Full disclosure: there’s a soft spot in my heart for big monster movies. That’s not to say like, say, the Alien franchise, even though the Queen gets awfully big in that fourth entry. I’m talking Godzilla, Mothra, King Kong, the Cloverfield monster, and the like, the narratives where even the military of the United States of America needs some good luck to stand a chance. This might expect why I’m still high off of Gareth Edwards‘ sublime Godzilla, the meditative yet thrilling sequences still stuck on repeat in my head.
It’s also why, early into the year, Kong: Skull Island is the new release I’m most interested in, at least before the Summer months hit. The trailers thus far have proved immensely promising and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has an exemplary cast to work with here, including Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Corey Hawkins. Though there are obviously myriad issues, not least of which being the racial subtext, with the King Kong narrative, to the point that it hindered Peter Jackson‘s mostly stellar remake from 2005. Of course, the narrative can change and Vogt-Roberts seems to be toying around plenty from what I’ve gleaned from the trailers, as well as the five new movie clips that came out today, which you can take a look at below. Thankfully, none of these clips give away any big story details or set-pieces but they speak to a steady, propulsive pace and a colorful palette in Vogt-Roberts’ style that already have my eyes bouncing around gleefully.
Here’s the official synopsis for Kong: Skull Island:
The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in “Kong: Skull Island,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Tencent Pictures. This compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“The Kings of Summer”) tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.
“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston (“The Avengers,” “Thor: The Dark World”), Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron”), John Goodman (“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Argo”), Oscar winner Brie Larson (“Room,” “Trainwreck”), Jing Tian (“Police Story: Lockdown”), Toby Kebbell (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), John Ortiz (“Steve Jobs”), Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”), Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”), Shea Whigham (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Thomas Mann (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”), with Terry Notary (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) and Oscar nominee John C. Reilly (“Chicago,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”).
Vogt-Roberts directed the film from a screenplay by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, story by John Gatins. “Kong: Skull Island” is produced by Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni and Alex Garcia, with Eric McLeod and Edward Cheng serving as executive producers.
The creative behind-the-scenes team included director of photography Larry Fong (“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”), production designer Stefan Dechant (supervising art director “True Grit,” “Avatar”), Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“United 93,” “The Bourne Supremacy”) costume designer Mary Vogt (the “Men in Black” films) and composer Henry Jackman (“Captain America: Civil War”). The team also included Oscar-winning makeup supervisor Bill Corso (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and supervising stunt coordinator George Cottle (“Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight Rises”). The legendary Kong was brought to life at a whole new scale by Industrial Light & Magic, with two-time Oscar winner Stephen Rosenbaum (“Avatar,” “Forrest Gump”) serving as senior visual effects supervisor, and Oscar-nominee Jeff White (“The Avengers”) as visual effects supervisor.
To fully immerse audiences in the mysterious Skull Island, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and his cast and filmmaking team filmed across three continents over six months, capturing its primordial landscapes on Oahu, Hawaii—where filming commenced–on Australia’s Gold Coast, and finally in Vietnam, where filming took place across multiple locations, some of which have never before been seen on film.
Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures and Tencent Pictures present a Legendary Pictures Production, a Jordan Vogt-Roberts Film, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theatres, and IMAX beginning March 10, 2017, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.