The Godzilla And Kong Movies Need A New Director – Here Are Our Picks

The MonsterVerse has, somewhat quietly, become one of the most reliable franchises going in Hollywood at the moment. For a full decade dating back to 2014's "Godzilla" right up through this year's "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire," these films have built up a loyal audience with no signs of fatigue on the part of the viewers. While Warner Bros. and Legendary are quickly looking to get a new installment going, they will need a new director, as we recently learned that Adam Wingard will not be returning to the helm. So, who should take his place?

Wingard is the only filmmaker to direct two MonsterVerse installments, having helmed 2021's "Godzilla vs. Kong" as well as "The New Empire," which now ranks as the highest-grossing "Godzilla" movie ever. So sure, the studio would probably have liked him to return, but he's busy with other projects. Besides, that just opens the door for something new in the franchise, and there are plenty of directors out there who could step up to the plate to tackle the next cinematic adventure starring Godzilla, King Kong, and whatever other monsters wind up along for the ride.

We're going to go over our top five picks for the job. From smaller names ready for a big break to some of the hottest filmmakers working right now, we're going to take a look at who could/should take the baton from Wingard and run with it. Let's get to it.

Mike P. Nelson

Perhaps the most obscure name on this list, Mike P. Nelson is no less ready to make the jump to something larger. Nelson is best known for helming 2021's "Wrong Turn" reboot, which was one of the tragically underseen films of Hollywood's lost pandemic year. Gritty, inventive and downright shocking at times, that was an example of a reboot that took the ball and ran with it in ways that extended well beyond the assignment at hand. Given that the MonsterVerse might be in soft reboot mode, it could be the perfect time for Nelson to make the jump to blockbuster filmmaking and give us something different.

Nelson also further proved his chops for inventive storytelling with his segment in last year's "V/H/S/85" titled "No Wake," which was one of the better entries in the bunch. That's saying something given the other directors who were involved in that anthology, including Scott Derrickson ("The Black Phone") and David Bruckner ("Hellraiser"). If the goal is to perhaps move away from the big, cartoonish, over-the-top nature of something like "Godzilla x Kong" and bring these movies back to Earth a bit, Nelson could be an inspired choice to do just that.

Brian Duffield

If there is one entry on this list that feels like a no-brainer, it is Brian Duffield. Again, perhaps not a household name but a man that has proven himself time and time again, particularly over the years. Most recently, he directed one of 2023's best sci-fi films in the form of "No One Will Save You," a wildly inventive alien invasion flick that gained Duffield some well-deserved notoriety. But this is just the latest entry in his filmography that suggests he's ready for something bigger.

Duffield's feature directorial debut "Spontaneous" is another movie that was hampered by the pandemic but is one of the better feature debuts to come around in some time. He also wrote the underrated "Love and Monsters," which proved he can handle big monster action with human characters that matter too. Speaking to the broader theme of Duffield's career thus far, he additionally penned the underseen "Underwater," which boasted some surprising monster action and major intensity. Perhaps most importantly, Duffield has already played in the MonsterVerse as the man behind last year's "Skull Island" animated series on Netflix. This is a filmmaker with every skill needed to deliver a fresh take on these characters. This would be a slam dunk.

Radio Silence

This is another one of those options that seems so likely that it feels essential to this list. Radio Silence, aka directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, have become go-to genre aficionados in recent years, beginning with their sneaky hit horror/comedy "Ready or Not" in 2019. That paved the way for them to direct 2022's very successful "Scream" reboot, as well as last year's even more successful "Scream VI." Most recently, they helmed a unique new take on the vampire genre in the form of "Abigail" for Universal. In each case, they've delivered the goods, even if "Abigail" ended up being a bit of a commercial disappointment. But it wouldn't be fair to hold that against them, especially when it comes to a potential job directing the next MonsterVerse entry.

These guys know how to blend convincing genre action with crowd-pleasing humor. They also know how to cast extremely well and turn out at hit. They've already made big movies, but nothing on this scale quite yet. That said, they seem more than ready to make the jump, and they could bring a new sense of fun to the table playing in a big sandbox with Godzilla and King Kong. Are they an obvious choice? Certainly. Does that make them the wrong choice? Certainly not.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have been building up to the moment where they get to play in a sandbox as big as the MonsterVerse. In some ways, they already have, but they've certainly earned the right to take on something like the next "Godzilla" and/or "King Kong" movie. As the directors behind 2020's biggest North American hit "Bad Boys for Life," they rose from relative obscurity to prove that they could reinvigorate a franchise. They're back this summer with "Bad Boys: Ride or Die," and early word indicates that they've managed to pull off another fun one.

The duo have also played in the biggest franchise there is by directing episodes of "Ms. Marvel," giving them experience in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sadly, however, their most infamous project to date is DC's "Batgirl" movie, which was scrapped by Warner Bros. after being filmed entirely. Now, that means there's probably some bad blood between the filmmakers and the studio. But that doesn't mean the chance to make a movie as big as this (with a huge payday, no less) couldn't help smooth things over. It would be a nice full-circle moment too. Taking the politics out of it, we're just talking about a pair of directors who feel ready to crush a giant monster movie, provided the opportunity to do so.

Takashi Yamazaki

Admittedly, this one is swinging for the fences and doesn't feel nearly as realistic as the other names on this list. That having been said, if Warner Bros. and Legendary could convince "Godzilla Minus One" director Takashi Yamazaki to make another — albeit radically different — sort of "Godzilla" movie, it would be a hugely exciting development. Letting the man who made one of the best movies in a franchise that is now 70 years old cut loose with a giant budget in a universe full of monsters to play with (as opposed to just one)? The potential feels limitless.

"Minus One" is the first "Godzilla" movie to ever win an Oscar, and it was well-deserved. What Yamazaki did with limited resources on that film is nothing shy of a miracle. As I've said in the past, it's one of the greatest arguments in history for "Godzilla as legitimate cinema." Getting to watch Yamazaki work some magic in the MonsterVerse would be something to behold. And it's also not as though he would have to mirror what Wingard did. Let's not forget that Gareth Edwards' 2014 "Godzilla," which started this whole enterprise, was A) a far more serious film and B) a big hit. Why not let Yamazaki bring us back to a similar place? This might be a pipe dream, but stranger things have happened.

The next MonsterVerse film has yet to set a release date.