Chronologically speaking, Kong: Skull Island is a prequel to Legendary Entertainment’s budding MonsterVerse, given how it takes place during the height of the Vietnam War – just don’t call Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ creature feature an origin story.
Nerdist caught up with the filmmaker on the suitably beautiful set of Skull Island, and it was here that Vogt-Roberts teased the ways in which his monstrous blockbuster will eschew many of the conventions associated with your typical prequel. Maintaining a sense of mystery is paramount, according to the director, who believes the main issue with origin stories is how they tend to overindulge in a character’s – or in this case, a prehistoric ape’s – background to the point that there’s no sense of intrigue remaining. As such, while Skull Island exists in the same universe of atomic-spewing predators and sky-scrapping behemoths, don’t expect any overt references to Godzilla or the Kong films of old.
“When you watch Predator 2 and you see that Xenomorph skull on the spaceship you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’ Your brain just goes crazy with all these possibilities. And my favorite thing as a kid watching movies [was] just having all these little things in the background that you pick up on and your brain just goes wild with. So we’re trying to tiptoe a line. There’s a lot of stuff out there that our movie is sort of his origin story, and that’s not really what it is. There’s a lot of background mythology peppered into it as we create our own new mythology… There are not that many good prequels. As soon as you try to over-explain something it tends to lose its magic. We still want to have a wonderful sense of mystery and use it in a way to make our island, and our creature, and Kong’s character feel bigger because you understand some of it, but we’re not trying to pull back the curtain on everything.”
On March 10th, Kong: Skull Island will unleash the mighty ape from his slumber, much to the horror of Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and their crew of daring explorers. Though it’s not strictly speaking an origin story, Skull Island is still the second entry into that aforementioned MonsterVerse, with both Godzilla: King of the Monsters (March 22nd, 2019) and Godzilla Vs. Kong (2020) waiting in the wings.