Kong: Skull Island

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All hail the King „ 

— Film's tagline


Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 film co-produced by Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. that serves as an origin story for King Kong. It is the second entry in the MonsterVerse, following 2014's Godzilla, and will be followed by 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, before culminating with 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong.


In 1973, former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad is hired by government agent Bill Randa to guide an expedition to map out a mysterious uncharted region in the Pacific dubbed "Skull Island", which has never been mapped due to perpetual storms surrounding it. Randa also recruits the Sky Devils, a helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and prominently made up of his right-hand, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole to escort them to the island. The group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver, who plans to expose it believing it's a corrupt military op.

Arriving on Skull Island, Packard's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad's objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot-tall ape known as Kong. Many are destroyed as Kong swats them out of the air and flings trees at them, and the survivors end up being split into small groups. In the midst of Kong's rampage, Packard stares up at Kong, interlocking eyes with him, filled with rage. The survivors' only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island's northern end in three days time. Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch to Packard and the expedition's true purpose to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters.

Packard and his remaining men bury their dead comrades and begin searching for the missing members of the expedition, including Chapman. Along the way, they overcome an attacking Mother Longlegs, slicing off its bamboo-like legs which topples it over (allowing Packard to finish it off with gunfire). In a river nearby, Chapman is washing and filling his water canteen, until Kong appears. Chapman flees, leaving Kong tending his wounds and drinking after his battle with the Sky Devils. He is then suddenly attacked by a Mire Squid, which he manages to kill (and proceeds to eat as well) before leaving the river. Meanwhile, Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko and Landsat employee Victor Nieves, among others, run into the local Iwi natives and meet Hank Marlow, revealed to be a missing pilot who crash-landed on the island in 1944 with a Japanese pilot. Marlow explains that Kong is the island's guardian and is worshipped as a god by the natives for protecting them from the Skullcrawlers, reptilian underground monsters who have slaughtered Kong's ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Marlow reveals Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent the bombs from awakening the largest and deadliest of the Giant Skullcrawlers, dubbed as the "Big One".

Weaver encounters a Sker Buffalo, trapped under a fallen helicopter. She struggles vainly to free the large beast but Kong comes and saves the buffalo, exchanging glances with Weaver before departing. Conrad's group sets off down the river in a boat recovered by Marlow, where they are beset by Psychovultures, which carry off and devour Nieves. The survivors manage to connect with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, who - unbeknownst to them - has already been killed by a Skullcrawler after encountering a Spore Mantis. Marlow reluctantly leads both Conrad and Packard's team to the Forbidden Zone, a forgotten battleground between Kong's ancestors and Skullcrawlers. The same Skullcrawler that ate Chapman (after vomiting up his half-digested skull and name tag) attacks the group, devouring Randa and killing many soldiers before Weaver kills him by triggering an explosion using Conrad's lighter, incinerating the creature. A vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and retrieves seismic explosives to lure Kong into a trap and kill him, while Conrad resolves to lead the non-military personnel back to the boat so they can rendezvous with the resupply team.

While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and personal, and seeing that he is in fact a gentle, intelligent, and benevolent creature to those that do him no harm, resolve to save him (a sentiment that Marlow shares). Packard's trap incapacitates Kong, and he orders his men to set explosives around the fallen creature, but before he can finish the ape off, Conrad's group arrives and a standoff ensues. Conrad and Weaver convince the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard furiously refuses, now seeking vengeance for his fallen men. The group is suddenly attacked by a giant Skullcrawler, which emerges from beneath the swamp near a fallen Kong. The group flees, while Packard tries to detonate the explosives in a last act of revenge, but Kong recovers and kills him, crushing him with his fist.

Injured, Kong is overpowered by massive opponent, which then chases the survivors as they race towards the shore. Cole attempts to sacrifice himself, arming grenades to supposedly kill the Skullcrawler after he eats him. However, the creature is not fooled, and he swats him away with his tail, killing him and cornering the rest of the humans in the process. Kong returns to rescue them and, aided by the humans, battles the Skullcrawler, bashing his head with a boulder and wielding a massive tree as a bat. However Kong is thrown into a sunken boat and is entangled in its chains. As the Skullcrawler closes in for the kill, Weaver fires a flare gun at the beast, blinding his left eye. Enraged, he turns his attention to the humans, buying Kong enough time to break free. Using a boat propeller attached to a chain, Kong impales the massive Skullcrawler with it, uses the chain to reel him in, and then uses the propeller to rip open his adversary's throat seemingly killing him.

However, Weaver is violently thrown into a river, and almost drowns, but is then rescued by Kong. Unfortunately the giant Skullcrawler is still alive, and attacks Kong with Weaver in his hand. As he wraps his tongue around Kong's hand in an attempt to devour Weaver, Kong uses this to his advantage, and with a violent yank of the Skullcrawler's tongue, rips his tongue right out, along with his stomach, eviscerating him from the inside out, finally killing him for good and avenging his parents the rest of his kind. With the creature finally dead, Kong peacefully allows the surviving humans to leave. As helicopters arrive to take the survivors home, he beats his chest and roars fiercely, asserting his reign as the king of Skull Island.

Sometime afterward, Marlow returns home and is reunited with his wife and meets his now-adult son for the first time. He is later shown enjoying a beer and a hot dog as he watches his long-missed favorite sports on TV.

In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are detained by Monarch and informed that Kong is not the only monster to roam the world, and not the only king. They are then shown archive footage showing cave paintings on Skull Island, depicting silhouetted images recognizable as a bipedal spiked dinosaur, a winged pterosaur-like creature , a gigantic moth, and a three headed dragon, before showing one final painting of the dinosaur and the three-headed dragon engaged in combat. As the screen fades to black, a loud familiar-sounding roar is heard: none other than that of Godzilla.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Jordan Vogt-Roberts
  • Produced by   Max Borenstein, John Gatins, Derek Connolly
  • Music by   Henry Jackman
  • Screenplay by  
  • Director of Photography  
  • Special Effects Supervisor  
  • Costume Designer  
  • Sound Designer  
  • Motion Capture Consultants  


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.




The film's release date was originally set for November 4, 2016 at Comic-Con 2014, with Joe Cornish being offered to direct it. Pitched as a King Kong origin story, the original film's title was simply "Skull Island". The film's release date was later pushed back to March 6, 2017, while the movie was re titled to Kong: Skull Island.[2][3][4] It was announced that Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson will star as the male and female lead. J. K. Simmons and Michael Keaton were originally going to star as well, but the two later left the film due to scheduling conflicts.[5][6] [7]

In July, Brie Larson had been cast in the film to play the female lead[8], and later in August 2015, Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell joined the cast, with several other actors being reportedly considered, including Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, and Toby Kebbell.[9][10][11] The film will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts with the screenplay to be written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins and Derek Connolly.[12][13][14] Simmons told MTV that the film will take place in Detroit in 1971.[15][16][17]

On September 10, 2015, it was reported that Legendary Pictures had moved production of the film from Universal Pictures, with whom it currently held a distribution deal, to its former partner Warner Bros., with whom it had an agreement to distribute the sequels to 2014's Godzilla in the future, supposedly in order to keep both properties under the same distributor. This immediately spawned rumors that Legendary planned to eventually produce a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla with Warner Bros., although neither studio provided a statement.[18][19][20] On September 16, multiple sources reported that Thomas Tull had wanted to set up a film featuring both Kong and Godzilla for years and planned to include references to Monarch, the monster-studying organization from Godzilla, in the script for Kong: Skull Island. However, Warner Bros. was reportedly uncomfortable with including references to one of their films in a Universal project, so Legendary moved the entire project to Warner Bros.[21][22] None of these reports were confirmed by any of the studios, and no official statement was made about the possibility of a King Kong and Godzilla crossover film for nearly a month. Guillermo Del Toro made a statement the next day confirming that Pacific Rim 2, the sequel to Legendary and WB's 2013 kaiju film Pacific Rim, had been indefinitely delayed due to the shuffling of the King Kong and Godzilla properties, but was not at all cancelled and was still being actively worked on.[23]

On October 14, 2015, Legendary Pictures officially confirmed the production of Godzilla vs. Kong for 2020, after both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla 2 have been released.[24]

In an interview conducted with Entertainment Weekly, actor Toby Kebbell clarified his role in the film. Kebbell plays an Air Force major named Chapman, who spends most of his time in the film with Samuel L. Jackson's character. It had been widely speculated that Kebbell would have been portraying Kong through motion capture, due to his portrayal of the ape character Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes through motion capture alongside Andy Serkis, who had portrayed Kong in the 2005 film. Kebbell revealed that in Kong: Skull Island, Kong will be primarily portrayed by motion capture actor Terry Notary, although Kebbell did assist Notary in the motion capture process and provided reference for some of the character's facial animations.[25]

In April of 2016, it was reported that artist Joe DeVito had sued Legendary for a breach of contract. He claimed both companies allegedly "stole" his pitch ideas and developed them into a feature film without his permission or any due credit. He was seeking $3.5 million general and punitive damages.[26]

On January 19, 2017, a slew of TV spots were released, depicting more of the movie's cast, Skull Island, Kong, and even the Skullcrawlers.[27]

On February 20, a large batch of high quality images from the cast on the set of Skull Island were revealed, alongside images of the movie's antagonistic Skullcrawlers, and of Kong himself, showing him in never before seen detail.[28]

In the two days following, it was revealed that Expedia had partnered with the film's production company to bring an "immersive experience for the film". A link provided on the corresponding Twitter post takes viewers to a test, where winners of said test would receive two tickets to Skull Island.[29][30]

Four days later, a teaser for the film's presumably final trailer[31] was shown, alongside a Twitter post reading:

The story of Kong is too big to ignore. Tomorrow: Don't miss the new trailer for #kongskullisland. #KongIsKing „ 

— Twitter post[32]

The video posted alongside the tweet depicted Kong battling Skullcrawlers in a two on one fight.

February 27 opened up with the final official trailer for the film being released. It featured new footage, including that of a Skullcrawler preying on a Sker Buffalo, and an extended peek at the fight involving Kong and multiple Skullcrawlers.

Kong Skull Island - Rise of the King Official Final Trailer02:44

Kong Skull Island - Rise of the King Official Final Trailer

On the same day, a VR Skull Island teaser was released. It offered some character dialogue with Preston Packard, and lead into an action segment where Kong takes down the helicopter the viewer's in, before picking it up, and looking at them to let out a loud roar.

KONG VR Destination Skull Island01:58

KONG VR Destination Skull Island

Theatrical releases

  • Belgium - March 8, 2017
  • Egypt - March 8, 2017
  • France - March 8, 2017
  • Argentina - March 9, 2017
  • Austria - March 9, 2017
  • Brazil - March 9, 2017
  • Chile - March 9, 2017
  • Colombia - March 9, 2017
  • Czech Republic - March 9, 2017
  • Germany - March 9, 2017
  • Denmark - March 9, 2017
  • Georgia - March 9, 2017
  • Greece - March 9, 2017
  • Croatia - March 9, 2017
  • Hungary - March 9, 2017
  • Israel - March 9, 2017
  • South Korea - March 9, 2017
  • Kazakhstan - March 9, 2017
  • Netherlands - March 9, 2017
  • Philippines - March 9, 2017
  • Portugal - March 9, 2017
  • Russia - March 9, 2017
  • Singapore - March 9, 2017
  • Slovakia - March 9, 2017
  • Australia - March 10, 2017
  • Bulgaria - March 10, 2017
  • Canada - March 10, 2017
  • Estonia - March 10, 2017
  • Spain - March 10, 2017
  • Finland - March 10, 2017
  • United Kingdom - March 10, 2017
  • Hong Kong - March 10, 2017
  • Ireland - March 10, 2017
  • Combodia - March 10, 2017
  • Lithuania - March 10, 2017
  • Norway - March 10, 2017
  • New Zealand - March 10, 2017
  • Poland - March 10, 2017
  • Romania - March 10, 2017
  • Sweden - March 10, 2017
  • Turkey - March 10, 2017
  • Taiwan - March 10, 2017
  • United States of America - March 10, 2017
  • Vietnam - March 10, 2017
  • South Africa - March 10, 2017
  • China - March 24, 2017
  • Japan - March 25, 2017

Box office



This is a list of references for Kong: Skull Island. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. - Kong: Skull Island budget
  2. - Legendary announces King Kong prequel Skull Island movie for 2016 at [Comic Con 2014]
  3. - Legendary wants Joe Cornish for Skull Island
  4. - Universal moves Kong: Skull Island to 2017;  cements 'Great Wall' release date
  5. - Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons to star in Kong: Skull Island
  6. - Michael Keaton in talks to join Kong: Skull Island for Legendary
  7. Michael Keaton And JK Simmons Exit Legendary’s ‘Kong: Skull Island’
  8. - Brie Larson casting confirmation
  9. - Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins joins Skull Island
  10. - Is there room on ‘Kong: Skull Island’ for Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Wilkinson?
  11. Hollywood - Fantastic Four Actor Toby Kebbell joins Tom Hiddleston in Kong: Skull Island
  12. - Legendary’s Skull Island; Tom Hiddleston stars, Jordan Vogt-Roberts helms King Kong origin tale
  13. - Brie Larson lands female lead in Kong: Skull Island
  14. - King Kong tale Skull Island gets rewrite from ‘Flight’ scribe John Gatins
  15. - Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons preview their trip to Kong: Skull Island
  16. Hollywood - Jurassic World writer heads to Kong: Skull Island
  17. Hollywood - Straight Outta Compton star Jason Mitchell lands Kong: Skull Island role
  18. - Kong: Skull Island moving from Universal to Warner Bros.
  19. - King Kong on move to Warner Bros, presaging Godzilla monster matchup
  20. Coming - King Kong vs. Godzilla planned as Skull Island heads to WB!
  21. Hollywood - Hollywood Gorilla Warfare: It's Universal vs. Legendary over Kong: Skull Island (and who says "Thank You")
  22. Coming - Kong: Skull Island script contains references to 2014's Godzilla, Pacific Rim 2 indefinitely delayed
  23. - Guillermo Del Toro is still working on Pacific Rim 2
  24. - Legendary and Warner Bros. Pictures announce cinematic franchise uniting Godzilla, King Kong and other iconic giant monsters
  25. Entertainment Weekly - Toby Kebbell clears up Kong: Skull Island rumors
  26. Hollywood - Skull Island Joe DeVito case
  27. - 4 new Kong: Skull Island trailers hit web
  28. - Skull Island pre-release images
  29. - Expedia announcement
  30. - Skull Island sweepstakes
  31. - Kong: Skull Island - Final trailer teaser
  32. - Skull Island Twitter post
Kong: Skull Island
Kong: Skull IslandGalleryVideosOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack
King Kong (LegendaryKongu) • Mire SquidMother LonglegsPsychovultureSker BuffaloSkullcrawlersSpore Mantis
Cast and Characters
James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) • Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) • William Randa (John Goodman) • Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) • San Lin (Jing Tian) • Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) • Victor Nieves (John Ortiz) • Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) • Glenn Mills (Jason Mitchell) • Earl Cole (Shea Whigham) • Reg Slivko (Thomas Mann) • Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly)
King Kong films
Showa era
King KongSon of KongKing Kong vs. GodzillaKing Kong EscapesKing KongKing Kong Lives
Universal film
King Kong
Kong: Skull IslandGodzilla vs. Kong