Kong: Skull Island stars were terrified of coming to Australia

Peter Castro
March 9, 2017

Naturally, when you have a king as big and badass as Kong, the next logical question to ask is: which monster do you want him to go up against?

Ahead of the film's release in Irish cinemas on 9 March, we caught up with the cracking cast to chat about all things movie and monkey-related. On the page, these characters are your standard action-adventure archetypes, but with the help of the exceptional ensemble cast Vogt-Roberts has assembled, they make for an entertaining crew of monster hunters.

When the team reach the island, they realise that the place, inhabited by natives is also infested with monsters of various sorts - the cruellest of them being the lizard-like creatures called the Skull Crawlers, thus giving the island its name, Skull Island. If Bigelow gets a best director nomination for the movie alongside "Mudbound"'s Dee Rees, it will be the first time in history two females have been up for it at the same time, and the first-ever directing nod for a black female. As an action-packed monster movie with a sprinkling of Kong's storied past, it could well follow in that film's footsteps. This one here might crush you, that one might impale you and you could be sitting on another one right now - on Skull Island, everything is supersized, slithering and scaly. Whether it's a remake, like John Guillermin's 1976 film, or Peter Jackson's in 2005, or a reference made in The Simpsons, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Jurassic Park, the legend of the colossal ape endures. It's silly, ridiculous and kind of bad - just like "Scorpionsquid vs. Lizardblizzard" or whatever they're making these days - but you it's also the best awful movie you'll see this year. This isn't just some arbitrary device; the war and how it affected those who fought it (and those who fought against it) is a constant theme in "Skull Island". The landscapes are wide, the colors are rich and the frames look deep with digital detail. It also allows the audience to enjoy the trappings of the Vietnam War Movie (the music, the style, the iconic equipment, helicopters etc.) without having to deal with all the bothersome politics, death and horror. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Her smile and energy light up the screen and when she needs to sling a weapon, she's believably fierce.

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They meet in Shanghai with their military escort, led by General Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). Corey Hawkins ("Straight Outta Compton" and Fox's "24: Legacy") also plays a prominent role as a scientist. We had to do reshoots for this, and that was one of the lines and I didn't think it would make it in because a little too much on the head. But he has plenty to keep him busy on Skull Island.

The soundtrack is loaded with early '70s rock-which is awesome-but you've heard all the songs in a hundred other Vietnam movies. After a bit of throat-clearing to gather a motley crew of scientists, adventurers, soldiers and opportunists for a trip to the newly discovered, previously uncharted Skull Island, the movie wastes little time in delivering its title character, who's now almost as tall as the Empire State Building he famously scaled in his first appearance. Does it lay sufficient groundwork for 2020's Godzilla vs Kong or does it destroy any chance of seeing these two titans go head to head again?

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