With the world of prehistoric monsters rejuvenated by Legendary’s Godzilla – and soon to be bolstered by the return of dinosaurs in Jurassic World – Universal is clearly looking to bring their heaviest hitters back in force. And thanks to a surprise announcement at Comic-Con 2014, fans can add the King Kong origin story Skull Island to that list.
As the Hall H crowds were preparing for Legendary’s panel to come to a close, studio president Thomas Tull appeared to provide one last look at an in-development project. The film’s first teaser trailer began playing what could have been read as a Jurassic World teaser (and certainly was by many in attendance): a secluded tropical island home to swinging primates, and barely-visible beasts in the water itself.
With narration describing an entity that was “improbable,” and using passages from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” describing a soul that had been driven mad by being alone in the wilderness, the trailer ended with a massive gorilla – King Kong himself – emerging from the trees with a roar, and a furious bout of chest-beating.
Legendary would go on to describe the film as “based on the famed Skull Island, the cinematic origins of another classic beast King Kong,” confirming that they had provided Legendary the chance to reboot the iconic monster just as they had with Godzilla.
The film marks the first attempt to revisit the classic Universal titan since Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) delivered a technically-impressive (but critically divisive) remake. But if one bad movie isn’t enough to kill a creature like Godzilla, it seems, then a character as memorable as King Kong deserves another fight. The teaser trailer didn’t reveal anything besides an isolated island on which King Kong can grow into the hulking beast audiences know and love. As was the case with Godzilla, we would bet that the announcement of a director or writer will show just how ambitious Legendary and Universal are hoping to be.
We spoke at length about the return of the Universal Monsters on the recent episode of the Screen Rant Underground Podcast, and while King Kong may not have been among the characters discussed, he is every bit the ace up Universal’s sleeve as his… less colossal colleagues.
With Legendary now entrusted with both King Kong and Godzilla, speculation concerning a potential face-off between the two is inevitable. That may be the studios’ long term plan, but with years left before Gareth Edwards can deliver Godzilla 2, it’s wise to hope that Skull Island can be successful enough in bringing something new to the story of a giant gorilla.
Are you excited to see King Kong reclaim his place in the spotlight alongside Godzilla? Or will you hold off judgement until the human side of the film (assuming there is one) is detailed? Give us your thoughts in the comments, and who you think would come out on top if the pair of behemoths really do battle on screen.
Skull Island hits theaters on November 4th, 2016.