The visuals of “Kong: Skull Island” have transported audiences to a place beyond time, and judging by the film’s success at the box office, moviegoers like what they see. Of course, much of the film's style comes courtesy of concept designer Eddie Del Rio, whose work influenced director Jordan Vogt-Roberts so much that many of the Del Rio's compositions were used verbatim throughout the film.
Nailing a film’s design is hard to do, but Del Rio did exactly that. He managed to strike the right mood between ethereal and otherworldly with his choices of color and movement.
There were some concepts that went by the wayside, though. Among Del Rio’s art pieces include some Kong worshipped as a literal king. Kong is even sitting on a throne while the ant-like humans worship him. Having Kong along the lines of “Planet of the Apes” instead of animalistic doesn’t mesh with the overall tone of the Monsterverse, so it’s easy to see why those early ideas were let go. Kong might be intelligent, but he’s not that intelligent.
A follow-up to Legendary’s 2014 film “Godzilla,” director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ “Kong: Skull Island” centers on a 1970s expedition to an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean, where the team encounters the monstrous Skullcrawlers and the giant ape known as Kong. Legendary’s MonsterVerse is set to continue in 2019 with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and in 2020 with “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
In theaters now, “Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary and John C. Reilly.