JK Simmons and Michael Keaton Drop Out of Kong: Skull Island

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 - 10:25AM
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 - 10:25AM
JK Simmons and Michael Keaton Drop Out of Kong: Skull Island
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Recent Oscar winner JK Simmons and nominee Michael Keaton have both departed the King Kong prequel, currently titled Kong: Skull Island. Tom Hiddleston is still set to star, while Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct from a script written by John Gatins, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Flight, and Max Borenstein, who wrote 2014's well-received Godzilla reboot.

Production was set to begin in August, but was recently pushed back until the end of the year, which likely caused conflicts with the prominent actors' busy schedules. After his hugely successful role in Whiplash, Simmons appeared in Terminator: Genisys and has no less than five more films currently in production. Keaton is similarly in demand after his performance in Birdman, as he currently has two films in production, and will next be heard in a voice role in the Despicable Me spin-off, Minions, which opens next weekend.

Legendary released their plans to make a Skull Island film at 2014 San Diego Comic Con. No details about the plot have been released, except that it will portray the "cinematic origins" of King Kong.

If previous films are any indication, it may be an origin story for other creatures as well. Various incarnations of Skull Island, King Kong's home before he was brought into civilization, have appeared in films over the years, most of them featuring other impossibly large and often prehistoric creatures, such as dinosaurs, giant crabs, giant spiders, giant snakes, giant crickets, giant tapeworms, and giant pirahnas. If they play their cards right, they could be looking at a King Kong-Godzilla-Jurassic Park-Pirahna 3D-Snakes on a Plane mash-up.

Kong: Skull Island is set to hit theaters on March 10, 2017.
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