It was only two short weeks ago that Warner Bros. and HBO Max dropped the trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong and shifted the entire world off its axis a little. Perhaps you think this description is a touch dramatic. Perhaps you think I am engaging in a bit of hyperbole to make a point. That’s understandable. I have long histories of both being dramatic and engaging in hyperbole. But I think I am being fair here. This is a trailer that features Rebecca Hall literally saying “It’s Godzilla” moments after a beast that is very clearly Godzilla bursts out of the sea. This is a trailer that features Alexander Skarsgard as a Vest And Sunglasses Scientist who announces with all the gravitas he can muster that “We need Kong.” It is a trailer that features Rebecca Hall saying “the myths are real” moments before it depicts Kong swinging a pterodactyl like a baseball bat to mash another pterodactyl out of the sky. It might be the best trailer I’ve ever seen. I’m so happy for Rebecca Hall.
But most importantly, for me, the trailer featured King Kong reaching back and walloping Godzilla with a haymaker to his scaly jaw. I cannot possibly express to you how much I loved this, and still love it. He just punched Godzilla straight in the mouth. I did not even know that was a thing you could do. Although I guess “you” can’t, unless you are King Kong. Are… are you King Kong? If so, I have a lot of questions about how you are reading this on a tiny computer or cell phone, but mostly I’d just like to congratulate you on throwing this bomb.
And that was that. BLAMMO. A good trailer, one that teed up the film and got me all jazzed about its late-March release date, simple and straightforward, Kong punches Godzilla, bing bang boom. Everything appeared in order. But then…
This past weekend, the Japanese trailer for the film debuted. I will post it below and you should watch it very closely because, while most of it is identical to the American trailer, there is one notable change.
Did you see it?
Did you catch the additional footage, the shot that is nowhere to be seen in the American version but is right there smack in the middle of the Japanese version?
Did you see it?
DID YOU SEE GODZILLA PUNCH KONG?
At the risk of you accusing me of being dramatic and engaging in hyperbole again, this changes everything. In the American trailer, Godzilla destroys stuff and Kong whomps on him, giving the appearance that Kong is some unbeatable fighting machine. In this version, Godzilla takes Kong’s punch and then delivers a counter-haymaker that damn near knocks Kong right off that ocean liner and into the sea. This means at least two things:
- The balance of power has shifted, as, in addition to the punch, Godzilla generally seems to fare better in this trailer than the American one, which raises the possibility that someone in the Warner Bros. marketing department has research that shows that audiences in Japan are more pro-Godzilla than audiences in America, kind of like how the Fast & Furious movies are called Wild Speed there, which is objectively better, especially because Fast Five is called, I swear this is true, Wild Speed MEGA MAX, capitalization theirs
- It also raises the possibility that this fistfight is much longer than we originally thought, which would rule, and yes I would be perfectly happy if it lasted 15 full minutes, just two massive beasts knocking the slobber out of each other’s mouths with their fists and/or claws while the Rocky music plays and the bells kick in just as its getting good
This has been your Godzilla vs. Kong update.