Godzilla x Kong The New Empire adam wingard interview

Godzilla x Kong – The New Empire: Director Adam Wingard and cast members on the latest kaiju monster clash

“It is like being a kid playing with toys. There are lots of people spending millions of dollars looking over your shoulder, making sure you don’t break the toys, but you still get to have fun. Whatever you can dream up, you can create.”

Prepare for an epic team-up as we gear up to witness a new installment of the silver screen clash of two cinematic titans in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

Director Adam Wingard and stars Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle sat down via Zoom to share a glimpse of the making of this monstrous film spectacle. From the director’s vision to the actors’ experiences, this is a sneak behind the curtain of big blockbuster filmmaking that goes beyond the monster battles. 

The upcoming film takes place after the events of 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong. In this new adventure, Godzilla and Kong must unite their forces against a colossal undiscovered threat hidden within our world, challenging their very existence — and our own. 

Adam Wingard Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire interview
Adam Wingard (centre) on the set of Godzilla x Kong

Director Adam Wingard — renowned for his unique approach to horror in films like You’re Next, The Guest and the action genre with Godzilla vs. Kong — conveyed his excitement for steering the colossal clash of Godzilla and King Kong. “I wanted to honour the classic monster movie legacy while infusing my distinct visual style, offering a fresh take on this iconic battle,” shared Wingard. He discussed the collaborative energy on set and the first film’s success as a motivating factor to create an even bigger monster clash.

Rebecca Hall, who returns as Dr. Ilene Andrews, spoke about the creativity and collaboration on set with her cast and crew, specifically Wingard. “It’s always great to work with someone who has a real vision, and he’s just a sort of delightful weirdo. I just love him,” she says. “There was one day where Adam couldn’t direct because he was laughing so hard at something stupid that we were doing!”

Hall shared the excitement of being part of this historic franchise, “It’s exciting. It feels like being a part of a particular kind of film history that I am excited about and enjoy.” Hall shares that the camaraderie among the cast, including Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Wingard’s The Guest), transformed the filmmaking process into a gleeful experience reminiscent of a group of kids in a candy store. Wingard’s ability to balance humour, action and family-friendly elements while maintaining a signature aesthetic left a lasting impression on Hall.

godzilla x kong the new empire

Adam Wingard tells us that making a film like this is a lot like being a big kid. “It is like being a kid playing with toys. The only difference is, in this case, there are lots of people spending millions of dollars looking over your shoulder, making sure you don’t break the toys. But you still get to have fun. It becomes an experience of expressing pure imagination. Whatever you can dream up, you know, you can create.” Speaking of filmmakers who influenced him, Wingard mentions Peter Jackson, who “inspired me many years ago. It’s like being a kid in a giant sandbox with giant, expensive toys.” 

Mixing practical effects with CGI, Wingard says he can turn anything he can imagine into reality through the collaboration and synergy between all the creative teams involved in making the film. From imagination to the meticulous preparation in the pre-production phase to the final complex sequences we see realized on screen, it all comes down to a vast creative effort.

Kaylee Hottle Rebecca Hall interview Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Kaylee Hottle Rebecca Hall in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Kaylee Hottle (who is deaf), reprising her role as Jia, hinted at the emotional depth her character experiences when discussing the challenges of portraying telecommunication scenes with Kong. “The growth of Jia, in her connection with Kong and interactions with her on-screen family, promises a compelling narrative that adds a human touch to the monstrous tale.”

Regarding Hottle, Hall says of the young actress, “Kaylee Hottle’s contribution is exceptional, not just in acting but also in bringing a unique dimension to Jia through American Sign Language (ASL).” 

As Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire prepares to stomp into theatres, the look behind-the-scenes from the director and stars hints at a film that not only satisfies the cravings of classic kaiju monster movie enthusiasts but also breaks new ground in the Kong/Godzilla MonsterVerse by being an all-around inclusive family film. Get ready for an immersive experience filled with epic monster-bashing team-ups, witty humour and colossal action.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is now playing in Montreal theatres.

This article was originally published in the March 2024 issue of Cult MTL. 

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