Kong: Skull Island marks the fearsome theatrical return of a legendary monster. It’s been 12 years since the giant gorilla hit the big screen. Having been rebooted so many times, Warner Brothers and Legendary Entertainment needed to get the world excited for the king’s return in otherworldly ways.
A Legend Returns
Studio marketing efforts have been focused on the ferocity and sheer size of King Kong in the film—the largest one yet. To bring some perspective to just how massive the latest version is, denizens of Los Angeles can take a look at his 25-foot prints as they appear around the city. Footprints first appeared on the beach near LAX on March 3, then again at Capitol Records on March 5, outside LA Live on March 6 and near Runyon Canyon Park March 7. Those brave enough to investigate the sightings were given promotional T-shirts. Of course, social media posts about the sightings are a given.
Beginning in February, fans around the country were invited to use the hashtag #(city)LovesKong for a chance unlock an early screening in in their hometown. Sponsored hashtags are also available for #KongSkullIsland and #KongIsKing.
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) March 4, 2017
— Lisa Foxx/radio diva (@DJLisaFoxx) March 5, 2017
Creating A World
Kong is the undisputed king of Skull Island, a mysterious and dangerous place that time seems to have forgotten. Skull Island has been added to Google Maps, complete with “reviews” and Kong superimposed over a number of 360-degree photos. The location is connected to an interactive website that allows users to explore the island through team diaries, promotional trailers for the film and a peek at some of the other creatures living on the island.
A 360-degree experience has been created for Samsung VR called Destination Skull Island, that can also be viewed without a headset. The virtual adventure casts users as a member of the crew sent to Skull Island, where they come face-to-face with Kong, himself.
As with any film, a great deal of care and passion have gone into the concept and promotional artwork for Kong: Skull Island, which was celebrated during a pop-up gallery March 3 in New York. Three limited-edition posters were offered for sale, which quickly sold out.
— Kong: Skull Island (@kongskullisland) March 5, 2017
Of course, what would a blockbuster film be without its Hollywood stars? In addition to the usual interview tours, Alamo Draft House Cinema hosted a Facebook Live Q&A session with Tom Middleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson to get fans excited and delve deeper into the characters they play.
While all this promotion is serious business, the actors didn’t mind having a little fun at their own expense with the help of Comedy Central and comedian Jeffrey Ross.
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) March 6, 2017
At the heart of Kong: Skull Island is a legacy that its filmmakers wanted to preserve.
“If anything, our Kong is meant to be a throwback to the ’33 version,” film director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts told Entertainment Weekly. “[Kong] was a movie monster, so we worked really hard to take some of the elements of the ’33 version—some of those exaggerated features, some of those cartoonish and iconic qualities, and then make them their own.”
With all this build-up, the legendary monster has a reputation to uphold . . . which he’ll need when he fights Godzilla in 2020.
Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters this Friday.