Legendary Picture's Kong: Skull Island serves as the true launching pad for the studio's shared MonsterVerse franchise, and it's safe to say it's off to a good start. The film garnered mostly positive reviews (read ours) and exceeded commercial expectations to take the top spot at the box office away from Logan. Audiences enjoyed this new take on the Eighth Wonder of the World and are now looking forward to seeing him do battle with the King of Monsters, Godzilla.
Of course, the creatures aren't the only characters in these movies. There was also an all-star human ensemble in Skull Island, and while some felt a few of these parts were thinly written, one clear standout was John C. Reilly. He played Hank Marlow, a former World War II soldier whose plane was shot down on Skull Island, forcing him to live there for decades. Reilly won viewers over with a suitably quirky and humorous performance, and many would like to see Marlow on-screen again. That includes Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, the filmmaker discussed the future of the MonsterVerse, revealing the project he'd like to take on next is a Skull Island prequel:
"I mean, all people are f***ing excited about the idea for Kong and Godzilla and Rodan and all those creatures clashing. I don't exactly know where the world's plans are. In fact, I keep joking that personally I'm more interested in doing a $30 million version of young John C. Reilly on the island. Just some weird, the odd-ball monster comedy with him and Gunpei. So I don't really know where they'd take it from here."
Though Vogt-Roberts says he's simply joking about this, there's no denying that pitch could lead to an entertaining film. Upon crashing on Skull Island, Marlow was engaged in a fight to the death with Japanese solider Gunpei, before the two realized the only way they would survive in a place populated by monsters and beasts would be to work together. They formed a close bond and friendship prior to Gunpei's death, and it would be nice to see that dynamic unfold. If handled properly, it could add more weight and gravitas to certain scenes in Skull Island. Granted, this probably isn't in the cards at Warner Bros. (they have their own plan to follow), but given the popularity of Kong, a Hank Marlow spinoff could do well.
Having said that, the tricky thing with this idea is Vogt-Roberts says it would star "young John C. Reilly," meaning Reilly himself may not be able to reprise the role (he is 51 years old). As stated earlier, his performance in Skull Island was one of the movie's better received elements, and it would be disappointing if he couldn't lend his charms and talents to the MonsterVerse again. Conceivably, Will Brittain could portray WWII era Marlow in a prequel, as he did in Kong's opening scene, but he is still a relative newcomer and is untested leading a franchise film. That's not to say he couldn't if presented with the opportunity, but if the Marlow character is going to be the subject of his own movie, fans would probably prefer the incomparable Reilly take center stage.
Source: Cinema Blend
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) release date: Mar 10, 2017
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019