Adam Wingard Thought Of Godzilla Vs. Kong's Hollow Earth As His 'Star Wars Audition'

There were quite a few jaw-dropping moments last year during "Godzilla Vs. Kong." Directed by Adam Wingard, the film featured ambitious fight sequences between the titular Godzilla and Kong on open water, highlighting the futility of humanity to intervene while these two behemoths went at it. There was also Mecha Godzilla and bringing that little tech-based critter to life for the screen. But, arguably, the most astounding and far-out-there section of the movie was when we were transplanted into Hollow Earth.

There is an actual theory that focuses on the concept of a Hollow Earth. However, this film builds on that concept by suggesting that Hollow Earth is actually the home of Titans, where they have managed to chill out unless they have more defining alpha-territorial tendencies. For anyone who needs a reminder, we came across a variety of Titans in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," and Kong himself is a Titan along with others on Skull Island.

An ensemble of characters, with Kong in tow, lead an expedition to find the power source within the realm of Hollow Earth. It has never been seen before by human beings due in part to the intense effects of the reverse-gravitational pull on the body. A world not previously seen before leaves a lot to the imagination, but also provides a heck of a challenge in terms of how to conceptualize and bring something previously unimaginable to life. For Wingard, he approached it from the perspective of a job interview.

Avoiding big dirty words

The idea of travelling to the Earth's core sounds far-fetched, but that hasn't stopped filmmakers and writers in trying to piece together the mystery of the Earth's interior. For conceptualizing the Hollow Earth, it was important for Wingard to understand what exactly he didn't want to strive for, and it all came down to what he essentially dubbed "a big dirty word."

The no-no word that haunted Wingard and his team was technically multiple words. "Journey to the Center of the Earth" was what many thought of whenever they've look at the story on the page, but that title, according to Wingard, was never allowed to be uttered in the offices. The title painted ideas that the team wanted to separate themselves from.

As he shared with Roger Ebert, while they were trying hard to separate themselves from "Journey to the Center of the Earth," there was still homework to do. To make sure they didn't stick to the basics, they had to embrace the reference material they sought to avoid:

"I went back and watched every "Journey to the Center of the Earth" movie that I could find, including a lot of those cheap Hammer movies, and they all kind of were very similar. Nobody broke the mold too much about that—you're going into the earth, so it's kind of cave-like, basically."

After watching everything he could associated with "Journey to the Center of the Earth," it was time to create Hollow Earth.

'Like a Star Wars audition'

Research out of the way, it was time for Wingard to figure out what he wanted to do. He knew after watching everything to do with "Journey to the Center of the Earth," that he wanted to do something out of this world. At least, a world in which we didn't immediately associate with Earth itself.

"I want[ed] to treat it like we're going into a whole other world. I want[ed] this to be like more like my 'Star Wars' audition, I want[ed] to take you somewhere you've never been," he explained to Roger Ebert. The key to unlocking his inspiration then came from wondering what gravity would be like inside the Earth, which then led to a surprise movie reference.

"I immediately thought of "2001: A Space Odyssey," and the way that the space station works in that film. It rotates, and instead of getting stuck to the surface you're stuck to the outside, so you can walk on the ceiling and on the ground. And when I started conceptualizing it in that kind of way, that's when I was like, "I can really wrap my head around this and make this super unique and interesting.""

The world of Hollow Earth as audiences saw in "Godzilla vs. Kong" was different from anything we had seen before. Journeying to the middle of the Earth became a type of space adventure. Between battling gravity, Titans, and more, a decent Star Wars audition indeed.