The King of the Jungle looms large in the pages of the current Entertainment Weekly, which finally offers us our clear first look at the great ape from Kong: Skull Island, which hits theaters on March 10, 2017. (Audiences had gotten only a obscured glimpse at the terrifying new King Kong in the last trailer.) If you’re expecting another beauty-and-the-beast retelling along the lines of Peter Jackson’s 2005 take starring Naomi Watts, think again: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) is much more interested in the mythos of the monster. “I wanted to make something that gave the impression that he was a lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island,” Vogt-Roberts told EW.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 10, 2016
Set during the 1970s on Kong’s native soil, this reimagining stars Tom Hiddleston as a British Special Forces vet and Brie Larson as a war photographer who wander into Kong’s territory. And fittingly for an origin story, it pays homage to the 1933 black-and-white film that started it all. Vogt-Roberts took visual cues from the original and other creature features that he watched growing up to create this Kong. “I had a mandate that I wanted a kid to be able to doodle him on the back of a piece of homework,” he told EW.
Of course, making something simple can be a deceptively complicated process and designing this monster took years. The end result is meant to strike a balance between modern update and nostalgic throwback. Unlike recent versions, this Kong is bipedal and walks upright. And his fur isn’t black, says the director, who consulted forums and poster artwork to get it just right. “Kong’s fur skews more brownish.” As for his size, the 2017 Kong is one of the biggest in cinematic history — and made to look even bigger by Vogt-Roberts. “It was important that you understood the dichotomy between the scale of him and the majesty of him, and yet the horror and fear associated with something that big,” Vogt-Roberts told EW. “That fine line between looking up and saying, ‘This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.’…and ‘I’m absolutely terrified right now, I may have pissed my pants, and I think that thing’s going to kill me.’”
To read more, head over to EW.
Watch the trailer: