Kong isn’t a king quite yet in “Kong: Skull Island*, and he isn’t something else we expected he’d fundamentally be in the new film either. This version of the iconic monster movie ape will be its own completely different species.
Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts talked to Entertainment Weekly about the new film, which sets its simian adventure in the 1970s, and explained just how the depiction of Kong in his movie is different than the handful of interpretations that came after the 1933 original, including director Peter Jackson’s more recent 2005 version.
Here’s what Vogt-Roberts said about changing up the formula but sticking to what was iconic for Kong:
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.
Check out the new version of Kong, courtesy of EW, below:
Jackson’s version is essentially a massive and mean silverback gorilla, and it seems Vogt-Roberts wanted to ditch the real-life accuracy to create something intentionally exaggerated that harkens the primate back to his classic monster movie roots.
Here’s Jackson’s version of Kong:
Vogt-Robert also explained:
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.
This seems like a lot of posturing just to prove how one enormous monster ape is different from another, but he’s wise to also try and match his version with the bipedal 1933 Kong. We want our movie monsters to be fantastical, and having his biology suggest that he’s some weird offshoot species is just enough wiggle room to look backwards and forwards with the character at the same time.
Kong: Skull Island is set to hit theaters March 10, 2017.