Jordan Vogt-RobertsKong: Skull Island (Warner Bros., 3.17) is obviously going to be at least half-decent. The Vietnam-era touches (especially dp Larry Fong‘s deliberate attempt to recreate Vittoro Storaro‘s photography in Apocalypse Now) give it an extra dimension. Tom Hiddleswift…sorry, Hiddleston and Brie Larson plus the always-barking Samuel L. Jackson plus Toby “Messala” Kebbell, Tom Wilkinson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. Who took Michael Keaton‘s role? Wilkinson?

A guy named Terry Notary is playing Kong via mo-cap.

No glimpses of Kong’s face but we know for sure he won’t have those deliciously unreal white eyeballs that the original bruiser had in the 1933 original. Here’s how I put it on 9.19.10:

“Cooper’s Kong didn’t look like any gorilla, chimp or orangutan that had ever walked the earth. He was something between a prehistoric hybrid and an imaginary monster of the id…a raging nightmare beast designed to scare the bejeesus out of 1933 moviegoers.

Willis O’Brien, the legendary stop-motion photography pioneer, used three slightly different-looking Kong models during filming, but for me the master stroke was deciding to give his Kong a set of gleaming white teeth and a pair of very bright white eyes.

“In some of the darker shots of Kong in the 1933 film those teeth and those eyes just pop right out, and the effect is still primal as hell. Those white eyes and black pupils look so fierce and almost demonic…contrasting as they do with that black bear fur that Kong was covered in…that they almost give you the willies, even now.

“Every Kong since has given Kong those dark brown, bloodshotty, verging on-black eyes that all apes have. But in so doing they’ve thrown out that creepy, better-than-reality, only-in-the-movies element that gives the 1933 film a little-boy’s-nightmare quality.”