Skull Island: More Son of Godzilla than King Kong?

Recently, the first behind-the-scenes look was revealed on Kong: Skull Island, the upcoming reboot to the King Kong franchise. Have a look at it below: … actually, scratch that. It was uploaded by MTV and they don’t like making their videos accessible (that leads to a socialist internet). So here is the link to their site, and below I’ll just stick an IGN recap of what was said. Sound good?

Anyway, so this Kong is a bit different from the one that Peter Jackson brought to life back in 2005. Jackson’s Kong was a remake of the 1933 classic, plain and simple. It told the same story, albeit with minor alterations and updated effects. This new movie is going for something different.

Cinematic universes are all the rage now and Universal and Legendary are looking to make one of their own. As recently confirmed (and accurately guessed on this website long before), Legendary wants to remake King Kong vs. Godzilla, the most financially successful Godzilla movie ever made. Makes a lot of sense.

The original ultimate crossover.
The original ultimate crossover.

Yet we all know that good cinematic crossovers need establishing films. When companies just throw a lot of properties into a film without first establishing while the audience should care… well, bad things happen. Kong: Skull Island is meant to establish King Kong in the same universe as Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla, and set the stage for future monster rumbles.

What does this mean for the movie itself… well, quite a bit. Don’t expect Kong to climb the Empire State Building this time out. Don’t expect Skull Island to be populated with dinosaurs. Don’t expect the relationship between Kong and Brie Larson (the female lead) to be the center of attention. In short: don’t expect a lot of things that you would expect in a King Kong movie. A lot of this has to do with size.

Kong will be a lot larger this time out.
Kong will be a lot larger this time out.

In order to battle the King of the Monsters, Kong needs to go through a growth spurt. Kong is typically 25 feet tall, whereas the newest Godzilla clocked in at about 360 feet tall. That would look like this:

Comical but not blockbuster material.
Comical but not blockbuster material.

So obviously, bring Kong up to size. They’ve done it before and they can do it again. Yet this creates problems for the typical King Kong mythos. Either Godzilla becomes very mundane or Skull Island cannot be full of super-sized dinosaurs. This means that Kong will either be alone on his island (like he was in the other King Kong film set in the 70s), or they will be other creatures. To spoil what was said in the MTV First Look: There will be other creatures.

Gorosaurus is one large dinosaur-like creature that Kong could fight, having already done so in the Toho film, King Kong Escapes.
Gorosaurus is one large dinosaur-like creature that Kong could fight, having already done so in the Toho film, King Kong Escapes.

Where will these creatures come from? Well, there’s an intriguing possibility here. Let’s look at the facts. Gareth Edwards has long put forth the idea that he would like to establish the concept of Monster Island in his Godzilla movies. For those who don’t know: Monster Island is an island that houses all the Earth’s monsters. Pretty self-explanatory. In the Toho universe, Monster Island is somewhere in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands. No location has been given yet for the Legendary universe but hmmm, wouldn’t Skull Island do nicely?

Another fun factoid to know: Legendary has purchased the rights to multiple Toho monsters, meaning that they now have access to the largest famous kaiju (giant monster) library in existence. This sets the stage for Kong to have some noteworthy adversaries in Kong: Skull Island.

Kumonga, the main enemy in Son of Godzilla, would actually make for a decent villain in a King Kong movie.
Kumonga, the main enemy in Son of Godzilla, would actually make for a decent villain in a King Kong movie.

A movie, set on a tropical Monster Island, with giant monsters battling and a team of humans struggling to survive… sounds a lot like 1967’s Son of Godzilla. The movie, which follows a scientific team conducting a weather experiment, seems to line up a lot closer than the original King Kong likely will.

The team seems a lot more military-oriented this time out.
The team seems a lot more military-oriented this time out.

For one thing, Kong will most likely not be traveling to the mainland this time around – as the film is set in the 1970s. If Kong went mainland, and this film shares a universe with Godzilla 2014, how come the army seems unprepared to handle giant monsters forty years after one publicly appeared? It’s not likely. Edwards already tweaked the story of the 1954 Godzilla to avoid a similar situation.

So Kong: Skull Island will likely take place entirely on the island, following a team that discovers, and likely then attempts to escape from, the creatures they encounter. There’s few films like that out there, and Son of Godzilla is one of the better ones. I would not be surprised if that film becomes a blueprint.

They could also use Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster as a blueprint, which would be oddly fitting.
They could also use Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster as a blueprint, which would be oddly fitting.

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