Director Adam Wingard on ‘Godzilla vs Kong’

(GODZILLA battles KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure.)

For decades, cinematic titans Godzilla and Kong have been following their own, separate theatrical journeys…until now. Godzilla vs. Kong is a monster-sized event film with heart, humor and enough non-stop action to transcend the genre.

This rivalry for the ages fuels an epic adventure that spans the globe to bring these two forces of nature, both more powerful than ever before, face to face and fist to fist on land and at sea in a battle to restore balance to the Earth.

Director Adam Wingard says, “Godzilla and Kong have an incredible legacy in film. Originally you could look at them almost as monsters from the East and West, Godzilla storming Tokyo and Kong being brought by man to New York. But however you perceive them, they are movie icons that excite audiences all across the globe.”

The film not only promises intense battles between these two behemoths, but emotion, laughs, and even a mystery. Wingard elaborates, “The story starts in a place where humanity has accepted Godzilla as a savior, or a protector, and we’re flipping that and showing that something weird is going on with him—he’s on the attack and acting recklessly, and no one knows why.”

L-r) GODZILLA fights KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary release.

Godzilla, a towering apex predator awakened by humankind’s use of elemental weapons of war, has come to be a ferocious protector of the natural world and of Earth. His devastating breath and thunderous roar, paired with his brute strength on land and under water, have allowed him to survive battles with powerful predators, such as his canonical arch nemesis, the three-headed Ghidorah.

Kong has, for decades since his heroic and brutal rite of passage, lived—and been studied by scientists—on the uncharted Skull Island. He is no longer an adolescent but fully grown and bigger, bolder and more badass than ever.

The Kong seen in this film is by far the largest incarnation that has ever appeared on screen. And as always, Kong has an endearing bond with a human—this time it’s a young Skull Island orphan who is, like him, the last of her line, Jia.

KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.

“I remember as a kid having arguments on the playground with my friends about who would win in a fight, Kong or Godzilla,” Wingard laughs. “In reality, directing this film started as the perfect excuse to go revisit all the Godzilla and Kong films in sequential order; that was the first thing I did when I began talking to Legendary about the possibility. And that really became a huge influence in terms of my approach to this film in general.”

He adds, “For starters, Godzilla went from being a bad guy to a good guy to a bad guy again, and I think that’s what’s cool about the evolution of both Godzilla and Kong, and what keeps the stories we tell about them new and fresh.”

Producer Mary Parent acknowledges that this story is the pairing fans have been waiting for and that will absolutely thrill audiences, whether they’ve seen the recent movies or not. “We’ve had both Godzilla and Kong battling to survive and thrive in their own spheres, so bringing them together as the surviving heavyweight champions at last is the natural next step.”

But, she adds, “This is also a story that stands on its own, independent of the previous films. Both of these larger-than-life creatures have intelligent and empathetic human characters fighting for them in ways that render them relatable and heroic. Because of that it’s not necessary to have followed
their earlier stories to be thoroughly engrossed by them in this newest adventure.”

And whether you root for Kong or for Godzilla, she says, “It’s all about getting your popcorn and enjoying an incredible ride.”

“This movie is Kong’s exploration into his own history—his roots. It’s about discovery,” says Wingard, “and that opens a lot of doors to see what’s out there for the character.”

(L-r) ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD and director ADAM WINGARD on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.

Because Kong and Godzilla are humanized not only by their own actions (and by the talented craftsmen and women who render them via spectacular visual effects), but also by the characters in the story who work so hard to ensure their survival and safety, whether they are
heroes or villains is always in the eye of the beholder—the moviegoer.

Which is why, at its core, Wingard promises, “This is a massive monster movie with not one but two of the most iconic characters in all of movie history battling each other. And they’re both good guys. Or maybe not, depending on how you look at it. What’s going to be really fun is
to see who the audience roots for and to see their reaction when they find out who comes out on top!”

(L-r) Director ADAM WINGARD, JULIAN DENNISON and MILLIE BOBBY BROWN on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.

The film stars Alexander Skarsgård (“Big Little Lies,” “The Little Drummer Girl”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Rebecca Hall (“Christine,” “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”), Brian Tyree Henry (“Joker,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”), Shun Oguri (“Weathering with You”), Eiza González (“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”), Julian Dennison (“Deadpool 2”), with Kyle Chandler (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”) and Demián Bichir (“The Nun,” “The Hateful Eight”).

Wingard (“The Guest,” “You’re Next”) directed from a screenplay by Eric Pearson (“Thor: Ragnarok”) and Max Borenstein (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Kong: Skull Island”), story by Terry Rossio (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”) and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields
(“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”), based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO CO.,LTD.

The film was produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull and Brian Rogers, with Jay Ashenfelter, Herbert W. Gains, Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira
executive producing.

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Ben Seresin (“The Mummy,” “World War Z”), production designers Owen Paterson (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Godzilla”) and Thomas S. Hammock (“Blair Witch”), editor Josh Schaeffer (“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”), costume designer Ann Foley (“Skyscraper”) and visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin (upcoming “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”). The music is by Tom Holkenborg (“Zack Snyder’s
Justice League,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”).

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, A Film By Adam Wingard, “Godzilla vs. Kong.” The film will be released nationwide in 2D and 3D in select theaters and IMAX on March 31, 2021 and will be available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language.