Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island is stomping its way through the geeky grasslands of the spring moviescape and has currently amassed a respectable $260 million worldwide.
A considerable amount of the film's success lies in the huge chunk of time and money given its pre-production and conceptual phases once the screenplay was locked, and the finished product shines due to the director making great strides with his team of artists before cameras rolled. With over 80 years of Kong lore out there, recognizing the importance of this key process was vital to its visual development.
Behold this bounty of concept artworks by the significant contributions of artists Eddie Del Rio, Joseph Cross and Zach Berger, each helping to kick off the first phase of Legendary and Warner Bros.' Monsterverse with style. This was the second entry in the shared universe after Gareth Edward's Godzilla from 2014, to be followed by Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019 and the big showdown of Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020.
"There was a team of immensely talented people doing creature designs, and then people doing sets and some of the vehicle stuff, so it's a collaborative thing," Berger told Inverse. "Jordan would get sketches from some artists in one of the VFX houses and that would spawn an idea, and then I might take some of those ideas and then refine them further, and there's a lot of back and forth. It's cool because no one person owns the design, you're all servicing the project, and it's really just realizing the director's vision."
Check out this expansive mega-gallery of Kong: Skull Island concept art below, revealing how closely Vogt-Roberts followed these images while composing his shots. Also included are alternate and unused creature designs created during the early stages of project development and an indelible image of the mighty Kong's island throne that I would love to have seen.