LOS ANGELES – The original Godzilla films of the 1950s trudged into theaters with a metaphor about nuclear destruction. Two years ago, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” warned of climate change.

But don’t fret to find a message in the midst of the chaos as the towering radioactive lizard collides with this instantly recognizable giant ape in Godzilla vs. Kong.

“It’s about two big guys beating each other up,” laughed actress Rebecca Hall, who plays a researcher studying King Kong. “There is a feeling that the less people meddle in things, the better a general issue is.

“But yeah, it’s mostly a big fight.”

Director Adam Wingard’s Clash of the Titans completes Legendary Entertainment’s “Monster Verses” series, which includes “Godzilla” in 2014 and “Kong: Skull Island” in 2017. While not all winners were with critics, they made a lot of cash at the box office – more than $ 1.4 billion worldwide.

All four films take their central creatures seriously – both within the stories and by pouring money into nuanced special effects – and often wink at audiences with confident references. The films featured appearances by high profile actors enjoying the silliness of it all: Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly, Sally Hawkins and Vera Farmiga.

In the latest entry, Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler join Hall, Alexander Skarsgard, Brian Tyree Henry and Eiza González, among others. Regardless of the scene, actors always knew who was taking the top spots on the call sheets during production – Godzilla and King Kong.

“They’re divas, that’s what’s so difficult,” Brown said jokingly. “You go on, they don’t look you in the eye. It’s in their contracts. Whatever. I found it really difficult with Kong working together just because he thought he ran the quarters. They just want your close-up. And Zilla is like ‘rawr’ and you’re like ‘Bro, calm down’. “

Wingard said he focused on keeping people “as close as possible” to the monsters throughout his film, including an “ET” generating moment with deaf actress Kaylee Hottle.

But when the title showdowns begin, “It was really important to me to do what the original films did. If you watch all of the Showa era movies, the monster battles just stick with the monsters. … We wanted to make sure the monsters could do their thing and just get involved. “

This includes a fight on and under an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, with Kong fighting and Godzilla moving smoothly and realistically through the water. Later, fragile neon highlights a breathtaking clash between and through the skyscrapers of a highly stylized Hong Kong.

Skarsgard, whose character leads a human team who follows Kong to the most awesome location in the movie, said Wingard’s approach is to “really lean into the craziness of the movie. And his attitude towards it was, well, if you want to grow up, go really big. Going crazy let’s have fun with it, we haven’t seen these titans go head to toe in 50, 60 years. So let’s really enjoy this. “

Godzilla’s Atomatem and Kong’s Chest Palpitations are designed for maximum sensory impact, but the viewer can also see him on the small screen. In a rollout disturbed by the pandemic, the film debuted both in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. The stars of the film say they just love to share the spectacle, whether on an IMAX or iPhone screen.

“These are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures,” said Demián Bichir, who plays an overarching tech mogul. “This is one of those films that will be seen in every corner of the planet. And that alone makes me very, very happy. “

Henry, the star of the “Atlanta” series, who plays a podcast host with conspiracy theories, said the movie’s extravagance felt right for this moment in the pandemic.

“People need something to just celebrate and cheer, have fun and watch millions of dollars in special effects,” he said. “It’s like we’ve shifted what we do in summer blockbusters to spring because we just need something to break out, something to have fun with.”

Legendary and distributor Warner Bros has not announced any future “Monster Verse” rates after “Godzilla vs. Kong”. Wingard said he would like to go back to a “second phase” of the franchise and envision an “almost silent movie” in which we just watch the monsters do their thing.

“There are enough characters that are well defined enough that we can imprint whatever we want on them,” he said. “I think the audience is ready. And I think the world of special effects is up to date to handle it. “

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