Godzilla and Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla and Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.
Image: Warner Bros.

In 2021, it was Godzilla versus Kong. But Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire sees the foes team up—reluctantly—to take on a new threat. The dynamic between them might be unfamiliar based on what we’ve seen in the Monsterverse so far, but movie fans may recognize its origins in… ‘80s buddy-cop movies?

Speaking to Empire Magazine, director Adam Wingard (who also made Godzilla vs. Kong) revealed his love of buddy-cop movies like 1987’s Lethal Weapon, explaining, “My influences are always embedded with the ‘80s.” How does that come into play in Godzilla x Kong? At the start of the film, “There’s a bit of a truce—Godzilla’s in control of the surface world and Kong is down in Hollow Earth.” When Skar King, the film’s new villain, threatens to disrupt this tenuous peace, the monsters must join forces to defeat him. “The buddy-cop dysfunctional relationship dynamic is probably the best one to describe Godzilla and Kong,” Wingard said. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding—the way that the monsters communicate isn’t straightforward.”

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Wingard also teases “a personal journey” for Kong and that the movie will feature “lots of different versions of Godzilla,” brought about by what sounds like another ‘80s special: the training montage. However, Wingard’s influences go even further back in film history. “I’m really big into Shaw Brothers martial arts. Those films are always about, ‘Here’s a big threat, and you have to do all these things to pump yourself up so that you can take on that threat.’”

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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire—which also has a human cast that includes Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Dan Stevens—arrives March 29.

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