‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ writer Max Borenstein revealed why he approves of having no end credits scene, why there’s no clear winner, and more.
After the action-packed face-off between Godzilla and Kong in the new film Godzilla vs. Kong, many fans were likely expecting there to be an end credits scene as there had been with previous Monsterverse movies. However, there wasn’t one this time around. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with screenwriter Max Borenstein about why he was totally on board with it.
“There were discussions,” Max told HollywoodLife. “I mean, I definitely had a hand in writing a couple or at least being a part of it. I don’t know exactly what the decision was based on. I like the fact that there is none because I think it allows for a bit of a reset where, rather than that kind of breathless quality of being unwilling to ever let go of the possibility that something else is coming, it lets you know that we’ve told this particular chapter in the story. We’ve concluded in a satisfying way, and hopefully, audiences are excited enough that when that next teaser drops for whatever the next iteration of the franchise is going to be, it generates its own enthusiasm and excitement and doesn’t necessarily have to be kind of triggered or tagging along or drafting off of what came before in that specific way. I think it’s kind of a bold move right now because no one does that.”
The film featured a number of showdowns between Godzilla and Kong, but in the end, there was no clear winner. Max explained why that was always the intention. “How can you have a winner when you’ve got these two iconic figures?” He said. “They can’t lose. Round one can go to one, and round two can go to the other. Part of the design of the narrative, of course, is that there’s a third thing. At some point, we’re all rooting for them to discover their common ground. I don’t want Kong to lose, and I don’t want Godzilla to lose. I go too deep with each of them, so you’re hoping that each of them is going to discover sooner than later before it’s too late that they need to join forces. I think beyond just the plot of that, I think that what Adam [Wingard] managed to realize beautifully that was sort of in the DNA of the narrative is that it’s extremely hard because you’re not working with actors. You’re designing every piece of these characters. There’s no one to bring that to life other than the director and that entire team, which is hundreds of people, but it needs that vision in trying to craft the emotion behind Kong and his search for home. He’s this outsider and outcast who’s misunderstood, and then there’s Godzilla who’s this unknown fighter, unknown mystery, bad boy, who we don’t quite ever connect with the same level as we do with Kong. But who we also know isn’t evil. He is sort of a force for balance in the world, his world, and we just live in it. As Godzilla is destroying cities, we come to learn the same thing that Millie Bobby Brown does, which is that there’s got to be a reason. I think part of the fun of the movie is hoping that they can uncover what that is in time so that Godzilla and Kong don’t kill one another and can kind of joining forces and kick some ass together, which sounded like a great cathartic, fun, thing at the end having seen them both take some blows.”
Max has worked on all four of the Monsterverse movies, which started with Godzilla in 2014. Max reflected on working with four different directors over the course of this journey. “It’s been a real pleasure and learning experience for me as a writer on this franchise to be able to kind of work with each director in a different way,” Max said. “Partly by design and partly that’s how it ultimately came out. I worked very closely with Gareth [Edwards]. In Kong: Skull Island, I worked closely with Jordan [Vogt-Roberts] at different times in the production. With Godzilla 2, I’m friends with Mike [Dougherty], but I didn’t work very closely. I wrote a draft and he came in and very much did his own thing that, by nature, he ended up using a number of story points that I developed, but it wasn’t really a collaboration. With this, they called me back once it had already been through a number of drafts with different writers and kind of gotten a lot of really good bones in place. My path was more to come in and be kind of a steady hand to help weave it all together, cut some things, add some new things, try to inject throughlines of emotion for Kong and for some of the human characters that Godzilla and Kong interact with. They were ready and prepped when I came in and did my work with them.”
When it comes to the future Godzilla and Kong movies, Max weighed in about his future with the Monsterverse and whether there will be another film. “I have talked to them about various different things that they’ve been thinking about,” Max told HollywoodLife. “I’m fortunate to be busy doing other things, but I’ve been lucky to be able to, over the course of the last decade, continue to come back and forth and have a hand in all these little things. I’m always available for them, like a friend of the corp, but Alex Garcia, Mary Parent, and the team at Legendary are pretty brilliant at helping to steward this narrative.” Godzilla vs. Kong is now available in theaters and on HBO Max.