2014’s Godzilla and this year’s Kong: Skull Island had drastically different tones. Kong, in many ways, felt like an answer to the big criticism of the Godzilla reboot; mainly, that it was too slow, over-serious, and didn’t show enough of the beast himself. Kong: Skull Island ended up being more action-packed, and a bit lighter in tone.
Now, we all know that these movies are building up to a big-blowout battle between Godzilla and King Kong. This isn’t the first time such a bout has happened either: The 1960’s gave us Godzilla vs. King Kong, which is just about as silly as you’d expect. The new film, however, aims to be much different in tone. The film will reportedly be a darker take on the concept. In fact, it looks like this movie may be darker than both 2014’s Godzilla, and Kong: Skull Island. Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard talked to Coming Soon recently about tradition, origins, and the tone that he would like to strike with the film:
“It’s a cool tradition to jump into, but it’s also one of those things where at a certain point you have to take it very seriously. Even though these are big, wild monster movies the origin of that is really from World War II and Hiroshima. If you watch that first film it’s really a sad movie. It’s a really depressing exploration of that, so you always have to remember at the end of the day the reason you’re here is because a major catastrophe took place. There’s this underlying darkness under it all, but at the end of the day it is for kids as well. Its evolved into this whole other thing that means so many things to different people.”
Given that the only time we have seen these two iconic monsters on screen together were as men in suits bashing each other, and flying on strings… a more serious take could be what is needed. After all, Wingard is right: King Kong and Godzilla have some extremely dark undercurrents. King Kong was a clear reflection of the racist undertones in 1930’s America while Godzilla is obviously symbolic of the Atomic Bomb. Also, the two latest incarnations of Kong, and Godzilla are the most complex yet. By the end of each film, one got the sense of what makes both of these monsters tick. With a clear winner being chosen, this could prove a very emotional fight indeed.
Meanwhile, speaking to Screen Crush, Wingard stated that: “I really want you to take those characters seriously. I want you to be emotionally invested, not just in the human characters, but actually in the monsters. If I had my way, I want people to really be teary-eyed at the end of the movie, and be that invested in to what’s going on… It’s a massive monster brawl movie. There’s lots of monsters going crazy on each other, but at the end of the day I want there to be an emotional drive to it. I want you to be emotionally invested in them. I think that’s what’s going to make it cool.”
And he also told Entertainment Weekly to expect a definitive victor from the big showdown: “I do want there to be a winner. The original film was very fun, but you feel a little let down that the movie doesn’t take a definitive stance. People are still debating now who won in that original movie, you know. So, I do want people to walk away from this film feeling like, ‘Okay, there is a winner’.”
Godzilla vs. Kong is set for a May 22nd, 2020 release. Before then, we have Godzilla: King of the Monsters which is due to open on March 22nd 2019.
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