Legendary successfully relaunched the Godzilla movie series earlier this year, with director Gareth Edwards' reboot having grossed more than half a billion worldwide in theaters. The studio is now hoping to follow suit and breathe new life into another giant creature franchise - namely the King Kong property - with the upcoming Kong origins film, Skull Island.
Skull Island has a release date (Fall 2016), a star (Loki actor Tom Hiddleston), and a director in the shape of The Kings of Summer helmsman Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The project also has a complete first draft script in place by Max Borenstein (who also penned the Godzilla reboot), but that Skull Island screenplay is now getting a rewrite.
Deadline is reporting that Borenstein's Skull Island script will be receiving a rewrite courtesy of Oscar-nominee John Gatins, whose past writing output includes script work on such grounded drama fare as Coach Carter and Flight (no play on words intended), as well as the sci-fi/sports fairy tale film Real Steel and video game movie adaptation Need for Speed (which Gatins received story credit on). He's an excellent choice to have work on the script for a movie like Skull Island, which ought to blend elements of fantasy adventure with human drama, much as Peter Jackson's King Kong movie did.
Borenstein, meanwhile, will be shifting his attention to writing the script for Godzilla 2. The sequel won't arrive until 2018 because Edwards is onboard to direct, but must first complete his Star Wars spinoff for a 2016 release. Since Borenstein is starting the writing process now, though, that means he'll have plenty of time to get the Godzilla 2 script all ready for production on his own, before Edwards has finished his time playing in the Star Wars universe.
Skull Island, all things considered, has lined up a very impressive roster of acting talent and cinematic storytellers, in order to weave a yarn about how King Kong came to be the "ruler" over the eponymous island (a dangerous place populated by all sorts of giant beasts and monsters). It's also the sort of jungle-safari adventure tentpole that you don't see too often nowadays, and should have all the more luck standing out amidst the armada of comic book movies charging into theaters over the years ahead.
Indeed, when you look at the big movies that Legendary has scheduled for release on through to Godzilla 2 in 2018 - a list that includes Jurassic World and Crimson Peak (with Universal) plus Warcraft, Pacific Rim 2, and of course Skull Island - the studio has an eclectic mix of genre tentpoles to match off against so many superhero movies during that frame. (And better yet, Legendary's films are shaping up quite well, on the whole.)
Skull Island is currently scheduled to reach U.S. theaters on November 4th, 2016, which is the same day Marvel Studios has now claimed for Doctor Strange's launch; we'll let you know if/when either film moves to another opening day.