|Star-studded: The crew of Kong: Skull Island pose for photo calls during their press conference in Ha Noi yesterday. The film will be shot in Quang Ninh, Quang Binh and Ninh Binh provinces over a five week period. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
HANOI (VNS) — The movie Kong: Skull Island begins filming in Viet Nam today.
The film will be shot in Quang Ninh, Quang Binh and Ninh Binh provinces over a five week period.
With co-operation from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the epic action adventure will be the largest motion picture ever filmed in Viet Nam.
"When we got out of the car, we immediately saw a stunningly beautiful sight that we thought was not real. It was magical," said director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
"Colours and shades of the mountain ranges will make audience say ‘wow' when they are seen. We fell in love with this place," said Vogt-Roberts.
Coming to cinemas worldwide in 2017, Kong: Skull Island tells the story of the origin of the iconic king of the apes in a compelling, original adventure from Vogt-Roberts.
In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they are closing in on the domain of the mythic King Kong.
To fully immerse audiences in the mysterious Skull Island, director Vogt-Roberts, his cast and film crew, are filming across three continents over six months, capturing primordial landscapes in Hawaii, where filming began last October, on Australia's Gold Coast, and in Viet Nam, where filming will take place at multiple locations, some of which have never been seen on film before.
Kong: Skull Island stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World), Samuel Jackson (The Hateful Eight, Avengers: Age of Ultron), John Goodman (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and Brie Larson (Room). The film is being produced by Warner Bros Pictures and Legendary Pictures.
US Ambassador Ted Osius said the film will highlight Viet Nam as a superb tourism destination and deepen ties between the two countries' entertainment industries.
"The American film industry is a global leader in artistic expression and can serve as a bridge between the arts and governments to work on issues we both care about: intellectual property rights, piracy and online content distribution," he said.
"We appreciate Viet Nam's support for this film project. This support also makes good sense for Viet Nam. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Viet Nam could benefit, as Thailand has, from a vibrant foreign film indtry? According to the Thailand Film Office, 2015 saw VND1,989,862 million in revenue from productions of 63 feature films," added Osius.
Actor Hiddleston said he had a chance to visit Viet Nam when he was 19 years-old. However, that holiday took place at the same time he was cast in his first role.
"I think I missed the chance to see Viet Nam due to acting, so now, thanks to acting, I will again be in Viet Nam," he said.
Co-operating with foreign film producers opens both opportunities and concerns. Especially as the filming will take place at heritage sites throughout Viet Nam, such as Ha Long Bay, Van Long Natural Reserve, Trang An Complex, and the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Addressing a Viet Nam News reporter's questions about the possible impact on the environment, Ho An Phong, director of Quang Binh Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the film crew has made a commitment to protect the local environment and nature when they sought government permission to shoot the film.
"The film crew will shoot at Da Deo Pass, Cha Noi Valley, Yen Phu Lake and in front of Tu Lan Cave, but they do not enter the caves," he said.
"They bring temporary toilets and kitchens to guarantee that they do not damage the environment," noted Phong.
The film project provides an opportunity to promote an image of Quang Binh and Viet Nam in general to the world. At the same time, it also offers benefits to local people, according to Phong.
Further, the film crew will have a budget of VND1 billion (VND1,006,110,000) to build a concrete road in Yen Tho Village, Tan Hoa Commune, as the region is mountainous and hard to access.
"The people are paid to support the film crew and play as figures in the film. They also receive a satisfactory sum of money to buy food for cattle during the days the filmmaking taking place, as they will not allow their cattle to graze during these days to keep the area clear," noted Phong.
Director Vogt-Roberts agreed, "We will try not to harm the environment and cause the least negative impact, as we expect that when audiences come to Viet Nam, they can see such spectacular sights as they see in the film."
"When audiences watch Lord of the Ring and feel stunned by the beauty of the nature in sequences taken in New Zealand, they all want to visit the place. I think they will feel the same for Viet Nam when they see Kong. Scenes taken in Viet Nam are important to the film," added Vogt-Roberts. — VNS