The MonsterVerse version of King Kong (キングコング?) is a giant ape Kingu Kongudaikaiju created by Legendary Pictures that first appeared in the 2017 MonsterVerse film Kong: Skull Island. He will also appear in the 2020 film Godzilla vs. Kong, where he will have his long-awaited rematch with Godzilla.
Kong was named by the Iwi natives of Skull Island.
The director's confirmed and spoken about how the MonsterVerse Kong's design was inspired by, and acts as a throwback to the 1933 film's design, while being truly identifiable as the "2017 version of Kong". The overall design was created to be simple enough to be drawn by a third grader, yet iconic enough to be immediately recognized.
The concept of Kong walking upright like a human was a design choice intended to give off the impression that it was its own species, over that of a silverback gorilla like the 2005 film's incarnation, or a generic "big monkey". The designers took design cues from the 1933 variant with its exaggerated or cartoonish properties, and attempted to visually twist them to make it their own.
Another big part of the design was instilling a sense of divisiveness in the audience, where some see a threat, others an ally, and some a God. This can be seen with the wide range of facial animations provided by the movie's motion capture actor for Kong, Terry Notary. With that, it was decided that Kong's fur would be brown to honor the original's design.
In general, Kong has several scars, three of them running diagonal from his left pectoral to the right side of his torso, and short, brown fur as well a rounded head.
His stance, while upright unlike his 2005 counterpart, shows how his arms are longer than his legs, proportion wise, given him an unnatural appearance compared to a human, providing him with a distinctive silhouette.
It is also said by Marlow, who got his information from the natives, that Kong had not yet reached his full size.
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In the movie, Kong is shown to be extremely fierce and brutal when angered, hurling trees at the oncoming helicopters and smashing them together. Despite this, he has a relatively kind and peaceful side, helping a Sker Buffalo to escape after it was trapped under the wreckage of a helicopter, and befriending Mason Weaver and James Conrad. This was to the extent that he even went to save Weaver when she fell into the river during his battle with the giant Skullcrawler.
Kong also demonstrates remarkable intelligence, such as when he attacked the giant Skullcrawler using a tree trunk as a staff and used the propeller off an abandoned ship as a melee weapon.
Kong is shown to be at least partly carnivorous, feeding on animals such as a Mire Squid that he killed. It's also implied that he ate one of Packard's soldiers, however, this is also shown to be inadvertent as the man falls into Kong's mouth while the latter holds a helicopter above himself as he roars.
Kong seems to show a great deal of loneliness, as a result to him losing his parents to the Skullcrawlers at a young age. He visibly sheds tears when Weaver gently touches him, and one of the cave paintings depicts him crouching and mourning over the remains of his deceased parents. The producers intentionally designed Kong to have a personality similar to a "teenager orphaned early and forced to assume adult responsibilities", being not yet fully grown but left to fend for himself.
Kong shows great hatred against the Skullcrawlers, as well, becoming very aggressive while encountering them.
In Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, it's revealed that Kong's species lived on Skull Island in peace millions of years ago. An infestation of Skullcrawlers had then wiped them out in battle over time. By the time a seer named Atenatua leading a group of Iwi refugees arrived at the island, only two of the apes survived the onslaught. These apes, the strongest ones, were Kong's parents.
Kong first appears in the prologue in 1944, rising over a ledge where Marlow and Gunpei are fighting.
In 1973, he makes his first proper appearance as Packard and his crew drop bombs on the land below. Enraged, Kong attacks the helicopters, swatting them out of the air and killing many of Packard's men, to which Packard swears vengeance against Kong. He reappears later on, heavily wounded from the earlier fight. As he washes his wounds and drinks from the lake, he is attacked by a Mire Squid, but he manages to kill the creature by stomping its head, and proceeds to make a meal of the giant cephalopod.
Later, he is seen fighting a pair of small Skullcrawlers. He kills them by throwing one to the ground, breaking its neck, and stomping the other's head. He then rescues a trapped Sker Buffalo outside the Iwi village, and encounters Weaver for the first time, giving her an indifferent glance before leaving her be.
That night, Kong sees both Weaver and Conrad on the top of a tall ledge through a fog. While hostile at first, he warms up to them as Weaver touches his face, and visibly weeps before retreating. Suddenly, explosions begin to blaze in the night as Packard has set a napalm trap to kill Kong. Kong is lured in and several of Packard's men are crushed in his rampage, but Kong is knocked unconscious and Packard prepares to blow him up with explosive charges. Conrad, Weaver, and Marlow intervene, however, and the remainder of Packard's men defect against killing Kong. However, nearby from the swamp emerges the largest of the Skullcrawlers. After crushing Packard with his fist, Kong attempts to fight the monster, but the Skullcrawler manages to overpower him.
Their battle continues until morning, where the Skullcrawler turns its attention onto the humans. Kong however, continues to fight it, wielding weapons such as boulders and a tree trunk as a bat, managing to get the upper hand. Kong however gets tossed into a shipwreck where he is tangled in its chains, but the humans distract the giant Skullcrawler long enough to let Kong escape.
Using a boat propeller attached to a chain, Kong manages to severely wound his foe and seemingly kills it by slashing its throat. However as Kong rescues Weaver, who has fallen into the water, the Skullcrawler springs back to life and attacks, trying to eat the human clasped in Kong's hand. Then the Skullcrawler wraps its tongue around Kong's hand and it's pulled down the Skullcrawler's throat. As the Skullcrawler refuses to let go of Kong's arm, Kong violently yanks out his opponent's tongue, ripping out its internal organs, finally killing it for good. Once Kong ensures Weaver is finally safe, he gently sets her down, and looks back at her and Conrad before wandering off.
He appears one last time as the humans depart from the island in the rescue helicopters. Kong watches them leave as he beats his chest and loudly roars, proclaiming himself the King of Skull Island.
Twenty-two years later, on August 7, 1995, Aaron Brooks, the son of Houston Brooks and San Lin, leads a team of five Monarch operatives on a secret mission to Skull Island for at least three days to uncover answers about Kong. Following an attack by Psychovultures, the operatives' pilot crash-lands on the west of the island in their V-22 Osprey while they parachute down to a cliff overlooking the island. They are almost immediately attacked by a pack of Death Jackals and survival expert Helen Karsten is killed. The Death Jackals pursue the remaining humans into a cave and corner them. Before the humans can be finished off, Kong appears and saves them by crushing the Death Jackals in his hand and beneath his foot. Then Kong briefly stares at the cave entrance before walking away.
In July the following year, the remaining Monarch operatives, led by the Iwi boy Ato, embark on a pilgrimage to uncover Kong's past and eventually meet with him. When the humans are attacked by a Sirenjaw by the wreckage of an old Dutch ship, Kong's roar is heard as he goes to fight it, and Aaron leads the others in Kong's direction.
Kong will encounter and battle Godzilla in this film.
Kong is shown to be great climber, being able to scale sheer cliffs and mountain faces.
Durability and stamina
Kong was able to withstand the bullets from military helicopters and attacks from the Skullcrawlers. With some injuries his stamina is still very high as he was able to still walk and continue through with long engagements. Despite being temporarily knocked out from a napalm explosion, Kong could still defend himself for short period of time and awaken moments later to continue the fight against the largest Skullcrawler. After he defeated the largest of the Skullcrawlers, he walked off, showing no sign of being exhausted.
Kong is shown to be an intelligent being, for he can differentiate his allies from his enemies. He also takes advantage of his surroundings while fighting and is able to use tools as many primates do, which is shown when he uses boulders and trees as weapons. He even tore off the propeller off an unused ship and used it to grapple and hack the alpha Skullcrawler during his battle.
Kong's hearing is quite strong as he was able to hear a trapped Sker Buffalo struggling to break free from a helicopter wreckage. His vision is also strong enough to notice people standing on a cliff through fog in the dead of night.
Speed and agility
Kong is surprisingly quick for a creature of his size, being able to quickly dodge Skullcrawlers that attack him from behind. He has a body built for flexibility, and is able to swing his long arms to make effective strikes in combat. He is also able to leap very high.
Strength and combat
Like his previous incarnations, Kong is extremely strong despite not being fully grown and great at combat against the multiple smaller Skullcrawlers that tried to ambush him. He can easily overpower a Mire Squid by tearing off its tentacles. With his strength, his punches can incapacitate smaller Skullcrawlers and can wrestle and pin the largest of them to the ground by using sheer strength. He can also able to stand on his feet while the largest Skullcrawler's tail is constricting his torso.
Lack of bodily armor
Kong's species are naturally born without armor, unlike Godzilla whose has incredibly thick scales that make him resist attacks from enemies. Kong can get injured more easily, which is shown when the rotor blades of a helicopter grazed his palm.
Kong's weakness is his size, as he is not fully grown yet to have his full strength against larger monsters. He can also be easily wounded, as shown when he washes a freshly bleeding wound inflicted by Skullcrawlers and helicopter propellers.
Poor healing factors
Kong doesn't possess any healing factors, unlike Godzilla who heals very quickly. He needs a long time and sustenance to heal, as shown when he washes his arm that was scratched during the fight with the helicopters. The scars on his chest have also not completely faded.
Kong: Skull Island Trailers
Kong: Skull Island
- Kong is referred to merely as "Kong" and not the usual moniker of "King Kong" (the official bio references this, stating the 'story of how Kong became king').
- At 104 ft (31.6992 meters) in height, the MonsterVerse Kong is currently the second largest incarnation of the ape kaiju to date.
- Kong is supposedly an adolescent, as the skeletons of much larger apes (implied to be his deceased parents) are seen strewn on the ground.
- His upright stature is an intentional departure from the traditional, hunched-over posture of apes, as the producers said "it made him feel more like a god" as opposed to merely a big animal.
- It also serves to pay homage to the original depictions of Kong as a person in a suit, given his more humanoid stance.
- Kong ripping apart and devouring the Mire Squid is a rare instance showing a kaiju actively consuming another.
- Kong seems to care for the native Sker Buffaloes, as he is enraged upon seeing one killed by a Skullcrawler and later helps another that got trapped under a helicopter wreckage.
- Some of Kong's animation was portrayed by Terry Notary, who previously played the chimpanzee Rocket in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Fellow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes actor Toby Kebbell, who played Koba, provided some of Kong's facial animation. Notary played Kong as a lonely, burdened "14-year-old that's trapped in the life of an adult" and coming into himself and his role as a protector.
- Kong combines features of early hominids, the mythical Bigfoot, and perhaps some aspects of the Gargantuas, as opposed to being a more "realistic" gorilla as seen in the 2005 film.
- According to director Vogt-Roberts, an alternate opening would have taken place in WWII with soldiers fighting on a beach, when they are attacked by a large ape (similar to the 2005 Kong) which is immediately gunned down. However, the real Kong then emerges, many times larger and more threatening. Unfortunately, the studio nixed the idea, telling Vogt-Roberts "You can't do that!"(Citation needed)
- This is the first American King Kong film where Kong does not die at the end: in the 1933 and 2005 films he is shot by aircraft and falls to his death from a skyscraper. In the 1976 film, he fell from a skyscraper but was put into a comatose state. In King Kong Lives, his artificial heart fails and he dies, and he is already deceased in Son of Kong.
- In contrast to the 1933 and 2005 versions who met their ends trying to fight off attacking airplanes, this incarnation of Kong makes his first major appearance by successfully defeating a group of military aircrafts.
- Kong is similar to Godzilla in several ways: both are the last of their kind, both have a vendetta against their natural enemies (the Skullcrawlers/the MUTOs) who have killed the rest of their species, and both are portrayed as morally-neutral alpha predators who maintain order and have no personal quarrel with humans.
- However, while Godzilla ignores humans and pays them no heed (except when he sees Ford Brody and shows emotion when they make eye contact), Kong recognizes and forms relationships with individual humans either as friends (Conrad and Weaver) or as enemies (Packard). Also, while Godzilla is adult, Kong is an adolescent, basically a teenager that is still growing and learning.
List of appearances
- ↑ Smith, C. Molly (November 10, 2016). Kong: Skull Island gives first look at movie monster Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 27, 2017
- ↑ Shanley, Patrick (March 10, 2017). 'Skull Island': Kong Motion-Capture Actor on Sequel Plans and Seeking Andy Serkis' Blessing Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 27, 2017