I’ve written about where I find my inspiration before, and have been pretty clear that without Captain America: The Winter Soldier, my second novel Loose Strands would be a considerably different work.
As I think back to when I wrote that and what other films and television shows I’ve seen since, I don’t think anything has inspired me in the same way as that film, which still stands atop the mighty mountain of Marvel films as my all-time favorite.
Well, last night I managed to make my way to a budget showing of Kong: Skull Island. To be honest, my expectations were very low. Beyond the aforementioned Marvel Studios films I don’t go out of my way to see mainstream films very often, and while Kong looked interesting to be sure, I never thought I’d find it particularly inspiring.
As a funny aside, now that the Marvel Studios stable has grown to such crazy lengths it seems like each film released is a “Six Degrees of Marvel Cinematic Universe” mini-game. Hell, Kong featured Nick Fury, Loki, and the soon to be Captain Marvel all in one film…not to mention Roger Dooley from Agent Carter. Twelve year old me never could have dreamed of such a world.
At any rate, I’ve been battling internally with development of a new novel that I’m not quite sure will be a series or just a one-off. And wouldn’t you know it, exactly two hours after I started to watch Skull Island, I felt compelled to dash to my computer and start getting ideas put together. I’m not entirely sure why, Skull Island wasn’t a fantastic film, but it was very entertaining, and just seemed to have a certain spirit that I enjoy. Real world military mixed with somewhat other-worldly creatures…the kind of thing like Alien, Predator, and the always awesome Cohesion Press work that I always seem to fall in love with.
I thought Kong himself was presented surprisingly well and they managed to make him both a deadly villain and a protagonist of sorts that the audience can feel sympathetic towards, all in the span of a two hour film. There was a surprising amount of creature on creature violence which was executed fantastically as well.
At any rate, even though characters throughout the film make exceptionally baffling decisions that completely take the viewer out of the narrative, the action set pieces and flow of the film were captivating, and by the time it was over, I had this clear vision in my head of this novel I’ve been fighting with for a few months now. I can’t explain it, but there it is.
If you’re a writer who has been trying to work through some ideas involving strange creatures going head to head with a platoon of military operatives, check out Kong. It might just give you that spark that you’re looking for.