ByAllanah Faherty, writer at Creators.co
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Kong: Skull Island.

While he didn't last the distance in Kong: Skull Island, you probably best remember actor Toby Kebbell in the film for his role as Major Jack Chapman, "Dear Billy's" father and Lieutenant Colonel Packard's right hand man. But what you may not have realized is that Kebbell actually had a much larger role in Kong: Skull Island, being partly responsible for the motion capture acting of Kong himself.

Kebbel with Samuel L Jackson in Kong: Skull Island [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Kebbel with Samuel L Jackson in Kong: Skull Island [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Though Kebbell is mostly known for acting in his own skin, motion capture is also something he has quite a bit of experience with. Not did he help bring Kong to life, but also Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Durotan in Warcraft: The Beginning.

Kebbell's credit as Kong is seen prominently in the end credit sequence, but interestingly his role in bringing the king to life was actually limited to providing the facial work. While this in itself is a huge role — one of the most moving scenes in the entire film was Kong's emotional response to Mason touching his face — Kong was mostly brought to life thanks to Terry Notary.

Terry Notary in action [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Terry Notary in action [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Notary is somewhat of a mo-cap pro, having also worked on Warcraft: The Beginning and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as well as The Hobbit trilogy, Suicide Squad and The BFG. Not only that, but in total he'd worked on four ape films prior to Kong: Skull Island. Speaking to THR, Notary stated that it took just three days to get all of Kong's scenes completed in the motion capture suit, with Kebbell helping with some of the more nuanced expressions. Kebbell explained to EW:

"I gave some facial reference — certain subtleties, certain looks. Terry and I worked on stuff together and created what Kong needed. ... I was just there as backup for pieces that Terry really wanted to get details on."

See also:

Kebbell as Chapman and Kong [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Kebbell as Chapman and Kong [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

After Kebbell and Notary performed the mo-cap for Kong, it was over to the animators and visual effects specialists at Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) who digitally created the character of 100-foot tall Kong, and brought him to life as the mammoth monster we saw in the film.

Kong: Skull Island is in cinemas now.

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Source: EW, The Hollywood Reporter

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