‘Kong: Skull Island’ Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts on Making His First Big Studio Movie

     March 12, 2017

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Kong: Skull Island is currently on top of the box office, denying the mighty Logan its second frame in the number one spot. Before its release, I sat down with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts for an exclusive video interview. Throughout our wide-ranging conversation, the young director talked about how he got involved in Kong: Skull Island, how the story changed after he got involved, why Kong is revealed in the very first scene, wanting to make a monster movie where the spectacle is just as important as the intimate moments, his first cut of the film, why he loves Metal Gear Solid and his thoughts on the still-coming-together Metal Gear Solid movie.

If you’re not familiar with Kong: Skull Island, the film takes place in 1973 in the midst of the Vietnam War, and features a disparate group of people exploring Skull Island—from Samuel L. Jackson’s military commander to Brie Larson’s photojournalist. The film also stars Tom HiddlestonSamuel L. Jackson, John GoodmanJohn C. ReillyJason Mitchell, Toby Kebbell, Tian JingCorey Hawkins, John OrtizThomas MannShea Whigham, and Eugene Cordero. I’ve seen the film and am happy to report it’s a fantastic ride. Unlike Godzilla, Kong is all over this film and the way Vogt-Roberts has collaborated with cinematographer Larry Fong is exceptional. You want to see this film on the biggest screen possible.

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Image via Warner Bros.

Check out what Jordan Vogt-Roberts had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the synopsis.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts:

  • How blockbusters made him become a cinephile, and it’s why he wanted to make a big studio film.
  • How the first version of the script he saw took place in 1917, but he wanted to update it and bring an indie sensibility to making a big creature-feature movie.
  • Wanting to make a monster movie where the spectacle is just as important as the smallest moments so the big moments aren’t just noise.
  • The decision to make Kong the center of his own movie, and why Kong is revealed in the very first scene.
  • Focusing on the realism of what would happen if Kong did exist.
  • How he enjoys audience reactions to the variety of deaths, and figuring out if they should laugh or be sad.
  • The length of the first cut versus the final version, and how he misses the age of brevity in movies.
  • How much he loves Metal Gear Solid, why it’s important to him, and the script he’s working on.
  • The differences between making Metal Gear Solid a hard-R film or a bigger PG-13 film, and how for now he’s just focused on tone.
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Image via Warner Bros.

Here’s the official synopsis for Kong: Skull Island:

The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in “Kong: Skull Island.”  This compelling, original adventure tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful.  Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature.  As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.

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