'Godzilla vs. Kong' Trailer Sets up Epic Clash on HBO Max

The first trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong is finally here, teasing the all-out monster battle coming in March. Like the rest of Warner Bros. Pictures' 2021 releases, Godzilla vs. Kong will premiere both in theaters and on HBO Max. The larger-than-life movie looks perfect for either screen.

The two-and-a-half minute trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong sets up both the action and the plot of this highly-anticipated blockbuster. It briefly explains how Kong will end up on the mainland following the events of 2017's Kong: Skull Island. It also confirms the return of some human characters from 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, including Madison Russell, played by Millie Bobby Brown.

The trailer gives fans a pretty clear understanding of the movie's plot, while making it clear that there will be all the megalithic monster-fighting they can handle. It begins by emphasizing Kong's mysterious connection with a young girl, hinting at her significance to the arc. It then highlights Godzilla's return to the surface world — apparently after some time away.

After that, the trailer summarizes the mystery that will apparently preoccupy the human characters: why are Godzilla and Kong at odds? From the looks of it, the main characters believe that these two ancient monsters are natural enemies, and that they fought before. In voice-over sound bites, they conclude that there is no way to resolve this monster fight peacefully.

This bare-bones plot summary is perfect for fans of the Godzilla franchise, who often comment that they want minimal plot and maximum action from new installments. They won't be disappointed judging by the jaw-dropping computer-generated images on display here.

In the minutes after the trailer dropped online, many fans reacted with sorrow that they would not be able to see the spectacle in a theater on a big screen. This knee-jerk response underscored the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the historic impact of Warner Bros. releasing all of its films on HBO Max this year. Some movie buffs fear that it will strike a lasting blow to the already-ailing theater industry.

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Godzilla vs. Kong will not be the first movie to go straight to HBO Max under this new strategy, but it will be one of the biggest of the year. The monster battle is a clear blockbuster, not just because of its size and scale but because of its franchise implications. It is the culmination of years of planning, carrying on continuity first established in the 2014 movie Godzilla. If the studio deems this release a success, it would prove to many fans that theaters are no longer necessary for a big-budget movie to work.

Those that feel safe attending a theatrical screening can see Godzilla vs. Kong starting on Friday, March 26. Others can see it at no additional cost on HBO Max that very same day.