Casting is deep underway on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming King Kong redo Kong: Skull Island, and now one of the new castmembers has let slip the time period and setting of the film—and it’s not exactly what you may think. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who helmed the impressive 2013 Sundance indie The Kings of Summer, is set to direct the film with Tom Hiddleston in the lead role, but thus far all we’ve known from the vague logline is that the picture will immerse audiences “in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes” and follow “a team of explorers” who venture deep inside the island. The film is poised to honor the foundations of existing Kong lore while taking place in a new, distinct timeline, essentially meaning it’s not a sequel or remake, but more of a reboot.
That timeline apparently involves the 1970s, as new castmember and newly minted Oscar nominee J.K. Simmons revealed that the film takes place in 1971 Detroit. More after the jump.
Speaking with MTV, Simmons revealed that he was skeptical at first about the prospect of a new King Kong movie, but that Vogt-Roberts’ vision swayed him:
“When it first came to my attention, ‘There’s interest in you for a new King Kong,’ I thought, ‘Okay, why?’…But I met with Jordon Vogt-Roberts who’s going to be directing it, and John Gatins who’s gonna be writing, and Tom [Hiddleston]—Jordan was just so passionate and so smart and there’s such an interesting new take on it, and it’s set in Detroit in 1971 which is where I grew up, and we’re gonna shoot in Detroit during baseball season and I’ll be able to got to Tigers games, so there’s a lot to like about this movie.”
I think shifting the time period to the 1970s is a smart move. It immediately sets the film apart from Peter Jackson’s fairly recent straight remake, which maintained the 1930s setting of the original (though the 1976 remake was contemporary), and also offers an aesthetic that’s unique from most tentpoles out there right now. Moreover, Vogt-Roberts is putting together a hell of a cast. On top of Hiddleston and Simmons, Oscar favorite Michael Keaton recently entered negotiations to sign on. Really looking forward to this one. Kong: Skull Island is slated for release in IMAX 3D on March 10, 2017.