Last night’s Brie Larson/Skull Island kerfuffle at the Santa Barbara Film Festival stirred a casual interest in this Warner Bros. monster pic, which has been shooting since last October under director Jordan Vogt Roberts (Kings of Summer) and will open in March 2017. It’s basically back to Skull Island for more fun and games, more Jurassic jazz, etc.
I’m told, however, that Kong: Skull Island is set in the early ’70s. It’s basically a Vietnam-era thing (some of the film has been shot in Vietnam), which, I suppose, might bring some cool thematic meat to the table.
And the new Kong is…what, the great-great-great-great grandson of Merian C. Cooper’s original ape, who ravaged Manhattan 80-plus years ago? Is there any awareness or acknowledgement within the realm of the screenplay that Skull Island is the home of the “original” Kong, or is the story starting from scratch?
The answer, I’m told, is (a) forget old Kong because (b) the Kong genesis is not that specific.
You’ll notice I didn’t say Peter Jackson‘s ape as that three-hour-long film has been almost totally discredited. No discipline, no poetry or lyricism to speak of…it occupies the same “what happened?” realm as The Godfather, Part III. Yes, I reviewed it favorably at first but I came to my senses after watching it it a second time.
Jackson himself has been sort of discredited when you think about it. He’d been skating on thin ice for years (a guy with no discipline, too playful and flamboyant, no sense of restraint, always pushing the visual limits) and then along came those awful Hobbit films. 10 to 15 years ago Jackson was the new Spielberg, and then he blew it with King Kong in ’05 and then he half-blew The Lovely Bones in ’09. Now he’s…what, the lord and master of WETA who’s filthy rich, etc.