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The film's release date was originally set for November 4, 2016 at Comic-Con 2014, with Joe Cornish being offered to direct it. The film's release date was later pushed back to March 6, 2017. 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.  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. The film will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts with the screenplay to be written by Max Borenstein, John Gatins and Derek Connolly. Simmons told MTV that the film will take place in Detroit in 1971.
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., with neither studio providing a statement. 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 (2014), 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. 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.
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.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Main article: Kong: Skull Island/Gallery.
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