Exclusive: Godzilla vs Kong's human storyline was the "biggest challenge"

Ian Sandwell
·4-min read
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

From Digital Spy

Godzilla vs Kong director Adam Wingard has explained why the human element of the upcoming titan clash was the "biggest challenge".

The movie stomps onto our screens next week and will be available to rent at home in the UK from April 1. It brings together Godzilla and King Kong in an epic clash that has been engineered by sinister, unseen forces.

Like the audience at home will have their own favourite side, Godzilla vs Kong features a Team Godzilla and a Team Kong side, with Millie Bobby Brown's returning Madison leading the quest to defend Godzilla and Rebecca Hall's Dr Ilene Andrews protecting Kong.

One of the common criticisms of the MonsterVerse movies to date has been that they've been unable to make the humans as memorable as the titans, and Wingard understands the challenge behind balancing the two storylines.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

"It's almost an impossible thing to overcome. At the end of the day, there's never going to be a version of reality where people are going to come to a Godzilla movie or a King Kong film and say, 'I'm here for the humans and the monsters'," he told Digital Spy.

"You're there because of the monsters. And so, yeah, that's absolutely the biggest challenge of this type of movie – it's making sure that the human storyline is always supporting the monster storyline. When it comes to the monster fights – that's the easy part. That's the fun part. That's why I signed up for this movie, because I wanted to play with big CGI toys.

"So it feels like you've got two jobs when you're making this film. You're kind of making an animated movie and you're making a live-action film [and] sometimes they integrate with one another, so it's a lot to juggle.

"But it's enormously gratifying when you sit back, and you see people reacting to it. When you see people cheering at Godzilla getting punched in the face by a helicopter, it's something that, you know, doesn't happen in indie movies."

Photo credit: Warner Bros - YouTube
Photo credit: Warner Bros - YouTube

However, Godzilla vs Kong is more successful than the other MonsterVerse movies in adding an emotional core to the balance between the titan and the human storylines.

On the Kong side, Dr Andrews's adopted daughter Jia (played by newcomer Kaylee Hottle) is able to form a bond with Kong and even communicate with the titan through the use of sign language.

If anything, she takes the lead on that storyline which Wingard puts down to his "'80s sensibility" in having young characters being smarter than the adults.

"When it comes to Jia, she's really the key, I think, for this movie. I think she's an amazing, engaging actor. For the first time ever in the MonsterVerse movies, we have a character that can directly communicate with one of the monsters. So there's actually a dialogue going on," he added.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

"That's so important as it bridges the gap closer with the monster world and the human world. Kaylee, she's actually a deaf actress [so] there's an authenticity to that as well. It's not somebody pretending to do that and pretending to learn sign language. She's able to really put herself in that character, and it brings a realism to it.

"She's fantastic. She's never been on a film set before, but you wouldn't know it. She seemed like she'd made a million movies, but I was intimidated by her. I was like, 'I'm going to step out of your way. You already know what you're doing. Don't let me mess you up. I'll be over here by the monitor.'"

First reactions to Godzilla vs Kong arrived last week and praised Wingard's movie as the best in the MonsterVerse series to date, while Funko Pop! figures have been released that contain a big reveal for the movie.

Godzilla vs Kong will be available to rent at home from April 1 in the UK and is released in cinemas and on HBO Max in the US on March 31.

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