One Huge Challenge With Planning Godzilla Vs. Kong’s On-Screen Battles

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Although Godzilla and King Kong fought once before in the 1962 Japanese movie King Kong vs. Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Kong marks their first clash as a Hollywood spectacle. Naturally the advances in moviemaking technology means that the two Titans colliding this time around will look much more realistic than it did in the early 1960s, but there are still unique challenges that comes with planning such battles. For instance, architecture ended up factoring in with what King Kong was able to accomplish.

During my visit to the Godzilla vs. Kong set in March 2019, I spoke with production designer Owen Patterson, who was involved with designing the eponymous creatures. While talking about how the differing physical attributes of Godzilla and King Kong, Patterson said the following about the latter’s movements:

With Kong in there, Kong is obviously a giant, human proportion gorilla, then he can swing off things we imagine, like a great ape. So he can use buildings to do that. And while he’s swinging, Godzilla is trying to knock him down with his extraordinary atomic breath. And where that’s happening, Kong can be swinging from building to building, like parkour almost, or like a great ape swinging through a building. But because you didn’t really want to cut down the buildings that necessarily exist in Hong Kong either, some of the buildings have had to be made a bit taller.

While Godzilla does have an edge over King Kong when it comes to durability and boasting atomic breath, the gargantuan gorilla is definitely more agile. So just like a regular gorilla, swinging comes naturally to him, which is fortunate since at some point in Godzilla vs. Kong, he’ll have to maneuver around skyscrapers. But as Owen Patterson noted, the team didn’t want to go so far as to see real buildings being trimmed down in size when Godzilla and King Kong are fighting in King Kong, which meant that their lengths needed to be altered from how they are in real life. That being said, one wouldn’t be faulted for assuming the MonsterVerse’s Hong Kong will be devastated when all’s said and done.

In addition to their bout in Hong Kong, Godzilla and King Kong will also fight somewhere in the ocean when the latter is being transported by a military fleet that the former intercepts. It’s unclear if those two will clash anywhere else, but the Hong Kong battle certainly looks to be something special judging by the first trailer. In addition to Kong swinging around buildings (something he lacks on Skull Island), he’s also seen wielding an axe made from one of Godzilla’s dorsal fins that’s capable of deflecting the reptile’s atomic breath.

In addition to Godzilla and King Kong exchanging blows, Godzilla vs. Kong will also follow Monarch embarking on a journey to uncover clues about the Titans’ journey, while elsewhere, Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison Russell, Julian Dennison’s Josh Valentine and Brian Tyree Henry’s Bernie Hayes will investigate a potential conspiracy involving the Titan-centric corporation called Apex. Adam Wingard directed the fourth MonsterVerse movie off a script written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein.

You can watch Godzilla vs. Kong in theaters and on HBO Max (which you can sign up for now) starting March 31. Keep track of other movies intended to arrive later this year with our 2021 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.