Jordan Vogt-Roberts Did Not Burn His Face Off Making ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ But We Can Pretend He Did

Senior Entertainment Writer

Getty Image / Warner Bros.

Jordan Vogt-Roberts should be telling you that he spent a considerable time in intensive care after burning his face in order to bring you a new King Kong movie, because that would be a cool story. Those are the stories that legends are made of. If this were, say, the 1950s, you better believe that version of story would be circulating, with only vague rumors of the contrary.

The truth is, Jordan Vogt-Roberts caught on fire while trying to start a fire in a fireplace that had a faulty gas line – but after he posted photos of himself in the ICU on social media, people just assumed it happened while filming Kong: Skull Island. But to hell with the truth! We live in a post-fact society anyway, so why not this? So, yes, Jordan Vogt-Roberts got blown up while trying to make a movie for your enjoyment.

Vogt-Roberts – who won considerable acclaim for his 2013 Sundance darling, The Kings of Summer (it was called Toy’s House when it premiered at Sundance), and had a few choices in front of him for his next project, including The Huntsman: Winter’s War – is not going to lie to you about his accident. But he does want you to know that his Kong movie – which lives in the same universe as Gareth Edward’s 2014 film, Godzilla – is a completely new story. The studio pitched a story that was set in 1917, but Vogt-Roberts was adamant he had an idea for a new story set at the end of the Vietnam War.

His idea, as it turned out, is much more hyperactive version of this story than we’ve seen before. And as Vogt-Roberts explains ahead, there’s were times the powers that be had told him he had gone too far. (A scene in which Tom Hiddleston uses a samurai sword to battle creatures was on the cutting room floor until the last possible minute. Another scene has Brie Larson’s character temporarily inside the esophagus of Kong’s foe. Vogt-Roberts wanted shoot this from her point of view. This, sadly, was nixed.)

So, maybe Jordan Vogt-Roberts didn’t spend three weeks in the ICU because he was making a King Kong movie, but it’s certainly doesn’t take away from the rest of the insanity that is Kong: Skull Island.

You made a movie.

I did make a movie. It’s crazy. I’ve been in a dark hole for two and a half years, but I made a movie and now I’ve come out the other end.

Okay, we’ve talked about this a bit when it happened, but what exactly happened with the explosion you were in?

Everyone always thinks that I got blown up on my movie.

That’s a better story. You should just say that. “This is how much effort I put into this movie. I lost part of my face to bring you Kong.”

“Kong burned my face off and I have Freddy Krueger hand because of it.” No, I wish it was a good story. It was life telling me not to be domestic, because I live such a stupid life most of the time. And it was me living a total normal life at a dinner party with three people and they wanted me to go light a fire pit. And they had just moved into the house and the gas line was faulty and leaking – and I got blown the fuck up.

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