‘Godzilla 2’: Gareth Edwards’ sequel set to open June 8, 2018

Aug. 14, 2014 | 12:06 p.m.
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Aaron Taylor-Johnson, center, as Ford Brody on the set of "Godzilla." (Kimberley French / Warner Bros./Legendary)

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Director Gareth Edwards, left, and Bryan Cranston on the set of "Godzilla." (Kimberley French / Warner Bros./Legendary)

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Bryan Cranston, left, as Joe Brody and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody in "Godzilla." (Warner Bros./Legendary)

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A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and David Straithairn as Adm. William Stenz in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

img la ca 0505 godzilla  2 1 9s6lli5q2 Godzilla 2’: Gareth Edwards sequel set to open June 8, 2018

A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Director Gareth Edwards and Aaron Taylor-Johnson on the set of "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Juliette Binoche as Sandra Brody in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure movie "Godzilla." (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The King of All Monsters will return to theaters in 2018.

Warner Bros. and Legendary on Thursday announced that “Godzilla 2,” the planned sequel to Gareth Edwards’ early summer hit, is set for release June 8, 2018.

Edwards last month confirmed that he will helm the upcoming film during the Legendary Comic-Con International presentation — the director sent a cheeky video message in which he was pretending to oversee the cleanup of some of the destruction of San Francisco showcased in his May reboot.

PHOTOS: Godzilla through the years

At Comic-Con, the company also suggested that three other iconic creatures from the Toho canon will probably make an appearance in the followup: Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah.

British film director Gareth Edwards (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

British film director Gareth Edwards (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Before he turns his attention to the “Godzilla” sequel, however, Edwards will direct the first of the upcoming series of standalone films set in the “Star Wars” universe, set for release Dec. 16, 2016.

Gary Whitta (“The Book of Eli,” Telltale Games’ adaptation of “The Walking Dead”) will pen the script for that film, which will explore territory beyond the core “Star Wars” saga, though details for now are being kept under wraps.

Edwards’ Hollywood ascendancy has been remarkable. “Godzilla,” which stomped into the multiplex to record-setting grosses, was only his second film — his first, 2010’s “Monsters,” he wrote and directed himself and paid for partly with his own savings. But he aspired to give the big-budget movie the same poignancy as the crowd-pleasing sci-fi cinema that initially inspired him, the late 1970s and early 1980s films directed by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron.

“When you look at a film, there’s certain key emotions you’re going to provoke and feelings you’re going to try to create for the audience,” Edwards said in an interview with Hero Complex at the end of April. “I’m always looking for where’s the bit where they might tear up — even if it’s not tearing up in a sad way, just that you’re so much in awe of what you’re looking at that you get goose bumps and you start to well up. ‘Close Encounters [of the Third Kind]’ does that for me.”

Click through the gallery above for a detailed look at “Godzilla.”

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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