It’s been four years now since Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong remake hit theaters. Now comes word that a brand new Kong movie is officially in development through Spirit Pictures. The movie will be based on the book Kong: King of Skull Island which was written by Joe DeVito and Brad Strickland and published in 2005 when Jackson was making his movie.
There’s one thing about this project that is raising some confusion. The initial report by Variety states that the movie is a prequel, telling the story of Skull Island and how Kong came to be king of the island, as well as a deeper look at some of the other creatures we’ve seen residing there. From the book’s outline, it sounds more like a sequel story (taking place in 1957, twenty-five years after the first story) that includes Jack Driscoll, Carl Denham, and Denham’s son, Vincent; with an included backstory that explains the island, Kong, and things like how they built the giant wall and why they built the door big enough for Kong to fit through it.
Click over to the other side to read a more-detailed piece of the story outline that explains what the book is about.
The project was first put together by the legendary Ray Harryhausen and is expected to use the motion capture technology we’ve seen used in The Polar Express, Beowulf, and the upcoming A Christmas Carol. Details seem a bit cloudy as to whether the entire movie will be animated like these or if just the creatures will be done using motion capture and set to a live-action background. Using these other movies as comparison means it will likely be entirely animated, but Peter Jackson did use motion capture technology for his Kong, as well as Gollum — so who knows.
Here’s a part of the story outline from the official website of Kong: King of Skull Island.
The story begins in 1957, twenty five years after King Kong’s fall from atop New York City’s Empire State Building. Following Kong’s death, both Carl Denham and the body of Kong quickly vanished before any investigation could be launched, leaving rumor and speculation in their wake. Carl’s son, Vincent, was left behind. He is now a paleontologist facing a spiritual dilemma, which has its seeds in the disappearance of his father. Upon a chance finding of the hidden Skull Island map, Vincent contacts Jack Driscoll, one of Kong’s original captors. They piece together a plan and go to Skull Island in search of Carl Denham, King Kong, and an answer to questions spanning a quarter century.
During a disastrous landing attempt, Vincent is almost killed and Driscoll sets out to find his stricken friend. Upon waking in a dark cavern, Vincent finds himself being cared for by an enigmatic island elder and her young, exotically beautiful but ominous assistant, Kara. The ancient woman, who asks to be called “Storyteller,” seems to possess extraordinary knowledge about Vincent and his father. She relates a story from a century earlier that Vincent half-hears and half-dreams through the haze of narcotic herbs kept burning to aid his recovery. Her tale hints at the true origin of the island’s culture and the mystery behind questions such as: Who built the Wall and how? If the Wall was built to keep Kong out, why are its doors big enough to let him in? How could such an island and its monstrous creatures still exist? The answers to those questions and more are all revealed.
Or are they?
While the Storyteller’s tale is sometimes confirmed, it is often refuted by the sights and experiences of Jack Driscoll. He stumbles upon pieces to Skull Island’s primordial history as he struggles to survive the various threats of the island and find his friend. When Driscoll and Vincent reunite, their experiences combine to determine just who the Storyteller and Kara are, what became of Carl Denham, the story behind King Kong and clues to the origins of Skull Island itself. As a result, their lives are all changed forever.