EXCLUSIVE: Marking the first major role to be cast in the upcoming sequel, Dan Stevens is set to lead the next installment of Legendary’s Monsterverse film franchise, a follow-up to last year’s Giants vs. Vikings Kong. Adam Wingard, who helmed the first film, is returning to direct, with production is slated to begin this summer in Australia.

As usual, plot details are being kept under wraps, other than following the film’s larger-than-life monsters and then preparing for their next battle against each other. Giants vs. Vikings Kong helped get audiences back in theaters as it became the second film of the Covid era to cross the $ 100 million mark at the domestic box office en route to $ 468 million globally. The number is impressive as it also bowed day-and-date on HBO Max.

As for Stevens, while Beauty and the Beast was his first major tentpole lead, the veteran actor has been particular in the film roles he has taken, not jumping into major sequels in the past, but the opportunity to reteam with Wingard was too hard to pass up. The two worked together on the action horror thriller The Guest, the Sundance pic that surprised audiences as it gave them a badass performance from Stevens that viewers weren’t used to and critics and fans went crazy for. The film earned both Stevens and Wingard some of the best reviews of their careers, while also having major studios taking notice of the potential of both Stevens and Wingard in their future film slates.

Stevens, most recently seen as Nixon White House Counsel John Dean in Gaslitthe Watergate-focused Starz limited series that premiered last month, also received critical praise this year for his German language performance in Maria Schrader’s film I’m Your Man. Among other performances, he was the star of Noah Hawley’s acclaimed X-Men series Legion on FX, and played the Beast in Disney’s 2017 smash global hit Beauty and the Beast. Stevens is represented by CAA, Julian Belfrage Associates and Peikoff Mahan. Wingard is repped by CAA and Grandview.

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