Jordan Vogt-Roberts On How 'Skull Island' Helps Set-Up 'Godzilla' And The Monsterverse

In the third part of my interview with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the filmmaker talks about how Kong: Skull Island might set-up the upcoming Godzilla: King of Monsters, the 2020 event showdown film Godzilla vs. Kong, and the future of Warner Bros' Monsterverse.

Parts one and two can be found at those links. Read on for the conclusion!

MonarchWith making this movie, you're not only tasked with telling your own story, but you're setting up this bigger monster universe where Godzilla's gonna come head to head with Kong. What were the mandates like when you started this?  

Luckily, the cool thing about Legendary and Warner Brothers is I was really vocal in saying that I think audiences are really sick of feeling like a franchise is being forced down their throat. And the fact that a lot of these movies have these 10-minute detours in the second act that go to service the larger world as opposed to the story at hand. And I was very vocal about saying there are a lot of people who are gonna go see this movie and don't even know it's related to Godzilla at all. At all.  And it would be a disservice to a Kong film, which is an icon of cinema, to make a movie that's just trying to set something else up. We need to make, first and foremost, a good Kong movie. And so there are obviously references to the larger world of where this is heading. Some overt, some subtle.  And then obviously it's out there, there's a tag at the end of the movie.  But my job was to tell this story and to tell the best version of this story.

skull crawlersBut when you're telling this story and like those Skull Crawlers come out of the ground, is that to set up where Godzilla came from...?

Well, there's certainly some parallels where Godzilla was sort of sleeping at the bottom of the ocean.  And they talk about these massive underground spaces. I can't give away too much, but obviously, I think that those ideas are intertwined in some capacity. And so we are setting things up, but I'm happy that when people watch it, I think that they will feel like they got a self-contained narrative and not something that's like trying to jam like a larger universe down their throat. 'Cause those elements are in there. And those elements are...

They're kind of subtle, though.

Some are subtle, and some are not so subtle. And but I'd like to think that we did it in an elegant way where we're not like diverting the whole second act of our movie into like setting up the Monsterverse.

[Spoilers coming up for the post-credits scene]monarch godzillaWhose the idea was that after-credits scene? Can you talk about that?

The actual after-credits scene?


We went through a bunch of iterations of what that scene should be. That was a scene... Honestly, initially the scene was like gonna be them in the middle of like the Arctic Ocean, and they actually were gonna see like Godzilla surfacing and coming up, but I wanted to use our budget for the actual movie. And not the post-credits tag. And so I think I pitched them the idea of "What if they're in this cool looking conference or this like containment facility?" And then they're looking at stuff on a projector. But we always knew there was gonna be something there. But it was meant to be a much more robust scene. If they saw Godzilla though, it also would have broken the narrative of Godzilla because they said they hadn't seen him [before the 2014 movie0. So there became a logic issue we were trying to deal with.