Russell Crowe and Brie Larson May Ship Off to Kong: Skull Island

By  · Published on July 23rd, 2015

Paramount Pictures Corporation and Regency Engtertainment

Remember Kong: Skull Island? It’s that movie teased at the last minute of the Legendary Pictures panel at Comic-Con 2014. Since that brief announcement of a title and little else more than a year ago, we’ve seen Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts take its helm and Tom Hiddleston sign on to star.

We also heard about Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons being cast, but both have dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. We will one day see this movie, possibly even on the planned release date of March 10, 2017. And we may see the following two people co-starring with Hiddleston in the King Kong prequel:

Russell Crowe

According to Deadline, the Oscar winner is Legendary’s first choice to replace either Keaton or Simmons, but he still needs to read the script, which is being redone at the moment. He is a much bigger star than I would have expected for this project (both Keaton and Simmons are recent Oscar darlings but not quite on the same level right now), but perhaps if the writing is right, his role will actually only be a supporting character, sort of like he was in Man of Steel. And sort of like Bryan Cranston was in Legendary’s last giant-monster movie, Godzilla. He’ll show up, be a big deal for a while and then get crushed by Kong or something else.

Brie Larson

Currently seen as a straight woman to Amy Schumer’s shenanigans in Trainwreck, Larson will get to play the female lead if things fall into place. Deadline reports that she’s currently “in talks” for the role, and this being a King Kong movie that could be a very special sort of love interest she’ll play. This is an origin story, sure, but we have to assume Kong falls in love with all the beautiful blondes that come his way. It’s actually difficult to imagine this movie having any kind of plot other than what we’ve seen before. I mean, what else do you do with a bunch of people who arrive on an island and encounter a giant ape? Girl gets captured, empathizes with Kong, men try to save her.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.