What You Need to Know About This Epic Smackdown


In March 2019, a gaggle of fellow journalists and I went down to Brisbane, Australia to go to the set of Godzilla vs. Kong. For me, this was my third time visiting the set of a Godzilla film having beforehand carried out visits for 2014’s Godzilla and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I clearly wanted to understand how my chonky son would fare when matched up in opposition to a really offended monkey, so I packed a bag, obtained on a 22-hour flight to Australia, after which the next day (or was it earlier day; time loses all which means on a flight that lengthy) headed to Village Roadshow Studios.

Our day started by speaking with producer Alex Garcia, and he outlined a lot of the plot for us. I received’t do this right here as a result of they clearly need don’t need folks understanding what occurs by the point you get to the third act, however I’ll provide the broad define:

  • The movies takes place 5 years after the occasions of King of the Monsters.
  • Godzilla has been reinstated because the Apex Predator, however he’s been appearing erratically, and Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) believes there’s a purpose for his actions.
  • Monarch, reacting to world fears concerning the titans, has been creating entry to the Hollow Earth, in an try to lure the monsters again beneath the floor and stem their rampage.
  • An try to take Kong away from Skull Island brings him into battle with Godzilla.
  • While we nonetheless see the human facet by Monarch, there’s now an evil human firm known as Apex that’s a megalithic group performing some dangerous stuff.
  • Skull Island is what occurs when the Hollow Earth comes to the floor, so in a approach, Skull Island is sort of a prelude to the menace that might engulf the planet.
  • As standard with these films, neither Kong nor Godzilla are inherently good or evil; they’re merely combating for what motivates them.
  • Madison works to examine with the assistance of Josh (Julian Dennison) in addition to former Apex technician Bernie Hayes performed by Brian Tyree Henry.

They informed us greater than that, however once more, I don’t need to spoil any of the surprises. For these questioning how Kong might even tackle a monster the dimensions of Godzilla, we had been informed to needless to say Skull Island takes place 40 years prior to this movie. In that interim, Kong has gotten larger and extra battle-scarred.

We had been then taken to the set, and followers of the Godzilla franchise will most likely have the ability to learn between the strains of what I’m about to describe. You could recall that within the post-credits scene of King of the Monsters, Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) purchases Ghidorah’s severed head. We walked on to the set and there was a huge Ghidorah cranium that had been wired up and made technological. It’s one of many cooler units I’ve been on because it appears to be like like that they had taken the natural matter of Ghidorah and mechanized it into some new sort of mechanized creature.

In the scene we watched, Madison, Josh, and Bernie work to infiltrate the cranium and discover out what precisely Apex is up to. A take we watched repeatedly is the place a sinister character performed Shun Oguri is available in, talks to an unseen pilot, and says in disturbingly calm voice, “Thank you for your service.” It’s a bit uneasy, however clearly no matter this monster cranium is doing is one thing huge and essential to the dangerous guys.

When we spoke to Henry, he informed us about:

  • Bernie is a little bit of a conspiracy theories and has his personal podcast, nevertheless it’s sort of formed by tragedy since he misplaced his spouse. So he turned in on himself to expose Apex.
  • He looks like he noticed this catastrophe coming, so he needs to assist Madison and Josh carry down Apex, which is doing one thing to hurt Godzilla, which in flip harms the planet.
  • “I feel like, it’s easy to call him a crackpot, it’s easy to call him a crazy guy – which he is, he is,” says Henry, “but at the same time there’s heart to him, there’s this loyalty he has. He just wants to make sure the world doesn’t get destroyed.”
  • He jokingly refers to himself because the Brienne of Tarth of this film since he’s looking for Madison and Josh on their mission.
  • He doesn’t see Bernie as “Team Kong” or “Team Godzilla” however “Team Truth”, though he got here into contact with Godzilla first. But his purpose is to use the instruments at his disposal to carry the reality to the folks. :I at all times refer to Bernie as “Anonymous” – Bernie’s like the pinnacle of “Anonymous”,” says Henry, referring to the hacktivist collective. “He can see the injustices, but no one really listens to him.”
  • With this being his first blockbuster to hit screens (he’s additionally a member of Marvel’s Eternals), he’s excited for folks to see a brand new facet of him. “What I like about Bernie is that there’s joy in him, and he’s going to make people feel joyous about going on this journey that is *incredibly* insane,” says Henry.
  • It was very bizarre for him to be requested to be a part of the Godzilla franchise when he can nonetheless keep in mind the 1998 Godzilla and Diddy’s “Come with Me”.
  • Personally, Henry is Team Godzilla, and even used to draw the character. “It’s a dream come true,” he says.

Come again later this week for extra from our interview with Henry.

Director Adam Wingard with Millie Bobby Brown and Julian Dennison on the Set of Godzilla vs. Kong

Image by way of Legendary and Warner Bros.

We additionally spoke with Brown and Dennison collectively, who informed us about:

  • How they display screen examined collectively utilizing scenes from Romeo & Juliet, and so they couldn’t cease laughing as a result of it was so cringey.
  • How Madison has modified because the occasions of King of the Monsters. She’s now extra unbiased, and that sort of units her off on this journey to defend Godzilla.
  • How Brown saved blowing takes of a scene with an explosion as a result of she was clearly bracing for the explosion.
  • That it’s a lot enjoyable to work with Kyle Chandler (despite the fact that he’s sort of intimidating) and Brian Tyree Henry.
  • Dennison and Henry playfully teased Brown about her British accent by consistently going, “Ullo, govna!”

Come again tomorrow for our full interview with the younger solid members.

We additionally spoke to the manufacturing designers Tom Hammock and Owen Paterson, who informed us about crafting the search for the climactic installment of the Monsterverse franchise. Some fascinating factors he revealed:

  • They needed to delineate between Monarch and Apex by having Monarch be extra of a authorities establishment that’s extra concrete with duller colours whereas Apex is futuristic and glossy.
  • The world isn’t post-apocalyptic because the rise of Godzilla, however he’s undoubtedly been trampling some cities, and the movie is a couple of mission to get him to cease doing that.
  • Creating the look of the Hollow Earth began with going again to Skull Island after which making an attempt to pull influences from historical human civilizations.
  • When it comes to Hong Kong, they actually needed to play up the neon metropolis in order that whereas Hong Kong is recognizable, it’s additionally barely futuristic. They additionally needed to make a bit extra like a jungle to give Kong some benefits.
  • They watched all 30 Godzilla films and all 7 Kong films to makes positive they not solely understood the visible language of those characters, but additionally so they might pop in enjoyable easter eggs.
  • In phrases of influential movies, Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah had been close to the highest of the record in addition to Shin Godzilla. The principal thought was to by no means lose sight of the dimensions of those monsters to the human world.
  • Other influences on the film exterior of the Godzilla and Kong franchises embody Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and even underwater kitchen scene from Alien: Resurrection.
  • Since the movie goes to the Hollow Earth and so they have to populate that world, they developed plenty of new creatures.
  • One of the phrases that Hammock hit a number of instances was “Iconic”. He defined, “As far as the fighting, it’s just fun to pick those iconic images. Yeah, there’ll be both be on top of a sinking aircraft carrier going at each other. So, the goal is really that early on, just say one more thing for Adam was to identify places after watching all those films where you hadn’t seen Godzilla in a fight or where you hadn’t necessarily seen Kong in a fight. So trying to make the city completely different from how they’ve been photographed before trying to get them in the water. He couldn’t think of any great water battle in any of those movies, trying to get them into the jungle. So anyway, just trying to see what have we not seen before and have each of their interactions embody one of those environments.”

A set from Godzilla vs. Kong

Image by way of Legendary and Warner Bros.

We then moved on to discuss to Costume Designer Ann Foley, who, like Hammock and Paterson, was all about making an attempt to mix the traditional with the futuristic:

  • In this movie we meet Gia, a toddler of Skull Island who has been adopted by Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall). Her look was based mostly on the natives of Skull Island, the Iwi, whereas mixing it with extra up to date items. So, for instance, she’s obtained a necklace made out of skullcrawler enamel, however she additionally wears Converse sneakers.
  • Everything for Gia was custom-made aside from the sneakers.
  • The mission go well with for the Hollow Earth has its personal sort of particular cloth.
  • Also, as Monarch has now turn out to be extra official, they’ve their very own uniforms to give them an identification, and there are completely different ranges of uniform inside Monarch.
  • Apex, comparatively, is extra in greys and blacks.
  • The coloration purple is used sparingly on this movie, and when it pops up, it’s used as a logo for a connection to the monsters.
  • The coolest a part of the Hollow Earth costumes is that they’re {custom} printed with copper over purple that enables the purple to come by when the copper.
  • The armored half is made out of urethane, which is what they use for stunt padding.
  • The jacket for Madison was taken out of her mother’s closet, and it’s her mission outfit.
  • Everything goes by the method of getting older except for Eiza Gonzalez’ character, who will get newer, dashing outfits.
  • There are additionally enjoyable particulars like Base Camp One patches for Monarch utilizing the profile of Kong as a result of Base Camp One is on Skull Island
  • The feminine characters have sensible footwear for his or her professions, not heels.

While our go to in Australia got here to a detailed, we nonetheless weren’t fairly completed. Director Adam Wingard wasn’t out there on the day we visited, however fortunately he made a while for us final week on a Zoom name. During our dialog, he talked about:

  • How the movie is his approach to settle a second-grade argument had with a buddy on the playground about who would win in a struggle.
  • Making positive the human facet, whether or not they’re “Team Godzilla” or “Team Kong” at all times punches up the monster facet of the story.
  • He acknowledges that the administrators who got here earlier than him on this franchise had been ready to put their distinctive stamp on their films, and that’s what he needed to do with Godzilla vs. Kong.
  • He sees the film as a return to his roots the place the sci-fi motion of films like Terminator 2 and Aliens was a gateway to horror and changing into a filmmaker.
  • He looks like his horror movies helped put together him as a result of they’ve at all times had a little bit of an motion bent like when he confirmed Face/Off to his DP on You’re Next. Even Death Note helped him get acclimated to utilizing VFX.
  • He looks like one of many strengths of this movie is that audiences are actually on board with each Godzilla and Kong as opposed to one thing like Batman v Superman the place audiences didn’t actually know Ben Affleck’s new Batman.
  • When it got here to crafting the motion scenes, he at all times needed to preserve the terrain in thoughts and the way the monsters would use it.
  • He by no means felt like he had to “course-correct” Godzilla vs. Kong based mostly on the reception to Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Check out our full interview with director Adam Wingard.

Now that we’ve reached the climactic battle of the Monsterverse, I’m unsure if there are any extra Godzilla movies in my future, though I definitely hope so. It’s been a pleasure seeing how completely different administrators have tackled this iconic character whereas making an attempt to maintain a spot for him within the Monsterverse franchise in order that we might get to Godzilla vs. Kong. Based on all the things I noticed, followers of each characters will seemingly get a kick out of this movie and what Wingard has in retailer. As for who wins, we’ll simply have to discover out subsequent month.

Godzilla vs. Kong arrives on in theaters and on HBO Max on March thirty first.

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