A couple of years ago, Legendary Pictures surprised audiences at San Diego Comic-Con by revealing test footage of director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. The fan reaction to that surprise was a significant factor in Legendary and Warner Bros.’ decision to greenlight the film, and during the Legendary panel at Comic-Con earlier today, the studio didn’t leave without one more surprise. Some fans were expecting a peek at Jurassic World, though given that Legendary isn’t the primary studio on that film it seemed unlikely. Instead, we were shown an ominous teaser that concluded with the reveal of King Kong himself and the title Skull Island, which the studio intends to release in theaters on November 4, 2016. More after the jump.
Now that Legendary is housed at Universal Pictures—home of the monsters—it appears that CEO Thomas Tull is keen on reviving the classic ape King Kong. The Skull Island teaser was incredibly brief, but it opened with a pan over a violent, storm-entrenched ocean while an ominous passage was read through narration. The camera then found an isolated island, also entrenched in storm, and as we crossed through the untouched trees, bypassed swinging monkeys, and flew with wild birds, we finally came upon Kong himself standing tall and pounding his chest.
The audience reaction was almost one of disappointment, since they were expecting Jurassic World and seemed to believe that the island/ocean footage was leading up to a dinosaur reveal (even though the footage looked nothing like Jurassic Park). I thought the teaser was great, and I’m in seeing Legendary bring a new King Kong movie to the screen. Moreover, since Guillermo del Toro is a frequent collaborator of the studio, I’d say it’s possible he could produce or at least provide input on the pic.
It’s a shame that the Hall H audience was thinking “Jurassic World” the entire time the footage was playing, as I think the response would have been more enthusiastic without those expectations. Regardless, Legendary announced that it is definitely making the film, and I’m really curious to see what kind of filmmaker they bring aboard to re-envision King Kong. With the release date only a couple of years away, I’d imagine they already have a pretty impressive shortlist in mind.