The Legendary panel had a lot of surprises today at Comic-Con - not least the unexpected debut of Michael Mann, here to talk about his cyber thriller, Black Hat - but it concluded with the biggest of them all: a trailer announcing Skull Island, and the return of King Kong.
For a while, many people in Hall H thought that the teaser trailer, announced by Legendary Pictures’ head honcho Thomas Tull, was a sneak peek at Jurassic World, and with its lush, dense jungle landscapes and a shot in which a lizard-like creature could be seen cresting the wave of a roaring river, for a while it looked like it was indeed going to be a return to Isla Nublar.
But the portentous British voiceover that accompanied the trailer, talking about raging seas and penetrating deeper into the heart of darkness (steady now), indicated that this wasn’t going to be the case. And then we saw a cave in the shape of a skull, followed by the sound of something huge stomping through the undergrowth. Pan up to reveal... not a T-Rex, but a giant ape. And not just any ape, but King Kong.
Yes, King Kong.
For Skull Island, as you no doubt know, is the island on which the greatest of all apes lives. So it seems that Skull Island, which came very much out of the blue, will be a movie about King Kong, without being a remake of King Kong. The reel that was shown today was clearly very, very early doors - but Legendary have announced a release date: November 4, 2016, which indicates that a directorial announcement can’t be too far away. Along with more details about the film itself - is Andy Serkis, for example, playing Kong again?
Of course, the news that Legendary now owns the rights to King Kong, on the same day that they announced Godzilla 2 (with Mothra, Ghidorah and Rodan as the monsters Big G will face), raises a very interesting prospect. In this world of shared universes, is Legendary’s big gameplan to bring Godzilla and King Kong together somewhere down the line?
All will be revealed in time. Until then, what are your thoughts on this - excited to see King Kong back on the big screen again?