‘Kong: Skull Island’: First Image of Monster Released, Director Talks Rebooting Iconic Creation

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Image via Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros.

Our first image of the new King Kong has arrived.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) has quite the project on his hands with Kong: Skull Island, a film set to bring back the classic cinematic creature to the big screen and create a big new step in the joint Kong-Godzilla universe being crafted by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros.

First up, check out the first official pic of Kong, released as part of Entertainment Weekly‘s in-depth interview with Vogt-Roberts.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Vogt-Roberts discussed at length the direction they took with this new King Kong film, revealing that, at least with the creature itself, the classic 1933 version was a starting point:

“We sort of went back to the 1933 version in the sense that he’s a bipedal creature that walks in an upright position, as opposed to the anthropomorphic, anatomically correct silverback gorilla that walks on all fours. Our Kong was intended to say, like, this isn’t just a big gorilla or a big monkey. This is something that is its own species. It has its own set of rules, so we can do what we want and we really wanted to pay homage to what came before…and yet do something completely different.”

The filmmaker also discussed the focus the team had on getting Kong’s eyes right. After all, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and a tragic character like Kong needs just that to connect with audiences.

“When you watch any actor, half the time…you’re watching their eyes as opposed to anything else, so that was incredibly important and also we’re playing a tricky game with Kong where you have a tragic hero and you have to slowly pull the rug out in terms of who this person is.

The other thing with our Kong is, much like the ’33 version, right away he is not necessarily seen as a protector. He’s got a job on this island and at first he might be perceived as a negative or villainous force, and then you need those eyes to guide the audience and take them on a journey where you slowly pull the rug out and develop empathy for this being, for the plight and the day-to-day struggle of what it is to be this [thing]. We actually have a lot of extreme close ups in this movie of Kong and his eyes to sort of plant the audience in his headspace.”

Those that have had issues with how many monster flicks hold onto the reveal of the creature for a long time will be happy to know that Kong: Skull Island will be going a different route. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, for example, kept the titular creature under wraps for much of the film, showing only parts or keeping it behind smoke and debris.”

“We’re also fundamentally not playing the same game that Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla did and most monster movies do, which I’m sort of sick of the notion that a monster movie needs to wait an hour or 40 minutes until the creature shows up. Kong traditionally does not show up in these movies until very, very late, and the monster traditionally does not show up until very, very late in a monster movie, so a lot of these movies tend to have this structure that’s a bit of a slow burn. Something about this movie made me want to reject that and play a very, very different game.”

Kong: Skull Island, starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins and John C. Reilly, will arrive in Australia on March 9 and opens in the US on March 10, 2017. Godzilla 2 is scheduled for US release on March 22, 2019 and Godzilla vs. Kong will hit the US on May 29, 2020.

In case you missed that Comic-Con trailer for Kong: Skull Island, check it out HERE.

Image via Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros.
Image via Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros.

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