Of all Hollywood’s great monster creations, it is perhaps the larger-than-life threat of King Kong that has best managed to survive the passage of time. From his first appearance on screen in 1933’s King Kong, the supersized gorilla-beast has undergone numerous cinematic transformations over the years, aided by brilliant advances in technology and different perspectives on who – or perhaps more importantly - what exactly King Kong is.
This coming spring, audiences will be presented with the marvel of yet another King Kong in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island. To date we’ve seen one trailer for the film, which allowed us to sneak glimpses at the 100-foot-tall (and then some) primate. Most recently, an image of the eponymous beast in action was revealed, alongside Vogt-Roberts’ assurances that Kong: Skull Island isn't going to go the traditional monster movie route; where audiences are forced into a “slow-burn” situation that doesn’t reveal the creature until well into the film’s runtime.
All of this sounds great to fans of King Kong – so much so that everyone is undoubtedly itching for a new trailer. The previous trailer dropped back in July during the San Diego Comic-Con, so in this regard, it’s been some time since we’ve seen anything new. Thankfully, a new trailer is very much on its way. The official Kong: Skull Island Twitter account has just tweeted the phrase ‘The calm before the storm.’ alongside a teaser video that announces the arrival of a brand new Kong trailer in 4 days time. You can check out the teaser below.
— Kong: Skull Island (@kongskullisland) November 12, 2016
As you can see, the teaser doesn’t offer any new footage to speak of, but it does impart a sort of retro vibe with the projector sounds and the numbered film leader before arriving at the end of the roll and displaying the bold text of “All Hail the King”. This mixture of old and new seems to be something that Vogt-Roberts maintains a keen interest in and which has found its way even into King Kong himself. While most filmmakers would be tempted to convince audiences that Kong is simply an overgrown gorilla (as was the case with Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong remake), Vogt-Roberts wanted to create something that moved less fluid and natural – much like the original 1933 stop-motion King Kong. The idea is that King Kong is something more than just a large gorilla. He is, in fact, part gorilla and part monster of inexplicable power.
Because Vogt-Roberts plans on exposing audiences to King Kong early on, it’s a safe bet to assume that the new trailer will reveal even more of the beast this time on. This approach to monster movie filmmaking is not without its risks however. Should Vogt-Roberts be able to pull it off, it could provide an action packed rollercoaster ride for audiences. However, the big risk is exhausting the audience too early on. Traditionally, the biggest surprise in monster movies is in getting to see the terror that threatens the characters. If audiences already have this relatively early on, then the need to up the ante becomes real in order to maintain interest. That can be very difficult to pull off.
Perhaps Vogt-Roberts has another ace up his sleeve in the form of Godzilla? If Kong is presented to audiences early on, a great way to take things to the next level and keep momentum moving is to reveal another monster later on. Who knows? Maybe the next trailer will even tease the infamous Japanese dinosaur/lizard/freak of nature? In four days time, we’ll know for certain.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019