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Adam Wingard Focuses on the Monsters | Interviews


Adam Wingard Focuses on the Monsters | Interviews


That was one of the intentional dynamics Wingard wanted to feature. Having helmed 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong,” he’s the only director to helm a second installment in the MonsterVerse franchise. “I had a completely different take on this movie than I did the last one,” he told RogerEbert.com via Zoom. “For the first time, we started experimenting with having these sequences where you weren’t just seeing the monsters from the human perspective but from the monster’s POV.” Despite an initially rocky start to our conversation due to some technical difficulties (it can only be chalked up to Hollow Earth interference) for our conversation, Wingard shared more about crafting the personality of the film’s kaiju, the surprising influences “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” had on some of the film’s wackier elements, and an alternative title he had toyed around with for the film.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

You’ve shared prior that the MonsterVerse was created to culminate with “Godzilla vs. Kong” and that the franchise was at a crossroads after its release. It is a different approach from say, the MCU, which maps out its films for what feels like decades in advance. What made you want to take the story in the direction you did with this latest film? Was it daunting because there were so many possibilities?

It all really came down to the fans. At the end of “Godzilla vs. Kong” there’s that moment where Godzilla and Kong briefly team up against Mechagodzilla. And when I watched it with a crowd, as much fun as they had seeing Godzilla and Kong fight it out, they were all more excited to see them team up. That was the big “aha” moment. Before I had seen the crowd’s reaction, I probably would have thought “Okay it’s time to go back to solo films.” But it was clear that there’s more untapped stories to be told between Godzilla and Kong. I don’t think audiences were ready to split them up just yet.

What’s exciting about them as characters, though, is that the team-up won’t be straightforward. They’re territorial monsters. Godzilla controls the surface and is very strict in how he sees the world. In many respects, he represents the white blood cells of the earth. His job is to protect the surface of the world.

That’s true. Even though Kong and Godzilla worked together prior, their team-up wasn’t a given.

I took a lot of influence from movies like “They Live.” What I liked about “They Live” was that its best sequences aren’t about the villain versus the hero; it’s about two heroes fighting each other over a misunderstanding. I wanted to have that dynamic again in this film.

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