Even on beyond featuring the return of one of cinema's greatest monsters, Kong: Skull Island has a lot riding on it from a franchise perspective. As we learned at the start of the project's development the movie can be described as a stepping stone to the massive crossover movie that will be 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong. That being said, the movie features a surprisingly little amount of world building and hints towards a bigger MonsterVerse. The reason for this? According to director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, it's because those elements were removed when the studio understood that their inclusion was a detriment to the finished product.
The filmmaker spoke with me about Kong: Skull Island's place in the larger MonsterVerse when I sat down to talk with him one-on-one at the film's Los Angeles press day. He confirmed that the movie did at one point include sequences that tied it further into the same universe as Godzilla, but that it was decided by everyone involved that they just didn't work for the film they wanted to make. Said Vogt-Roberts,
His response when I asked if he could cite any specific examples? "No."
Jordan Vogt-Roberts also was most definitely not shy in explaining why he felt Kong: Skull Island was better off without kind of huge Godzilla ties. Breaking it all down point by point, and acknowledging universe exhaustion amongst movie-going audiences, the director explained,
This definitely wound up working out in Jordan Vogt-Roberts' favor in the making of Kong: Skull Island, but the big question that hangs in the air is how future installments of this growing franchise will handle the dovetailing of the King Kong and Godzilla stories. Presumably a lot of that responsibility will go to director Michael Dougherty, who has been hired by Legendary to both helm and co-write the script for 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Considering the film is set to come out just a year before Godzilla vs. Kong, presumably there will be some heavy lifting involved beyond a simple post-credits sequence.
Audiences will be able to get a gander at the new King Kong this Friday when Kong: Skull Island arrives in theaters everywhere. And be sure to stay tuned here on the site for more from my interview with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts!