Release Date: March 10, 2017
Legendary Pictures seems to have cornered the monster movie market with Godzilla and Pacific Rim, and now they’ve decided to take on the classic that is King Kong. This year at San Diego Comic Con, they surprised the audience with a teaser for Skull Island which left many confused, and many more excited. Since then they have released this statement about the film:
Kong: Skull Island will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Legendary’s story honors the foundations of existing King Kong lore, but places it in an entirely new, distinct timeline.
So basically, this will not only be a remake, but also more of an origin story.
Kong: Skull Island will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer)
and will be written by John Gatins (Flight, Real Steel) and Max Borstein (Godzilla) This seems a daunting task, but given Legendary’s succes with their recent monster movies, there’s no way they would let anyone screw this one up.
Two stars have already been cast: J.K Simmons (Spider-man , Juno) and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, The Avengers) though there is no word yet as to what part these two will be playing.
King Kong is iconic, and has been made quite a few times over the years. So I thought we could take a trip down memory lane and see the various versions of this famous gorilla.
King Kong (1933)
This is the one that started it all. It pioneered special effect using stop motion models and gave us this classic scene of King Kong on top of the Empire State Building with Fay Wray, fighting off military planes. As with all future versions, Kong fights off other giant monsters and is brought back to New York only to literally go ape shit and trash the town. King Kong would have received an Oscar for visual effects except for the fact that there was no such category back then, so it’s nomination was not allowed.
Son of Kong (1933)
A sequel to the original film and released in the same year, This movie sees a return expedition to Skull Island to find it’s fabled treasure. The explorers stumble upon a smaller albino version of King Kong who they assume to be his son. Little Kong, as he is named fights off monsters and *Spoiler Alert* dies while saving the explorers as the entire island sinks into the ocean.
King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)
This was the first of 2 Japanese monster movies to feature King Kong. For this version, King Kong was enlarged to Godzilla size so as to fight the lizard much more easily. These detailed rubber and fur suits are certainly silly, but there’s no denying our fascination with these types of movies as evidenced by the fact that we can’t seem to get rid of those damned Power Rangers. The title of this film also gets me excited for the future of this franchise. Could we possibly see a Kong vs Godzilla remake in the future? One can only hope.
King Kong Escapes (1967)
Again, a Japanese monster movie, only this time, in addition to fighting a giant lizard (Gorosaurus) King Kong is also faced with Mechani-Kong, a robotic version of himself used for mining purposes whose mechanical brain gets damaged and can only be stopped by the original ape.
King Kong (1976)
A remake of the original movie. This one stars Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, and introduces Jessica Lange to the big screen. The makers wanted this to have a different feel from it’s predecessors and as such, only had one fight with a giant snake. It was commercially successful but is still given a solid “meh” from critics.
King Kong Lives (1986)
This is one of those “Why couldn’t they leave well enough alone!” moments. A sequel to the ’76 movie in which Kong doesn’t die when he falls off the Empire state building. Instead he is kept alive by Linda Hamilton who gives Kong a blood transfusion from a female of his species. The two gorillas then become mates and a baby is born, but not before King Kong falls to his death off a cliff…and then comes back only to be killed by the military. This was a huge box office failure.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson’s remake is far and away my favorite. His use of state of the art visual effects captured an Oscar and made this a visually stunning film. He also gave us an incredible look at Skull Island itself which I am excited to see more of in this new installment.
Based on all the past works, King Kong certainly has a lot to live up to , with die-hard fans to please and a visual effects Oscar given to all remakes, we can expect big things from Kong: Skull Island. I have faith in Legendary’s ability to make this another successful monster franchise.