The Hanoitimes - Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts told the Channel NewsAsia that he expects that the film will encourage more people to visit Vietnam, and hopes they go and explore Vietnam, fall in love with the landscapes, the people, the culture and the food.
Vietnam is one of the three destinations selected for filming of the American monster action-adventure film “Kong: Skull Island”, in addition to Hawaii and Australia, due to its wild and marvelous natural scenes, according to a representative of the Hollywood film crew.
Poster of the film "Kong: Skull Island".
The latest Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island” will officially be screened in Vietnam and worldwide on March 10.
The film “Kong: Skull Island” is an American monster film produced by Legendary Pictures and directed by Jordan Vogt Robert.
A scene of the film "Kong: Skull Island" .
The movie is the story about a group of explorers who go into the jungle to discover the birthplace of the lord of giant apes.
The movie stars include Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, John C.Reilly, Tom Wilkison, Thomas Mann, John Goodman.
In February last year, the film maker began shooting in some famous tourist sites such as the world’s largest cave Son Doong in central Quang Binh province, the world nature heritage site Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province, and the world cultural and natural heritage site Trang An Complex in northern Ninh Binh province.
Vietnam provided the “perfect aesthetic” for the film “Kong: Skull Island”, according to the film's director Vogt-Roberts.
Ninh Binh province - one of the filming locations.
The director was quoted by Channel NewsAsia on its website www.channelnewsasia.com: “I scoured the world. I very specifically didn’t want (the film) to look like Jurassic Park... I wanted it to look fresh.”
He said “I think audiences go to cinemas to see new things. So I went to a lot of places in Asia. People have shot in Thailand before and it seemed like an easy fit but I was like, ‘No!’ so we kept going around. And then I landed in Vietnam, looked at these landscapes and just fell in love.”
“The look of Vietnam is gorgeous and otherworldly at the same time,” Vogt Robert said. “There’s such a raw, powerful and unspoiled beauty that general audiences hadn't experienced on screen before. There’s a ruggedness and a beauty to a place like Vietnam.”
This was the first time Vietnam has organised a film production of this size, scale and magnitude.
“That’s the reason why we shot there, because 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,” said actress Brie Larson.
“You can see it in the film. People will have to go visit it. I cannot say enough nice things about Vietnam. It was my first trip there and it will certainly not be my last. Hanoi was absolutely incredible… and Ninh Binh was also beautiful. I tell everyone who wants to go there that (Hanoi) is such a great place to start because there’s so much to do and so much to see.”
Larson shared on Channel NewsAsia that the experience was all about “the little things”.
Vietnam provides the “perfect aesthetic” for the film “Kong: Skull Island”
Veteran actor John Goodman told Channel NewsAsia that it was a “pleasure” to run around the streets of Hanoi trying to get lost and finding his way back.
“They said we were the first western film to film there, and they were very accommodating to us,” he said. “And they wanted us to feel welcomed and they most certainly did that.”
“In and out of the countryside, you see some rice farmers, some buffalos, things that I never thought I’d see. Water, caves, it was just beautiful.”
All that said, filming in Vietnam was not without its own challenges.
Because of its remoteness, actor Samuel L Jackson shared that travelling from where they were living to the actual location took up to two hours on some days.
Director Vogt-Roberts expects that the film will encourage more people to visit Vietnam, although he said he is mindful of both the advantages and pitfalls.
He believed that the film will create a positive impact to tourism, filming, and a general understanding of how stunning and beautiful the Southest Asian nation is.
Which is why, for all the challenges that filming in Vietnam presented, Vogt-Roberts wanted both his actors and the audience to “feel the tactile nature of the environment”.
The director hopes that people will walk out of Kong: Skull Island wanting to discover Vietnam for themselves.
“I hope that people will look at this movie the same way they looked at Lord Of The Rings, Middle Earth and New Zealand and ask ‘Where did they shoot that?’” he said.
“I hope they go and explore Vietnam, fall in love with the landscapes, the people, the culture and the food. I hope they explore the rest of Asia as well, because I don’t think a lot of people think to go to these places as much. I want them to fall in love the way that I did.”