'Godzilla 2' finds director in Michael Dougherty

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After first being hired to run the "Godzilla" universe writing room, "Krampus" director Michael Dougherty has now been tapped to direct the next installment in the monster movie franchise as well.

When news first broke that Dougherty and his "Krampus" co-writer Zach Shields would be penning the sequel, reports surfaced that Dougherty would also helm the pic, but insiders said then that the deal was only to write the sequel, not direct. After months of work in the writers room, Legendary eventually extended an offer for him to direct as well.

Alex Garcia will oversee the project for Legendary.

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In October 2015, Legendary and Warner Bros. made a joint announcement that all future "King Kong" and "Godzilla" films would be developed by Legendary and distributed by Warner Bros., starting with "Kong: Skull Island" in March. Legendary currently holds a distribution deal with Universal, but in order to re-team "Godzilla" and "King Kong," Legendary decided to send the rights back over to Warner Bros. to be able to create this new "ecosystem" of giant super-species, both classic and new.

"Godzilla 2" is currently dated for Mar. 22, 2019, with "Godzilla vs. Kong" set for May 29, 2020.

Dougherty has strong ties to Legendary, having written and directed "Trick 'r Treat," one of Legendary's first productions that has become a cult hit. He then teamed with Shields on the recent Christmas horror pic "Krampus."

Dougherty, who's repped by WME and Circle Confusion, also co-wrote "X2" and "Superman Returns."


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