Kong: Skull Island Reveals the First Look at the New King Kong
After Peter Jackson's three-hour remake of the classic King Kong, it seemed like Hollywood had finally done all they could with that damned, dirty ape (sorry, wrong movie). But Jordan Vogt-Roberts' new Kong: Skull Island looks like it's meeting that challenge head-on by making a movie that's essentially Godzilla meets Apocalypse Now. And today, we got the first look at that giant gorilla. The movie has been in the works for over a year, but it's only recently that we saw an official trailer (check it out at the bottom!) and got an official synopsis:
In Peter Jackson's 2005 film, Kong was essentially a giant silverback gorilla scaled up a few orders of magnitude. According to Vogt-Roberts' reimagining of Kong, this version of the monster is its own unique species:
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' "Kong: Skull Island" reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific-as beautiful as it is treacherous-unaware that they're crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.
You can definitely see that the new Kong is a departure from the "silverback" model—he almost looks like that infamous Bigfoot hoax photo, complete with an almost human-like posture and more upright neck. His head is also a bit smaller than the giant cranium on Jackson's Kong. Vogt-Roberts was reportedly enamored with making Kong's appearance inspire a sense of divine terror—he repeatedly compares Kong to 'a god':
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.
For those who recently saw Shin Godzilla (or Cloverfield, for that matter) and were frustrated at how long it takes for the monster to appear, well, Vogt-Roberts understands your pain and has vowed not to play that "game":
There's subtle nods. [The '33 film] was black and white, so it's really easy to assume that the fur on the monkey is black, but there's actually a lot of forums and things that you read and there's some real poster artwork where Kong's fur skews more brownish, so we actually pushed his fur in more of a brown as opposed to the traditional black. It really was trying to create this feeling so that when these humans look up at him, they hopefully have a visceral response, saying to themselves, 'That's a God, I'm looking at a God.'
Good on you, Jordan Vogt-Roberts! Giving the people what they want—more movie monster screen time. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out below—it gives a couple glimpses of Kong in action! Kong: Skull Island premieres on March 10th, 2017.
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.