In an age of squeaky-clean superheroes and intergalactic explorers, movies that either star or revolve around something conspicuously, inhumanly monstrous is more likely to catch cinemagoers’ attention. A gigantic lizard fills that criteria, as does an ape the size of a house – or a couple of houses, we have yet to see. Kong: Skull Island is the next film in Warner Bros’ ‘MonsterVerse’, and according to producer Alex Garcia, we won’t have to look very hard to find breadcrumbs that lead us back to the film that initiated the franchise, 2014’s Godzilla.
Garcia spoke to CinemaBlend about recurring elements in both films, particularly how they pertain to Kong: Skull Island’s lead character, Conrad, played by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston’s character evidently comes into contact with members of Project Monarch, an enigmatic group that made their debut in Godzilla. Garcia comments on their relevance to the story:
“It’s a landslide expedition, officially, but John Goodman, who plays the guy from Monarch, is sort of pulling the strings in the background and we come to realize obviously that they knew much more than they let on initially.”
The film is set in the 1970s, before the incident with Godzilla, and veteran soldier and tracker Conrad will be dealing with more demons than Monarch and that titanic gorilla, according to Hiddleston:
“He doesn’t have a direction, and I think there’s probably a question mark in his soul too, like where do I go now, what do I do now. So, he gets on the boat on the back foot. He’s there, kind of skeptical, and he takes the money and then they get to the island and there’s a huge prehistoric ape on the island and I think that’s where suddenly this Conrad has been kind of spiritually asleep or sleep-walking.”
Project Monarch’s presence in Kong: Skull island will almost certainly make fans of the monsters (and world-building) happy, although Garcia emphasises that the film must be able to stand on its own two feet as well as continuing Godzilla’s legacy:
“If you can establish these characters in a way that feels compelling with the technology that we have today, with very distinct backdrops, where they’re coming from, they’re each established credibly in their own right, it should feel right for them to come together.”
Kong: Skull Island was directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell and Jing Tian.
The film is scheduled to be released on March 10th in the US.