The return of King Kong to the silver screen continues its slow march forward. Despite some setbacks in production of Kong: Skull Island earlier this summer, with the loss of stars JK Simmons and Michael Keaton, as well as the recently announced script touch ups by Jurassic World co-scribe Derek Connolly, the news from Skull Island keeps trickling in, bringing with it hints of promise for the revitalization of Kong.
Kong: Skull Island already has a roster of stars to its name, including the likes of Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor), Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), and Samuel L. Jackson. While the loss of Keaton and Simmons was disappointing to hear, according to reports, some new blood was added to the list of talents with the casting of Toby Kebbell in an unknown role.
Said to be a prequel to the Kong story we all know and love, Kong: Skull Island marks the king of the apes’ first appearance since the 2005 Peter Jackson directed King Kong. This outing, serving as a de facto reboot for the series, finds a group of explorers setting out to the mysterious Skull Island, home of all manner of monsters and beasts, including Kong himself. Helmed by The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island has an anticipated 2017 release date.
THR's report of Kebbell’s casting comes on the heels of his role as Dr. Doom in the critically maligned and audience hated Fantastic Four, which bombed hard upon its release last month. While this may turn some heads and raise some eyebrows, Kebbell gave a surprisingly decent performance considering the many problems that plagued the Josh Trank reboot throughout its production.
While a decent amount of skepticism might be expected regarding his inclusion in Kong Skull Island, it’s good to see that the Fantastic Four train wreck doesn’t seem to be derailing any careers. It’s worth keeping in mind that Kebbell, after all, did deliver an amazing, motion-captured performance as Koba in last year’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so at least we know that malevolent simians are familiar territory for the actor.
Though still about a year and a half away from its project March 10, 2017 release date, Kong: Skull Island appears to be shaping up rather nicely. With its impressive cast and talented director, this could very well be the most exciting King Kong appearance of the modern era and just might erase the sour taste from the mouths of fans still reeling from the uneven and boring Jackson film from a decade ago.
Kong: Skull Island is slated to hit theaters March 10, 2017.