As the location sub-title suggests, Kong: Skull Island isn’t just about the famous giant ape. Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ reboot will take the basic world set-up from King Kong, but is going to tell a totally different story set on his ominously-named home, which boasts a whole host of new, scary creatures.
The film isn’t just a creature feature, though (even if, being a part of Legendary’s expanding MonsterVerse, it’ll definitely offer plenty of that sort of action). The marketing has put a lot of focus on the film’s impressive cast, with actors such as Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson sharing character spots on their personal Twitter and the human military side of the story getting as much trailer time as Kong himself.
A new video released by Legendary on Twitter continues in this vein. Focusing on John C. Reilly’s Lt. Hank Marlow, the mocked up military documents highlight some of his key character traits and how he’s “missing in action”.
— Legendary (@Legendary) February 3, 2017
We already knew from the trailers that Marlow’s been on the island for a while, surviving the dangers of his new home and amassing a group of natives under his command, and the video reveals how exactly he wound up there. His career notes state he was a fighter pilot and that “[a] WWII air duel with rogue A6M sent Marlow off course, missing [his] intended bullseye. Parachuted into unknown territory now [recognized] as Skull Island. A man of action, he has spent […] years fighting to find a way home.”
Skull Island is set in the 1970s, meaning Hank has been alone on the island for about thirty years. That just about checks out timeline-wise – Reilly’s 51 now, so presuming Hank’s around the same age it’s definitely possible he was a pilot in the war – and means he’s going to be suffering some serious side effects from all that isolation. Despite that very serious and harrowing backstory, by all accounts Marlow’s a comic-relief character – in the footage released so far Reilly’s performance has been on the lighter side, with the actor getting most of the trailer’s jokes – so this might not be focused on too much in the movie itself.
The video also contains some hints at the wider MonsterVerse, which is building up towards a Godzilla vs. King Kong showdown – the classified papers have “Monarch” stamped on them, meaning they’re in the possession of the scientific organization also involved in the M.U.T.O. incident from 2014’s Godzilla. It was recently revealed that John Goodman’s Kong character is secretly working for the company, and these documents suggest that Marlow could be a person-of-interest in his mission.