Godzilla vs Kong director Adam Wingard found inspiration for the Hollow Earth portion of the film in several places, including 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Godzilla vs Kong co-writer Max Borenstein says that one of the main inspirations for the entrance to Hollow Earth in the film was Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Adam Wingard directed film may have brought together the titular pair for the first time since 1962, but before they’re climactic battle he took a detour to Hollow Earth. Teased in the previous MonsterVerse films, including Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Hollow Earth is where Titans like Kong and Godzilla come from.
Apex takes on the responsibility of getting Kong to the Hollow Earth entrance where they want to follow him in so they can perform tests and studies on the environment and its energy source. To do so, they must use H.E.A.V.’s, anti-gravity vehicles that will let them travel to near the Earth’s core and through an underground anti-gravity tunnel. The concept of Hollow Earth is actually one that has been around for centuries, but Wingard found inspiration for the journey to the core of the Earth in one specific film.
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Borenstein tells Collider that Wingard had a very specific vision for what he wanted the entrance to Hollow Earth look like: the light tunnel at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The screenwriter says that Wingard wanted to lean heavily into that neon, light-filled aesthetic for the tunnel to Hollow Earth and that, from the beginning, Wingard was set on this scene in particular.
One thing is was [direction Adam Wingard] had this very clear vision specifically for what the Hollow Earth entry was going to look like and he kind of envisioned it almost being like the 2001 light show and really wanted to lean into that laser light aesthetic and those color tones and that sort of vibe.
The light tunnel in 2001: A Space Odyssey is a pivotal moment in the Kubrick film, one where Dr. David Bowman, the film’s protagonist, is carried through the vast universe and dropped off in the film’s now iconic neoclassical living suite. While the destinations are different, the sentiment is certainly the same and Wingard’s inspiration bleeds through in the film in a really interesting way. The homage itself is clear, but Wingard uses that neon aesthetic in Hollow Earth itself, with the glowing rocks and environment becoming just as pivotal as the light tunnel itself.
With his neon-infused aesthetic, Wingard brought color back to the MonsterVerse and Godzilla vs Kong is all the better for it. While the early MonsterVerse films were more bland in their palettes, and many of the fight scenes were criticized for being cloaked in darkness, Godzilla vs Kong‘s are clearly visible and filled with color and there’s a reason many fight the new film to be one of the best of the MonsterVerse’s output. As Legendary looks to the future of the franchise, they would be smart to ensure Wingard’s mark on the franchise remains intact.
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