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The battle between Warner Bros, and production partner Legendary over the hypothetical streaming debut for films like Godzilla Vs. Kong has been a rather heated affair. With the strategy of every 2021 film on Warner Bros’ theatrical slot also sharing a 30 day period of availability on HBO Max being announced towards the end of last year, the embers of that decision are still glowing like an atomic fire. However, it looks like the potential truce between these two studios is headed towards somewhat of a resolution. But as Godzilla vs. Kong might be headed to streaming after all, that’s more than we can say for Dune.
The latest reports indicate that a deal is close to closing between Warner Bros and Legendary. As such, the May 21st release date for director Adam Wingard’s entry into the MonsterVerse looks like it’s firmed up as a result of these negotiations. However, as THR also reports in their rundown of this momentous occasion, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is still under active negotiations that will determine whether or not it gets the same treatment.
Naturally, one of the key holdouts in this round of negotiations is Denis Villeneuve himself, who is still dead set on releasing what he considers his “best movie” into theaters. With an October 1st release date for Dune still in the cards for the time being, those negotiations aren’t as pressed for time. But when it comes to Godzilla vs. Kong, a couple factors complicate matters to the point where an accelerated timeline is necessary.
The May 21st debut for the film is only the beginning, as Warner Bros is probably hoping to have negotiations in the bag within the next couple of weeks, so they can start promoting the movie properly. Finally, the world might get to see its first peek at this massive match up where Godzilla and King Kong fight it out for dominance. But let’s not forget, Legendary previously had an offer on the table for Godzilla vs. Kong, and Warner Bros blocked that potentially lucrative pairing.
Undoubtedly the knowledge of Netflix bidding “more than $200 million” to potentially sweep the movie into its library has to have stoked the fires under Warner Bros’ executives all the higher. Doubly so considering that offer was rejected mere weeks before WB announced they were taking Godzilla vs. Kong to streaming, without any advanced notice to Legendary beforehand. As the studio funded 75% of this title, Warner Bros’ decision was more than frowned upon; but all that might be in the rear view mirror thanks to these new developments.
As it currently stands Godzilla vs. Kong is set for a theatrical release on May 21st, with the potential to also become a simultaneously streaming title on HBO Max for its first 30 days. Dune is still staked out for an October 1st theatrical debut; but it’ll depend on whether the world cooperates, or if a deal can be made for the film’s streaming fate, before we hear the final word on either side. So keep a tab open for CinemaBlend, as when we hear the news, we’ll be breaking it as it comes. And don’t forget to check the 2021 release schedule to see what else is headed to theaters, and potentially streaming, in this new year.