No one ever questioned whether a movie about King Kong could be a money-maker. The great ape has had a number of turns at the box office, and most end up doing well for the studio behind the picture. Still, many wondered whether Kong: Skull Island could bring anything new to the character. As it turns out, it can. The new film not only breaks with tradition to positive results, but it performed strong enough last weekend to unseat Logan atop the U.S. box office and pull in $61 million.
Part of that is thanks to the stellar cast, with John C. Reilly in particular being hailed as worthy of his own spinoff. Add in the unique tone and setting, plus all those glorious monsters, and Kong is an action movie in its own category. That’s good news for Legendary, as it marks their second successful entry into their shared MonsterVerse. Along with 2014’s Godzilla and King of Monsters, the upcoming sequel, Kong may just usher in one of the few solvent shared universes outside of Disney ownership. The film managed to pack in a number of Easter eggs, and set up the future of the franchise with its post-credits scene.
Of course, with all of that spectacle, some stuff was bound to get left on the cutting room floor. Gizmodo has a whole batch of concept art courtesy of Eddie Del Rio, which shows how the film went from concept to screen. The most interesting two pieces show the idea of Kong being king wasn’t just dropped from the title, but the film as well. Check them out below.
Though the idea was hinted at in the film, we never saw anything like the above art in the movie. There’s something extra scary about the supposedly mindless beast holding court with his microscopic followers as they worship him from a sort of throne room. Considering the movie’s focus on so many human characters and the mysteries of Skull Island, it makes sense that something had to go. And while this sort of worship can certainly be assumed, here’s hoping some of these epic scenes ended up being shot and show up as deleted scenes or in a director’s cut.
And proving just how much the vision of the movie translated into the final product, star Tom Hiddleston tweeted out an image director Jordan Vogt-Roberts sent him as concept for his character, next to a strikingly similar version from the final product:
Meanwhile, Legendary’s own comic book arm will be releasing a prequel and sequel Kong: Skull Island comic book. Perhaps the prequel will show moments of Kong being worshipped by the humans on the island. Now, it’s only a matter of time before a sequel film is announced, to go along with the upcoming Godzilla follow-up and 2020’s Kong vs. Godzilla, that will feature all-out monster war. The only question that remains is whether Legendary’s other kaiju franchise, Pacific Rim, will join the MonsterVerse. After all, someone’s got to protect humanity from all of these rampaging behemoths.