The mythical world of King Kong was first introduced way back in 1933 with Willis O'Brien's now-famous stop motion monster wreaking havoc on New York. King Kong entered the world of CGI with Peter Jackson's 2005 remake, and now Kong is returning to screens in the Vietnam-era-set Kong: Skull Island. And he won't be alone.
Kong: Skull Island takes us back to the long-lost prehistoric home of Kong, introducing us to a bunch of new human characters and a bunch of unique monsters along the way. Fans are itching to know more about both the cast of humans and the new beasts that will be unleashed. And luckily there are loads of new details to pour through.
Coming Soon got to visit the set of Kong: Skull Island and has released some tidbits about various characters and monsters, straight from the actors and director themselves. Stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson shared insight into their characters, while director Jordan Vogt-Roberts talked about Kong and some of the new monsters. Here is what we learned:
Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston)
"He’s a survivalist. He’s a tracker. Army lost and found. He’s the guy you send in to find missing persons if a plane or a helicopter has crashed in the jungle, because he has a special tracking ability."
Lieutenant Colonel Packard (Samuel L. Jackson)
"He’s been in the army for a long time, he’s a lifer. He believes in his men’s lives and sanctity. God and country. My character is that standard for people seeing something that they don’t understand and identifying it as the enemy and not realizing their part in antagonizing that particular thing and that you’re responsible for making that thing do what it does. I mean the thing was doing nothing until you got here and here you are and now the thing's doing something, so what do you think you did to annoy it? Other than show up in its house and decide to disturb everything.”
Weaver (Brie Larson)
“She has a point of view that’s different from a lot of the people that she’s surrounded by. Because of the period – she’s not seen as a valuable team member at first. But she’s incredibly strong-willed and has had to be in an all-male environment for so long, and she has to learn how to blend in– that’s a huge part of her job. So you see at the beginning of the movie a sense that she’s very capable of taking control of the situation and creating boundaries – because she’s just there to get a job done.”
“If Kong is the God of this island, we wanted each of the creatures to feel like individual Gods of their own domain. We want to show audiences new things and so having the creatures not feel derivative of Jurassic World, or they’re too alien like, or too H.P. Lovecraft. Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference in the way that the spirit creatures sort of fit within that. The big thing was trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there. Design things that simultaneously felt beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Where if you look at this giant spider or this water buffalo, you stare at it and part of you says 'That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!' and 'Oh my god that’s gonna kill me right now and I need to run for my life!'”
"We want to find something that feels real but that sort of pays homage to the fact that Kong is not just a big monkey to us. He’s not just a big gorilla. He’s his own thing and therefore we have liberties with what we do with that. I think the Godzilla design was really, really, well received because it paid homage to what came before but also felt like something fresh. So we’ve just been doing everything to really get that to a place where you can look at it and you feel like it could be standing there with those people but have it feel like Kong.”
Images and trailers from the film suggest Vogt-Roberts and his team were successful in finding a blend between the natural and the fantastical. At the same time, they appear to have upped the ante on Kong, making him more massive and terrifying than ever. Kong is familiar to folks, so there might actually be a higher level of intrigue about the other monsters, including the brilliantly-named Skullcrawlers.
It's interesting that director Vogt-Roberts would specifically mention his intention to create monsters that don't look like they came from Jurassic World. People are naturally going to compare Skull Island to Jurassic World, and it sounds like the director is eager to bat down such comparisons. The take-away from his comments is that Skull Island is different from any movie fantasy world you've seen before, including ones from earlier King Kong movies.
Pulling off a truly frightening, action-packed, awe-inspiring King Kong movie is a tall order, and it remains to be seen if Kong: Skull Island got the job done. A lot is riding on the movie with Legendary planning a whole slate of monster movies as part of their MonsterVerse. Kong: Skull Island, the second official MonsterVerse movie after Godzilla, will be released in March.
Source: Coming Soon
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019