Kong: Skull Island Review | The Hollywood Redux Podcast | Episode 411
In NEW Hollywood Redux Podcast hosts Matt, Katie and Kryzz chopper into Vietnam monster movie King Kong: Skull Island. Watch to see if we make it home.
About the Movie
Welcome to monster movies 2017. Kong was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins. The film is a reboot of the franchise and serves as the second film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse.
The movie boasts an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Loki aka Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Captain Marvel, herself, Brie Larson, and MVP John C. Reilly. Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii and locations around Vietnam.
For the design of the titular character, director Vogt-Roberts said he wanted Kong to look simple and iconic enough that a third grader could draw him, while still being recognizable. Vogt-Roberts wanted Kong to feel like a “lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island,” and took the design back to the 1933 incarnation, where Kong was presented as a “bipedal creature that walks in an upright position.”
Vogt-Roberts has also said of his version, “If anything, our Kong is meant to be a throwback to the ’33 version. [Kong] was a movie monster, so we worked really hard to take some of the elements of the ’33 version, some of those exaggerated features, some of those cartoonish and iconic qualities, and then make them their own…We created something that to some degree served as a throwback to the inspiration for what started all of this, but then also [had] it be a fully unique and different creature that — I would like to think — is fully contained and identifiable as the 2017 version of King Kong. I think there are very modern elements to him, yet hopefully he feels very timeless at the same time.”
Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke was a big influence on the design of the monsters (see giant stick bug for best evidence). Vogt-Roberts: “Miyazaki[‘s] Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that. So a big thing [was] trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful and horrifying at the same time.”
The two-armed pit lizard from the 1933 King Kong film was used as a reference for big baddies, the Skullcrawlers, who are imbued with a number of other cinematic creatures. Vogt-Roberts: “That creature, beyond being a reference to a creature from the 1933 film, is also this crazy fusion of all of the influences throughout my life – like the first angel from Evangelion, and No-Face from Spirited Away, and Cubone from Pokémon.
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