Kong director says gorgeous Vietnam provided the ‘perfect’ reboot

By VnExpress   March 7, 2017 | 11:25 pm PT
The country's ruggedness, wilderness and beauty make the Kong retake look fresh, says Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

“Kong: Skull Island” is hitting global threaters in two days, and that matters for two reasons. First, it's the return of the giant mythical Kong, obviously, and second, because it was filmed in Vietnam.

In a recent chat with Channel News Asia, the film's director praised the "gorgeous" Vietnam for giving the movie a fresh look and making it stand out from previous retakes.

Vietnam provided the “perfect aesthetic” for the film, said director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

“The look of Vietnam is gorgeous and otherworldly at the same time,” he said. “There’s such a raw, powerful and unspoiled beauty that general audiences hadn’t experienced on screen before.”

Vogt-Roberts’s is the first Kong movie set almost entirely on his mythical home of Skull Island, ever since the massive pop culture icon made his cinematic debut in 1933.

The movie was filmed in Hawaii, Australia and Vietnam over the space of six months.

Vogt-Roberts said his cast and crew scoured the world for the film’s primordial landscapes as they wanted to shoot as much of the movie as possible in real locations.

“I wanted it to look fresh,” he said.

The director traveled to various parts of Asia including Thailand, where many movies have been shot before, but was not impressed.

“And then I landed in Vietnam, looked at these landscapes and just fell in love.”

The director and his cast

Inside Son Doong Cave

An all-star cast, including Oscar winner Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston, and around 120 crew members touched down in Vietnam in February last year. The filming took them to famous sites in the central province of Quang Binh’s colossal caves, the northern province of Ninh Binh and the world-renowned Ha Long Bay, all of which are some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Vietnam but have not appeared in a Hollywood film before.

“You’re trying to find something that is completely untouched and looks unlike anything you’ve seen before. And Vietnam is the answer to that,” Larson, who plays a war photojournalist and peace activist, told Channel News Asia.

The movie will make people feel the urge to go visit the country, said the actress, who posted Instagram photos of her trying local food and putting on ethnic clothing during her first Vietnam trip.

Quang Binh Province last month also published a video promoting itself as an exciting destination, reminding viewers that it was the set for the Kong blockbuster and featuring the testimony of the film’s director himself.

Vogt-Roberts told Channel News Asia he believes the movie will do justice to Vietnam's tourism industry, just like "The Beach" (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) did to Thailand and "The Lords of the Rings" to New Zealand.

“I hope they go and explore Vietnam, fall in love with the landscapes, the people, the culture and the food."

Related news:

>Critics praise filmed-in-Vietnam Kong movie for going back to the jungle

>Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston talk ‘surreal’ King Kong filming experience in Vietnam

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