Legendary’s King Kong origins film Skull Island was the big surprise announcement at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, and the project is now moving forward steadily towards a planned Fall 2016 release date. The project has a script draft penned by Max Borenstein, who also wrote Legendary’s Godzilla reboot (a critical/financial success that has a sequel due in 2018), and is going to be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts – not Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), who was reported to have been offered the job a couple months back.
However, the bigger news of the day is that Tom Hiddleston will be starring in Skull Island, presumably as an adventurer – or something like that – who finds his way onto (as Legendary’s official press release puts it) “this mysterious and dangerous place” where Kong, dinosaurs, and other giant creatures reside. Hiddleston is fresh off having worked on a Legendary production earlier this year, in the shape of Guillermo del Toro’s gothic haunted house feature Crimson Peak (slated to hit theaters in October 2015).
Hiddleston is an acclaimed character actor – as well as fan-favorite for his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – who possesses an “old Hollywood” screen presence that has shown through especially strong in his previous historical drama work, such as War Horse and The Deep Blue Sea. That makes him a natural fit not only for del Toro’s Emily Bronte-style windswept ghost story, but also Skull Island – a movie that, like director Peter Jackson’s King Kong 2005 remake, is shaping up to be a grand-scale period adventure blockbuster full of old-fashioned monsters and thrills.
Vogt-Roberts, for those not familiar, broke out as a director last year, with his indie dramedy The Kings of Summer; in addition to Skull Island, Vogt-Roberts is lined up to direct the developing Metal Gear Solid movie (after the King Kong origins film, that is). He’s but the latest filmmaker whose inventiveness in the indie movie sector has landed him work on a big Hollywood studio-backed feature, alongside such folk as Godzilla helmsman Gareth Edwards (who’s now working on a Star Wars spinoff) and Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow (next year’s Jurassic World), among others.
Indeed, Legendary has not only released several noteworthy films over the past few years – including Pacific Rim and the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 – the studio continues to ally itself with interesting and (relatively) eclectic talent. Case in point, Legendary is backing the latest movies directed by Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), even while fostering up and coming talent such as Vogt-Roberts and Moon/Source Code helmsman Duncan Jones (2016’s Warcraft).
Point being, the hiring decisions on Skull Island are in keeping with that practice, and we’re interested to see what the final result is on November 4th, 2016. Freel free and let us know in the comments section if you think this King Kong origins/prequel movie is now sounding more (or less) intriguing, based on the latest announcement.