The histories of Godzilla and King Kong are long ones, and they intertwine more often than you might think. As two of film's most famous creatures, the King of the Monsters has gotten to know King Kong very well. The two have on-screen chemistry like few others, and fans will be reminded of that next year when Godzilla vs Kong is released. But for now, the pair have resurfaced online after a historic photo of them began circulating amongst film buffs.
As you can see below, a special photo of Godzilla and King Kong received a second wind as of late. The photo, which was taken by Chris Mirjahangir of Toho Kingdom, dates back a few years ago. It features Haruo Nakajima who was the original suit actor for Godzilla sitting beside the skeleton of King Kong. The photo was taken in honor of Godzilla's 60th anniversary, and it marks one of the few public appearances starring both icons.
After all, Nakajima is a true icon, and his work as Godzilla helped popularize the kaiju genre. An entire sect of monster movies would not exist without his careful portrayal of the atomic beast, and the same can be said for the team who choreographed King Kong.
Also, I would like to add that this photo was printed twice in FM #256 and it's Godzilla annual a few years ago. An additional photo of Nakajima with the maquette can be found here: https://t.co/lHqaYHYFnq— Toho Kingdom (@TohoKingdom) July 21, 2020
When the massive ape was being filmed, there was no man in a suit playing King Kong. Unlike Godzilla, the team forewent a gorilla suit and brought the monster to life using stop motion. Willis O'Brien was tasked with creating stop motion armatures of King Kong to film with, and one of these skeletons can be found sitting next to Nakajima in the photo. Without these rigs, the King Kong fans met in the early 1930s would not exist, and the creature may not have become as iconic as he is today.
This rousing photo may be a throwback, but in light of the crossover coming for the blockbuster rivals, fans are finding new meaning in it. No one could have known these monsters would become some of the greatest film icons to date, and their humble origins make their success all the more impressive to movie lovers everywhere.