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Universal's 'Skull Island' Delayed to 2017, Gets a Slight Title Change

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December 12, 2014

Kong: Skull Island

After Legendary Pictures surprised Comic-Con audiences with the announcement of a new King Kong prequel called Skull Island, the studio hired Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to get behind the camera and Thor and The Avengers villain Tom Hiddleston to lead the film. The project was announced with a November 4th, 2016 release date, but now Legendary has just revealed that the film has been pushed back to March 10th, 2017. Written by John Gatins (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla), the film is now called Kong: Skull Island and focuses on the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.

Could Legendary have been afraid of the release of Doctor Strange, slated for that first weekend in November? It's possible, but a five month delay likely just means that they want more time to make sure the film is ready for release and not rushed. And the title change shows that Universal and Legendary want the brand recognition of King Kong to help fuel the film for those who aren't familiar with the ape's mythology. Of course, fans are just really anxious to see if King Kong will ever get a chance to clash with Godzilla, since the King of Monsters fighting the King of Apes would be quite the spectacle with today's visual effects.

In addition, Legendary has announced that the developing action adventure once known as The Great Wall (the film is still officially untitled) will take a November 23rd, 2016 spot on the release calendar. Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) will make his English-language debut on the film about an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. Production begins in the spring and Universal will release the film in 3D. Matt Damon was once circling the lead role, but he's since fallen away due to the rise of a new Jason Bourne movie with Paul Greengrass. Stay tuned.

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  • Tyler Scruggs
    Thank you, based Legendary Pictures. I would've never put it together that Skull Island was a King Kong prequel. Thank you.
    • kuzosake
      I know right? It sucks that these studios think we're too dumb to figure these things out. I can't believe that it would be considered ballsy this day an age to roll with a title like "Skull Island" or "All You Need Is Kill" or "Catching Fire & Mockingjay" without the "Hunger Games" in front of it (don't get me started on the Part 1 and 2 crap coming out nowadays).
      • Chris Groves
        The most likely culprit is they see this as having franchise potential and would rather have a franchise moniker be something like 'Kong' than just 'Skull Island' Calling it Kong allows future installments to branch out and explore(re-explore) Kong being taken from the island in any number of ways. But calling it Skull Island...well, a Skull Island 2 or 3 that doesn't take place on Skull Island might not be the greatest idea.
  • Chris Groves
    I like this. Pushing the film back gives me more confidence that they will do it right. Beyond that...believe it or not, Skull Island is not a universally known term that is synonymous with King Kong. So having the 'Kong' title makes a lot of branding sense. The only franchise confident in using completely different names for each film is the James Bond franchise, and that is because they plaster "007" all over the marketing materials. You could say the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that way too...but they plaster "Marvel Studios" all over all of THEIR promotional material.
  • eurogibbon
    This Movie Is About The Island That King Kong Lived On That Was Called: Skull Island
  • grimjob
    I think Kong would have been a good title. Simple, and to the point.
  • DAVIDPD
    Well that was bound to happen. The studio spoon feeding the audience like babies.

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