingard.

Fresh off the surprise sequel Blair Witch and with his upcoming Death Note adaptation hitting Netflix later in the year, Wingard has long been attached to various blockbuster tentpoles, but it’s no surprise that the horror-centric director of You’re Next and The Guest wound up with this gig.  Wingard is a fascinating choice, particularly given Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers has already picked up Krampus and Trick r Treat director Michael Dougherty for their planned 2019 sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters, indicating the series is leaning into the terrifying nature of these gargantuan beasts.

While Wingard has yet to work on anything of this size or scale, be it budget or character, he’s an inspired choice as he has worked up the ranks from being an incredibly talented indie-director slowly working with larger and larger budgets and honing his skills with each effort, and all indications are that he’s been nothing but an exemplary leader and employee every step of the way.  This isn’t Colin Trevorrow being overwhelmed by jumping from a $750,000 indie-drama to a $150 million dollar effects-laden blockbuster, nor is it Josh Trank getting blasted by the wide scope of Fant4stic.  Wingard has worked his way up through the system, and an action-horror kaiju film makes logical sense as his next step in his directorial journey.  I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

Godzilla v. Kong is slated for May 22, 2020, while Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be released March 22, 2019.

  • Something

    Having only seen THE GUEST, Wingard is an excellent choice. Now I’m looking forward to DEATH NOTE even more, since it seems like a natural stepping stone to bigger budget work (it’s in the $45m range).

    Also, Edward’s GODZILLA is dope AF and your opinion is wrong, Kevin.

  • Andrew Clark

    I’m super-excited about this. THE GUEST is an all-timer and I’m really looking forward to DEATH NOTE. I think Wingard has been steadily working towards doing something this big (I know he and his writing partner Simon Barrett have been looking forward to doing bigger budget pictures a ways down in their career).

    I think something we learned from SKULL ISLAND is that the studio is really willing to let these directors put their stamp on the film, in terms of their choices. This was for good and for ill given KONG’s tonal challenges (which JVR intended but didn’t come across that great in the film itself).

    So this means I think Wingard will really have free reign to have a good time with this thing. That said, I hope they learned a lot of lessons from KONG in terms of making a more cohesive picture.

    • jeves23

      As much as I enjoyed SKULL ISLAND there were too many problems narratively and thematically, but also in terms of pure filmmaking, for me to rank it even as high as Edwards’ GODZILLA (which I rate at about 70% really good stuff, and 30% kinda butt), even though in some ways it was the better (or at least, more ambitious) film.
      The highs were higher, but the lows were lower*. I think.

      *Kong himself was kinda boring.

  • Interesting choice. He’s inconsistent but can deliver sometimes – “The Guest” is pretty great. I feel like we’ve been waiting forever for a truly great western Godzilla film. Edwards came close, if it wasn’t for the 75% butt. I’d be more generous, maybe 60% butt.

    • Andrew Clark

      60% butt sounds more reasonable to me. There’s some really great stuff in GODZILLA.

  • I would reverse the butt/awesome as hell ratio for Edwards’ Godzilla. I thought it was pretty great except for having a total nothing of a protagonist.

    As far as this choice, I’m pretty pumped. The trend of handing gigantic blockbuster fare over to indie directors baffles me, and it’s given us utter shit like JURASSIC WORLD. But Wingard makes sense. He knows genre cinema if nothing else, and I can see his skillset translating fairly well to a kaiju film. Between this and Dougherty, I’m really impressed with how Legendary/WB is handling the franchise.

    • Butts Carlton

      Wingard has gone from $1m to $2m to $5m to $50m. That’s about as steady a progression as you’re likely to get nowadays in this business. A $150-200m Godzilla/Kong film is a logical step, especially since it looks like he’s got the goods.

      It’s not much different than Coogler going from $1m to $35m to $150m(est) for Black Panther

  • jeves23

    I’m fine with this choice. I really liked You’re Next, and I like that they are going with a horror guy for this – it should help to emphasize the monster part of the films.

  • Butts Carlton

    Apparently I should have signed up for the HOT TAKES podcast with my GODZILLA take based on these comments…