When monster movies like King Kong and Godzilla were first being made, there was no CGI to render the monsters onscreen. Instead, puppets, stop-motion, and actors wearing monster costumes were used to bring the behemoths to life. This did not allow for a great deal of detail regarding the facial expressions of the monsters. The VFX supervisor of Godzilla Vs Kong, Bryan Hirota, recently explained in an interview that the new, CGI version of Kong that we see in the movie had a specially prepared eye model to give the beast a greater range of emotions.
"Additionally, we dev'd out a very lifelike and high quality eye model for Kong. That's the thing that you look at to tell what somebody is thinking; the eyes do a lot of heavy lifting for any kind of creature."
While Godzilla vs. Kong is portrayed as a clash between two giant, equally dangerous monsters, the trailers for the film clearly set King Kong up as the hero, who is brought in to stop a rampaging Godzilla from destroying cities. In a past interview, the director of the movie, Adam Wingard, had explained that Kong was designed to do the emotional heavy lifting in the story in place of human characters, and a major way to do so was to make use of the mighty ape's eyes.
"Kong for instance, as almost like a human conduit, like we can actually cut to Kong in this movie without having to cut back to the human characters for relatively large chunks of the film, because we can experience things through him. He's emotive and all these kinds of things like his eyes, and the way he experiences things is relatable, and so it allows us to be able to just treat him just like any other character, and the humans are always going to back that up."
The changes regarding Kong worked, and fans have praised the emotional elements that the mighty ape brought to the movie instead of being another superpredator for Godzilla to take down. Apart from his relationship to humans that powers much of the narrative, GvK also allowed Kong to dwell on his past.
After finding Godzilla too much for him to handle in their first fight, Kong journeys into the "Hollow Earth" system of giant underground tunnels. There he finds an ancient battle-ax that his ancestors used to fight previous members of Godzilla's species. In those scenes of coming into contact with his heritage, Kong's new eye design are of great use in conveying the giant ape's emotions to the audience, so we feel we are a part of the journey with him as Kong prepares to make a final stand against Godzilla.
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, Godzilla vs. Kong features a lead cast consisting of Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry. The film is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max. This news comes from ScreenRant.