Although “Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire” has no shortage of spectacular action involving its legendary title characters, it’s a new addition to the Monsterverse that nearly steals the show. Suko, a sort of “mini Kong” who has a complicated relationship with his more famous elder, is both utterly adorable and completely consistent with the savage nature of the monsters that populate the “Godzilla” and “Kong” movies. According to director Adam Wingard, the idea for Suko was first floated during production of his previous movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

“The idea originated with [producer] Mary Parent,” Wingard told IndieWire. “We were having a story meeting, and she was talking about the future of the Monsterverse. She mentioned the idea of a ‘Son of Kong’ movie, and nobody knew what that meant. But I let it ruminate for the next two years.” When the time came for “The New Empire,” Wingard started thinking about how the concept of a young Kong could fit into the mythology. “I liked the idea of having Kong meet others of his kind in Hollow Earth.”

Wingard did have one reservation. “The scary thing about doing a character like that is that instantly, people are going to be suspicious that you’re creating it to sell toys,” he said. “When you have a cute character, everybody’s going to think of Ewoks.” Adding to Wingard’s apprehension, “The Mandalorian” aired and introduced audiences to Baby Yoda during the planning of “Godzilla x Kong.” “I like Baby Yoda, but mostly what he does is be cute. So I was like, ‘Well, I want the cuteness of Baby Yoda, but I want it to be Baby Yoda if Baby Yoda is going to bite your face off and eat your skin.”

The key was creating an initially antagonistic relationship between Suko and Kong. “It’s a fun dynamic because they don’t instantly get along,” Wingard said. “In a way, they have their own kind of buddy cop dynamic. What’s fun about Suko is that Kong ends up not treating him great, and you feel it’s justified because he kind of tries to get Kong killed.” Looking for a reference point for the father-son relationship between Kong and Suko, Wingard points to a source far outside the Monsterverse, noting that their interactions are “maybe more like Homer and Bart than a conventional father and son.” As adorable as Suko is, the director was sure to temper the cuteness with plenty of destructive behavior: “He’s a little bastard.”

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