The crew of the new King Kong movie, with the main cast featuring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson, spoke to the media in Hanoi Sunday, a day before filming begins in Vietnam.
Hiddleston arrived alone just hours before the conference, and his Vietnamese greeting won him fanfare.
“I am very happy being here. Thank you for your welcome,” he said slowly in the local language.
The British actor said he had planned a summer vacation in Vietnam when he was a 19-year-old university student, but it never happened until now.
His colleagues had landed three days earlier, and spent time enjoying the capital.
Jackson posted a Facebook photo showing him with a giant drum at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s earliest university, founded in 1070, while Larson’s Instagram page showed her trying the pho as well as some 100-year-old tribal clothes.
Director Jordan Voght-Roberts said he chose Vietnam as a filming location for “Kong: Skull Island” as he wants to offer audiences something new and different.
He said the scenes in Vietnam are among the important ones, and would look as stunning as scenes in The Lord of the Rings.
He wants audiences to be so impressed that they would want to come to Vietnam after seeing the movie, he said.
The new film, estimated to cost US$190 million, is centered on King Kong’s origins and is set for a March 2017 release.
The filming in Vietnam will take five weeks from February 23 at Trang An-Tam Coc, a complex of mountains and rivers in the northern province of Ninh Binh, some famous caves in the central province of Quang Binh, and Ha Long Bay.
Voght-Roberts and some crew members spent nearly two months in Vietnam at the end of last year surveying and selecting the locations.
Around 320 tons of equipment have been shipped to Vietnam by air and sea over the past month and a technical team arrived in January to study the locations and prepare roads into film sets.
Other filming locations are in Australia and Hawaii in the US.
The road to Chuot (Mouse) Cave in Quang Binh Province, one of the locations where "Kong: Skull Island" will be shot in Vietnam. Photos: Truong Quang Nam
A film set in Quang Binh
Some people clean up the area to give it a primeval look.
A shallow, crystal-clear stream in front of the cave will also feature in the movie.
The cave entrance
Limestone in the cave roof
The cave narrows.
The view from inside the cave
Foreign tourists visit the cave on February 21, 2016.