Being able to make shameless creature thrills explode off of the screen takes a distinct eye and an unabashed imagination. Ever since Gareth Edwards roared into the monster genre with “Godzilla” back in 2014, every subsequent entry in Legendary’s MonsterVerse has felt like an effort to recapture that same magic. Luckily, by bringing in Adam Wingard to helm “Godzilla vs. Kong,” Legendary seems to have found the type of voice they needed in order to give us just as memorable a cinematic monster experience as we had seven years ago.

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“Godzilla vs. Kong” is the fourth installment in the MonsterVerse following Michael Dougherty’sGodzilla: King of the Monsters” and tasks Wingard with bringing these two iconic titans of cinema together on film for only the second time; a responsibility as mammoth as the characters themselves. “We’re kind of taking two of the biggest icons of all time,” said Wingard, “and putting them in a movie together. This has only happened once, and so there’s a lot of expectation and legacy that you’re really hanging on to.”

In the film, as Kong escorts an expedition of scientists to the Earth’s core, they find themselves in Godzilla’s warpath as he wreaks havoc on the Earth, instigating an epic clash between the two monsters. On paper, that already sounds like a dose of cinematic adrenaline, but Wingard’s vision is what really solidifies “Godzilla vs. Kong” as an unforgettable movie-going experience. Wingard made his name – and proved his ability to create visually innovative and impactful thrills in the horror genre from his debut “Home Sick” all the way to “You’re Next” and “The Guest,” two subversive and broadly acclaimed additions to the modern horror canon. Next up for Wingard after “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a sequel to John Woo’s ’90s action classic “Face/Off,” showing Wingard to be a director unafraid of stretching his wings into different types of genre thrills.

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“‘Face/Off’ is one of my favorite films of all time,” said Wingard. “It’s like one of those reference movies that I’ve always used when I’m working on a film.” Despite being able to work on the “Face/Off” sequel, as well as having been a fan of Godzilla from childhood – right down to having a strong opinion of who would truly win in a Godzilla vs. Kong fight – Wingard has adopted a philosophy of being a fan vs. being a filmmaker. “You have to sometimes separate yourself from the fan and from the creator,” said Wingard, “and not just saying what would be cool, if [the characters] did this or that, but actually working through it.”

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During our conversation with Adam Wingard we get into “Godzilla vs. Kong”, the impact the big-screen spectacle of the film had on him, the importance of bringing levity and pulp to Godzilla in the wake of COVID, why it was essential that the power duo of Nicolas Cage and John Travolta make a possible return for the “Face/Off” sequel, and clarifies the rumors surrounding the post-credit scene for “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

“Godzilla vs. Kong” hits theaters and HBO Max on March 31st and you can check out our full conversation with Adam Wingard below!

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