Godzilla X Kong Director Added A Line Of Dialogue Based On His Experience With Psychedelics

This article contains mild spoilers for "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire."

Adam Wingard's "Godzilla vs. Kong" was one of 2021's most pleasant blockbuster surprises, primarily because it represented a successful step up in filmmaking scale for the very talented Adam Wingard. More than a few eyebrows arched when the director, best known for his pulpy (and very R-rated) action and horror flicks, was tapped to referee the long-awaited MonsterVerse throwdown, but he took to the genre with gleeful ease. And, really, why wouldn't he? We were all kids once. The opportunity to make a mega-budget Godzilla and King Kong movie in one fell swoop is something many of us dreamed of as rambunctious eight-year-olds.

And it wasn't just about the kaiju combat! One of the film's most visually thrilling sequences found Kong and the Monarch team exploring the reverse-gravitational expanse of Hollow Earth (which Wingard considered his "'Star Wars' audition'). This realm, buried deep below the planet's surface, was home not only to the Titans but Kong's ancestors. For humans, it's a mind-bending up-is-down environment, one that takes a whole lot of getting used to. In other words, it's literally one of the last places on Earth a paranoid homebody like Brian Tyree Henry's Bernie Hayes would want to be.

So, naturally, when it came time to make "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire," Wingard couldn't wait to take Bernie there.

I'm turning into water

At an early screening of the "Godzilla vs. Kong" follow-up, Wingard fielded some post-film questions from journalists (including /News's Bill Bria). When asked about Bernie's uneasy jaunt to Hollow Earth, the director revealed that the character's "I'm turning into water" reaction was influenced by his own experiences with psychedelics.

As Wingard told the assembled press:

"One of the only lines that I actually put in the movie was, 'I'm turning into water.' Because I've had that experience on psychedelics before. 'Oh my God.' I think I've actually said that before. You can only come up with a line like that from real experience."

Interestingly, Bernie's panic attack was also essential to making a tonal shift from the last film.

Having a ball (at Bernie's expense) in Hollow Earth

Hollow Earth might be a surreal hell (at first) for Bernie, but it should be a wondrously discombobulating realm for moviegoers. Wingard stated in no uncertain terms that he wanted viewers to have a giddy blast this time out.

Per Wingard:

"[I]t's almost like this one's almost a spoof of the last one. It's dead serious the last time when you're flying in there. And it was fun to be like, 'What's it like when Bernie goes through it?' So we played it from his perspective. It's almost like very similar, shot for shot from the last movie, but it's a completely different feel."

If you've ever had a bad trip, one you failed to adjust to and had to ride out for a seeming eternity, you know there's nothing particularly hilarious about the experience. But when that brain-scrambling horror is being conveyed by an actor as explosive as Henry (who's been inducing convulsive laughter in audiences since he played the General in "The Book of Mormon"), there's at least a sense of amused sympathy. But if that's what Hollow Earth does to anxious individuals, I'll hang back and let you all have your fun down below.

"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" is now playing in theaters.