Kong: Skull Island
Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Alex Garcia
Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly
Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbel, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, John C. Reily
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 monster film which is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and the second film in the MonsterVerse.
In 1944, in the midst of World War ll, two fighter pilots – an American soldier named Hank Marlow and a Japanese soldier named Gunpei Ikari – parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight. They both engage in close combat, with Ikari gaining the upper hand, but the fight is interrupted by a behemoth ape known as Kong.
Twenty-nine years later, in 1973, U.S. government agent Bill Randa hires former British Air Service Captain James Conrad , a skilled tracker, to guide an expedition to map out an island known as Skull Island. They are assigned a military escort in the form of the Sky Devils, a Vietnam War helicopter squadron led by Colonel Preston Packard and his subordinates, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole . The group is later joined by pacificist and photojournalist Mason Weaver , who believes the expedition is a secret military operation. Upon arrival at Skull Island , Packard's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to map out the island. However, as they are doing so, the air unit is attacked by Kong, who kills a number of military personnel and scatters the others across the island.
Packard leads his door gunner Reles , pilot Glenn Mills , Cole , Landsat employee Steve Woodward and Randa. Suspicious of the expedition's true purpose, Packard holds Randa at gunpoint and demands the truth. Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch , and the expedition's real purpose: to prove the existence of monsters and determine if they are a threat to humanity. The second group of survivors, consisting of Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin , soldier Reg Slivko , and Landsat employee Victor Nieves , try to get to a rendezvous point at the island's northern end to meet a resupply team arriving in three days' time. They encounter the local Iwi natives and meet an older Marlow . He reveals that Kong is the island's guardian and is worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting the island's inhabitants from many predators, the most dangerous of which are reptilian underground monsters that Marlow calls "Skullcrawlers ". They have killed Kong's ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind, and one killed Ikari, who had become Marlow's best friend while they were stranded on the island. Marlow reveals that Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent them from awakening the largest of the Skullcrawlers, which he calls the "Big One".
Packard's group begins making their way to Chapman, whose helicopter crash-landed elsewhere carrying heavy weaponry. On the way, they are attacked by a massive spider, which is killed. Elsewhere, Chapman is ambushed and eaten by a Skullcrawler. Conrad's group helps Marlow complete a boat built from parts scavenged from Marlow and Ikari's downed planes. They ride the boat down the river, and manage to secure communication with Packard's group, but the boat is attacked by pterosaur-like creatures called Leafwings, which kill Nieves. They regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, though his true objective is to find and kill Kong.
Marlow reluctantly leads the two groups to the Forbidden Zone, a forgotten battleground between Kong's ancestors and the Skullcrawlers. There, the same Skullcrawler that devoured Chapman attacks the group, killing Randa and many soldiers before dying in a flammable gas explosion triggered by Weaver. Learning about Chapman's death, a vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and announces that his goal is to kill Kong. The two groups part ways, with Packard's group laying a trap for Kong, while the non-military personnel led by Conrad head back to the boat. While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and resolve to save him.
As Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong, Packard's group triggers napalm explosions to lure him in. Kong turns to the lake and charges toward Packard, who ignites gasoline that his men have spread on the water. Kong suffers severe burns, but kills Woodward before collapsing. Packard orders his men to set explosives around Kong, but Conrad's group returns and initiates a standoff at gunpoint. Conrad and Weaver persuade the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard refuses to stand down. Then, the Big One, dubbed "Ramarak", emerges from the lake. Everyone flees except for Packard, whom Kong crushes to death before he can detonate the charges. Ramarak overpowers Kong and chases the survivors toward shore. Cole is killed in a failed suicide bomb attempt, but Kong returns to rescue the others and kills Ramarak by ripping out its innards. He saves Weaver from drowning, as she had been knocked into the water during the fight. With Ramarak defeated, Kong allows the surviving humans to leave the island
In a post credits scene Conrad and Weaver are detained at a Monarch facility, Lin and Brooks enter the room telling them "Kong isn't the only king" and that "there are more." A projector turns on showing cave paintings of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. A fifth cave painting depicts Godzilla fighting King Ghidorah with human skull laying around them before the screen goes black and Godzilla's roar is heard.
The film's release date was originally set for November 4, 2016 at Comic-Con 2014, with Joe Cornish being offered to direct it. The film's release date was later pushed back to March 6, 2017. It was announced that Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson will star as the male and female lead. J. K. Simmons and Michael Keaton were originally going to star as well, but the two later left the film due to scheduling conflicts.  In August 2015, Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell joined the cast, with several other actors being reportedly considered, including Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, and Toby Kebbell. The film will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts with the screenplay to be written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins and Derek Connolly. Simmons told MTV that the film will take place in Detroit in 1971.
On September 10, 2015, it was reported that Legendary Pictures had moved production of the film from Universal Pictures, with whom it currently held a distribution deal, to its former partner Warner Bros., with whom it had an agreement to distribute the sequels to 2014's Godzilla in the future, supposedly in order to keep both properties under the same distributor. This immediately spawned rumors that Legendary planned to eventually produce a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla with Warner Bros., with neither studio providing a statement. On September 16, multiple sources reported that Thomas Tull had wanted to set up a film featuring both Kong and Godzilla for years and planned to include references to Monarch, the monster-studying organization from Godzilla (2014), in the script for Kong: Skull Island. However, Warner Bros. was reportedly uncomfortable with including references to one of their films in a Universal project, so Legendary moved the entire project to Warner Bros. None of these reports were confirmed by any of the studios, and no official statement was made about the possibility of a King Kong and Godzilla crossover film for nearly a month. Guillermo Del Toro made a statement the next day confirming that Pacific Rim 2, the sequel to Legendary and WB's 2013 film Pacific Rim, had been indefinitely delayed due to the shuffling of the King Kong and Godzilla properties, but was not at all cancelled and was still being actively worked on.
On October 14, 2015, Legendary Pictures officially confirmed the production of Godzilla vs. Kong for 2020, after both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla 2 have been released.
In an interview conducted with Entertainment Weekly, actor Toby Kebbell clarified his role in the film. Kebbell plays an Air Force major named Chapman, who spends most of his time in the film with Samuel L. Jackson's character. It had been widely speculated that Kebbell would have been portraying Kong through motion capture, due to his portrayal of the ape character Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes through motion capture alongside Andy Serkis, who had portrayed Kong in the 2005 film. Kebbell revealed that in Kong: Skull Island, Kong will be primarily portrayed by motion capture actor Terry Notary, although Kebbell did assist Notary in the motion capture process and provided reference for some of the character's facial animations.
- Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad
- Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard
- John Goodman as Bill Randa
- Brie Larson as Mason Weaver
- Jing Tian as San Lin
- Toby Kebbell as Major Jack Chapman
- John Ortiz as Victor Nieves
- Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks
- Jason Mitchell as Glenn Mill
- Shea Whigham as Earl Cole
- Thomas Mann as Reg Slivko
- Terry Notary as King Kong (motion capture)
- John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow
- Marc Evan Jackson as Steve Woodward
- Will Brittain as Young Hank Marlow and Marlow's son
- Eugene Cordero as Reles
- Thomas Middleditch as Jerry
- Richard Jenkins as Senator Willis
- Legendary Announces King Kong Prequel ‘Skull Island’ Movie For 2016 [Comic Con 2014]
- Comic-Con: Legendary Wants Joe Cornish For ‘Skull Island’
- Universal Moves 'Kong: Skull Island' to 2017; Cements 'Great Wall' Release Date
- ‘Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons To Star In ‘Kong: Skull Island’
- Michael Keaton In Talks To Join ‘Kong: Skull Island’ For Legendary
- Michael Keaton And JK Simmons Exit Legendary’s ‘Kong: Skull Island’
- ‘Straight Outta Compton’s’ Corey Hawkins Joins ‘Skull Island’ (EXCLUSIVE)
- Is There Room On ‘Kong: Skull Island’ For Samuel L. Jackson And Tom Wilkinson?
- 'Fantastic Four' Actor Toby Kebbell Joins Tom Hiddleston in 'Kong: Skull Island' (Exclusive)
- Legendary’s ‘Skull Island'; Tom Hiddleston Stars, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Helms King Kong Origin Tale
- Brie Larson Lands Female In 'Kong: Skull Island
- King Kong Tale ‘Skull Island’ Gets Rewrite From ‘Flight’ Scribe John Gatins
- Keaton And J.K. Simmons Preview Their Trip To ‘Kong: Skull Island’
- 'Jurassic World' Writer Heads to 'Kong: Skull Island' (Exclusive)
- 'Straight Outta Compton' Star Jason Mitchell Lands 'Kong: Skull Island' Role (Exclusive)
- 'Kong: Skull Island' Moving From Universal to Warner Bros. - Variety
- King Kong On Move to Warner Bros, Presaging Godzilla Monster Matchup - Deadline
- King Kong vs. Godzilla Planned as Skull Island Heads to WB! - ComingSoon.net
- Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary Over 'Kong: Skull Island' (and Who Says "Thank You") - The Hollywood Reporter
- Kong: Skull Island Script Contains References to 2014's Godzilla, Pacific Rim 2 Indefinitely Delayed - ComingSoon.net
- Guillermo Del Toro is still working on Pacific Rim 2 - Entertainment Weekly
- Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures Announce Cinematic Franchise Uniting Godzilla, King Kong and Other Iconic Giant Monsters - Legendary
- Toby Kebbell clears up Kong: Skull Island rumors - Entertainment Weekly