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Kong: Skull Island (2017) Poster

Trivia

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Samuel L. Jackson stated on a talk show that throughout filming, he and his co-stars had no concrete idea of just how big Kong was supposed to be, since whenever they asked, they kept getting conflicting answers.
Sets were built at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, near the same filming locations as Jurassic World (2015).
Samuel L. Jackson repeats his line "Hold on to your butts..." from Jurassic Park (1993), which is also about an island inhabited by giant creatures.
The poster for the IMAX release is an homage to the iconic poster for Apocalypse Now (1979).
Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons were originally attached to the film, but both had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. John C. Reilly took over Keaton's role, while Samuel L. Jackson replaced Simmons.
At 104 feet (31.6992 meters), this incarnation of Kong is the biggest out of all the American versions.
Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (1997) helped influence the design and approach of the monsters. Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated: "Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference, in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that, so a big thing was trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful at the same time". However, biophysical analysis of Kong and other creatures concludes that, although biophysically they are viable, the ecosystem of the island could not support them.
The outfit worn by John Goodman replicates the outfit worn by Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham in King Kong (1933).
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts admitted that he was strongly influenced by video games from his childhood. That is why the movie contains many point-of-view shots of guns being fired (like in a first-person shooting game), and the shot of a helicopter making 360-degree spins toward the ground was inspired by a similar scene from a Resident Evil game.
The two-armed pit lizard from King Kong (1933) was used as a reference for the Skullcrawlers. They were also inspired by several other cinematic creatures. Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated, "That creature, beyond being a reference to a creature from the 1933 version, is also this crazy fusion of all the influences throughout my life, like the first angel from Shin Seiki Evangerion (1995), and No-face from Spirited Away (2001), and Cubone from Pokémon.
At the premiere in Vietnam, the sixteen foot tall display model statue of King Kong was engulfed in flames, which was caused by the models of smaller volcanoes surrounding the statue. The fire was extinguished in fifteen minutes, and no one was hurt.
According to Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the first draft of the screenplay had the action taking place in 1917, and was an entirely different film. Although he liked the script, he didn't think it was something he wanted to make. When asked what kind of monster movie he had in mind, he suggested to have it take place in the Vietnam war era, as a sort of "Apocalypse Now (1979) with monsters", since there had never been a monster movie set in that time. He also saw interesting parallels between the political turmoil and racial riots from the 1970s and the 2010s. Contrary to his expectation, the studio loved the idea and the script was re-worked from there.
The names of Marlow and Conrad are likely references to Joseph Conrad and the lead character, Marlow, from Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness. The novella, as well as the Vietnam War film it inspired, Apocalypse Now (1979), are thematic and visual inspirations for this movie. Heart of Darkness was also read by a character in an earlier King Kong (2005).
The magnificent scenes of mountains, rivers, and grass field were mostly shot in Vietnam (including Ninh Binh and Quang Binh). Jordan Vogt-Roberts and the cast members said they were the most beautiful places that they've ever been.
The film takes place in 1973. At the beginning of the film, President Richard Nixon announces the end of the Vietnam War; this announcement occurred in January of 1973.
The Mother Longlegs spider could be an homage to the giant spider with crab claws that was cut from King Kong (1933). Also, the Skull Crawlers could be an homage to the two-legged lizard that climbs up the side of the mountain in the original Kong.
The reason Kong is bigger than usual is because Jordan Vogt-Roberts said he wanted Kong to feel like a god in front of his audience.
To prepare for filming, Jordan Vogt-Roberts screened the South Korean monster movie The Host (2006), the South Korean western Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (2008), and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991), for the cast.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2016, when asked about his artistic vision with Kong and the process of bringing him to life, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said: " With Kong, there's been obviously so many different versions of him in the past and ours needed to feel unique to our film. I had a mandate that I wanted a kid to be able to doodle him on the back of a piece of homework and for his shapes to be simple and hopefully iconic enough that, like, a third grader could draw that shape and you would know what it is. A big part of our Kong was I wanted to make something that gave the impression that he was a lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island. We sort of went back to the 1933 version [King Kong (1933)] in the sense that he's a bipedal creature that walks in an upright position, as opposed to the anthropomorphic, anatomically correct silverback gorilla that walks on all fours. Our Kong was intended to say, like, this isn't just a big gorilla or a big monkey. This is something that is its own species. It has its own set of rules, so we can do what we want and we really wanted to pay homage to what came before...and yet do something completely different. "
Marlow's mention of "really big ants that sound like birds" is undoubtedly a reference to Them! (1954), a science fiction film about giant ants. Clips of another 50's sci-fi movie about extra-large insects, The Beginning of the End (1957), are shown in the exposition. The latter movie features grasshoppers filmed walking across a photograph of a building, in an attempt to depict a plague of gigantic insects invading Chicago.
Kong's appearance is based on his King Kong (1933) counterpart.
In September 2015, Legendary Pictures moved the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Brothers.
No reporter would be embedded with MACV-SOG. The military never even admitted MACV-SOG existed until the 1980s.
King Kong (1976) was also filmed in Hawaii.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has proposed that Jordan Vogt-Roberts be the Vietnam Tourism Ambassador for a three-year term.
Actor and stuntman Terry Notary motion-captures an ape in both this and the "Planet of the Apes" series where he plays Rocket.
Toby Kebbell did motion capture work as an ape (Koba) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) with Andy Serkis, who did motion capture work as Caesar. Andy Serkis played King Kong in King Kong (2005).
Portions of the movie were filmed in northern Vietnam, including the famous Halong Bay.
In April 2016, artist Joe DeVito sued the producers of this film for using elements of his Skull Island universe, which he claimed that he created and the producers used without his permission.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a fan of video games, anime and manga, and littered the movie with references to them. For example, the jacket worn by John C. Reilly's character ("Good for your health, bad for your education") is a spin on the one worn by Kaneda in Katsuhiro Ôtomo's manga "Akira" ("Good for health, bad for education").
In the intro credits, there is a sketch of a turtle with the words "M.U.T.O. - Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism" written beside it. This could be a reference to the Gamera movies, which involve a giant turtle attacking Japan, or the two giant turtles from Toho movies, the skeletal remains of one in Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), and Kamoebas from Space Amoeba (1970).
Kong: Skull Island (2017) reunites Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, who portrayed Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, respectively, in Straight Outta Compton (2015).
During development, Peter Jackson recommended Guillermo del Toro direct the film.
The Sker Buffalo resembles a larger version of a Yak but its horns resemble moose antlers and it bears close similarities to Cape Buffalo and the Philippine Water Buffalo (also known as a carabao).
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Tian Jing (San) has a total of eleven lines.
The film was given a limited 70mm release in North America.
The director has said an inspiration and reference used for the design of the Skullcrawlers came from the Pokémon Cubone.
This film features five actors and one actress who have appeared in films based on Marvel comics: Samuel L. Jackson played S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston played Loki, John C. Reilly played Nova Corps Officer Rhomann Dey, Shea Whigham played Roger Dooley, Toby Kebbell played Victor Von Doom, and Brie Larson played the title character in Captain Marvel (2019). All, except Von Doom, are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Joe Cornish was offered the chance to direct, but declined.
This film was released 12 years after Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005), 41 years after Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong (1976), 84 years after the original King Kong (1933), and 55 and 50 years after the Toho Kong movies: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) and King Kong Escapes (1967).
The film's cast includes one Oscar winner, Brie Larson, and three Oscar nominees, Richard Jenkins, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly.
In January of 2016, the production was on location at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. On January 15, 2016, filming took place at Mt. Tamborine, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Local newspaper The Gold Coast Bulletin ran front page stories on January 12 and January 14 about the film's production.
Despite its name, the Spore Mantis does not resemble an actual mantis (lacking the trademark clasping forelimbs) and instead looks more like a stick insect. It is possible the name is a reference to Kamacuras.
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Kong is referred to merely as "Kong" and not the usual moniker of "King Kong" (the official bio references this, stating the story of how Kong became king).
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Kong combines features of early hominids, the mythical Bigfoot, and perhaps some aspects of the Gargantuas and Gigantopithecus, as opposed to being a more realistic gorilla as seen in King Kong (2005).
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Kong is similar to Godzilla from Godzilla (2014) in several ways: both are the last of their kind, both have a vendetta against their natural enemies (Skullcrawlers/MUTOs) who have killed the rest of their species, and both are portrayed as morally neutral alpha-predators who maintain order and have no personal quarrel with humans. However, while Godzilla ignores humans and pays them no heed (except when he sees Ford Brody and shows emotion when they make eye contact), Kong recognizes and forms relationships with individual humans either as friends (Conrad and Weaver) or as enemies (Packard). Also, while Godzilla is an adult, Kong is an adolescent, still growing and learning.
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The scene where the Psychovultures carry off Nieves and devour him in mid-air is similar to a scene from the movie Pitch Black (2000) where the Bio-Raptors carry off a woman and tear her apart in flight.
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This is the fifth King Kong film in which characters such as Ann Darrow, Carl Denham, and Jack Driscoll do not appear. It is also the second film that is different from King Kong (1933) in terms of plot. The others are sequels to the original, The Son of Kong (1933), the two Toho films, and King Kong (1976).
The names Conrad and Marlow are a reference to the novel "Heart of Darkness" , written by Joseph Conrad, featuring a main character named Marlow. The novel was also the inspiration for the movie Apocalypse Now (1979).
While it seems that most of the boat is made from the forward fuselage, cockpit, and components of a B-29 Superfortress, the forward twin machine gun emplacement was actually not generally used on that kind of aircraft except for rare testing models. It is a modified ventral "belly" or "ball" turret of a B-17 Flying Fortress, or B-24 Liberator bomber, made by Sperry. All three aircraft were used in the Pacific theater (although by 1943, all B-17 units were converted to B-24s). Ball turrets were not well-liked, because the gunner (a small man) was crammed entirely into the turret, sitting in a fetal position between the two .50 caliber machine guns, aiming between his legs. Entry or exit into the ball turret could only happen when the turret and fuselage hatches were properly aligned. If turret damage prevented this for any reason, the gunner was trapped, and had better hope that the landing gear was okay, because there wasn't room for a normal parachute. Instead of this system, the B-29 had an advanced system of two upper, and two lower quad (four-gun) turrets that were aimed remotely using a gunsight behind fishbowl observation windows (the gunner wasn't actually in the turret). A ball turret malfunction, combined with a landing gear malfunction, was featured in Amazing Stories: The Mission (1985).
Russell Crowe was considered for a role.
The Skullcrawlers share a similar body design to the Leapers from the Dead Space video games.
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When Marlow is showing off his makeshift boat, the Grey Fox, there is a baseball signed by Bill Nicholson of the Chicago Cubs, Marlow's favorite team. Nicholson played for the Cubs from 1939-1948 during WWII, the time period when Marlow's plane crashed on Skull Island.
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Even though the Leafwings are said to be subspecies of the Psychovultures, they have different genus and species names.
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The Psychovultures were originally based on stingrays.
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John C. Reilly says, "Good night, Irene." Bugsy uses the same line in The Perfect Storm (2000), in which Reilly appears as Murph.
Some of the background extras from the scenes shot in Vancouver also worked on Godzilla (2014).
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The Skullcrawlers don't appear to have the ability to digest bone, as one is seen vomiting a human skull in the Boneyard.
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When Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) is first introduced, the back of his jacket says "Good for your health". This is an homage to the character Dr. Steve Brûlée on his television show, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (2010).
Richard Jenkins (Senator Willis) played John C. Reilly's dad in Step Brothers (2008).
There are subtle references to the movie Jeremiah Johnson (1972). At one point, the characters must decide if they should walk through a sacred graveyard with many skeletons or go around, and thus take a longer route. The other reference is when Marlow asks about the outcome of the war: "Who won?" This is a line that Robert Redford used in his movie as well.
This is the second movie with John Goodman to feature the song "Run Through the Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the first one being The Big Lebowski (1998).
Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson starred together in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Jackson playing the virtuous hero Nick Fury and Hiddleston playing the super-villain Loki of Asgard. In "Kong: Skull Island", Hiddleston plays honourable hero James Conrad, while Jackson plays Preston Packard, a villainous, Captain Ahab-like character.
This will be the 45th feature film from Legendary Pictures.
The second feature film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
The reason Kong is larger than any of his other incarnations is due to the fact that with the upcoming green lit King of the Monsters (aka Kong vs Godzilla), Kong would've been too small to fight Godzilla at his more traditional size. This is also why they included the line in the movie that "he's still growing".
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The Skullcrawlers combine features of snakes, lizards and mosasaurs all of which are members of the reptile order Squamata (it is possible that the Skullcrawlers are ancient, highly specialized members of this taxon).
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According to Hank Marlow,the Skullcrawlers are the "Devils" of Skull Island and are feared by the natives to the point where they won't mention their true name, this makes "Skullcrawlers" an alias or a nickname, as Marlow admitted he just "made up the name" To make them sound scarier.
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Derek Connolly did some last-minute work on the script.
Eugene Cordero (Reles) previously appeared in Jordan Vogt-Roberts' directorial debut, The Kings of Summer (2013).
Both John C. Reilly and the character he plays, Hank Marlow, are from Chicago.
Tom Wilkinson was in talks to play Senator Willis.
Samuel L. Jackson's character makes multiple references to "Force 5" during the opening helicopter attack sequence. In Pulp Fiction (1994), the wife of Jackson's character's boss was in a TV pilot called "Fox Force 5".
Bill Randa (John Goodman) doesn't believe in aliens. He previously played the alien robot Hound in the "Transformers" films. His co-star Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) voiced Kong in King Kong (1976).
On the FX Channel's bowdlerized version of the Samuel L. Jackson film Snakes on a Plane (2006), his often-quoted line is changed to, "I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!" Jackson later ended up fighting monkey-type creatures in The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and this movie.
Samuel L. Jackson uses one of his Pulp Fiction (1994) catchphrases when he exclaims "bitch please!"
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First collaboration between Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson.
Thomas Mann, who plays Slivko, talks about the Chicago Cubs and who would win in a fight, a tiger or a cub. In the movie Project X (2012), Thomas Mann's character is named Thomas Cubb.
The Mother Longlegs' name comes from "Daddy Longlegs", a common nickname for various types of insects and arachnids.
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Second time Samuel L. Jackson says the line "Hold onto your butts"
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Both John Ortiz and Shea Whigham were both in the "Fast and Furious" series.
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The Leapers from Dead Space video games share a similar body design to the Skullcrawlers.
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Cameo 

Nick Robinson, Moises Arias, Erin Moriarty: Brief background cameos during the bar scene are from the actors of Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings of Summer (2013).

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There is an after credits scene which sets up the MonsterVerse by establishing that Kong isn't the only king, or monster, out there. This leads to pictures of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, followed by Godzilla's roar that can be heard when the scene ends.
Kong's design is inspired by a combination of King Kong (1933) and the Japanese adaptation in the 1960s. This allowed the creative team to utilize a look similar to the classic Kong, while also drawing upon the exaggerated "kaiju" aspects and powers displayed by the Japanese adaptation, such as greatly exaggerated height, build, strength, and supernatural abilities. This will allow a more "even" confrontation with Godzilla in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
Kong: Skull Island features the tallest incarnation of Kong in an American film, standing at approximately 104 feet (31.6 meters). Peter Jackson's Kong, by comparison, was only 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall. The tallest incarnation of Kong overall is the one featured in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), who stood approximately 147 feet (45 meters) tall. However, it is stated in the film that Kong is still growing, so this means he may be taller in future releases.
The second installment of the MonsterVerse, following Godzilla (2014).
Many ideas were suggested for the post-credit scene in order to tie the film to Godzilla (2014) and the future movies in the MonsterVerse. One idea was to have the characters see Godzilla surface in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. However, Jordan Vogt-Roberts vetoed the idea because this would violate the notion from the 2014 movie that Godzilla was hardly ever seen before that time. It would also have required an inordinate amount of the budget that he preferred to spend on the rest of the movie. So he pitched the idea of the conference room with the projector, as it appears in the end of the movie.
The scene where Kong fights a giant squid is an homage to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), in which Kong's first fight is against a giant octopus.
The copyrights of the Kong franchise are complicated. The novelization of the original King Kong (1933) film is now in the public domain. One small difference between the movie and the novelization is the name of Captain Englehorn's ship. In the film, it is the Venture; in the novel, it is the Wanderer. The rusted-out hull of the Wanderer in this movie is a nod to the novel.
Just as Godzilla (2014) featured characters that worked for Project Monarch and used the term M.U.T.O., so too does this movie, tying both together in the MonsterVerse, which includes Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019), and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
Various direct references to the original King Kong (1933) occur throughout the film, such as when Kong is seen fighting off helicopters like the original Kong battled planes in New York City, and Kong being briefly held back by chains is reminiscent of Kong being put on display for an audience. The lead female character comforting Kong is also a perpetual theme throughout several films.
Near the end of the credits is a line that says: Characters of "Godzilla", "King Ghidorah", "Mothra", and "Rodan" created and owned by Toho Co., Ltd. This ties in with the MonsterVerse and could be a clue to Kaiju appearing in future films, including Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
John Goodman's character says he is the sole survivor of a ship accident involving a monster. This is likely a reference to Godzilla, who we learn is connected to this film during the after-credits scene.
Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah appear in an after-credits scene as cave paintings.
In this film, which takes place in 1973, Hank says Kong isn't fully grown yet. We may see that Kong has grown much larger when he battles Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
Wilhelm Scream: When Kong is set on fire.
Hank's boat is named "The Gray Fox" - director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is slated to direct Metal Gear Solid which contains a character named "Gray Fox".
In the official novelization, another mire squid attacks and tries to eat Slivko before it has one of its arms cut off by San Lin, and is finished off with a flare gun to its ink sac, killing it.
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This is the first American King Kong film where Kong does not die at the end. In King Kong (1933) and King Kong (2005) he is shot by aircraft and falls to his death from the Empire State Building. In King Kong (1976) he fell from the World Trade Center, but was revealed to be in a comatose state in King Kong Lives (1986)in which he is given an artificial heart which eventually fails and he dies. Furthermore, in contrast to the 1933 and 2005 versions who met their ends trying to fight off attacking airplanes, this incarnation of Kong makes his first major appearance by successfully defeating a group of military aircraft.
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Kong ripping apart and devouring the mire squid is a rare instance of a kaiju actively consuming another,while Godzilla was stated to be a "predator" of the MUTO, he does not consume their remains after they are killed. In a deleted script of Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) however, Godzilla devours Deutalios.
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During the "Graveyard Attack" scene, after a Skull Crawler attacks and eats Bill Randa and is circling around the group in the fog, Hank Marlow comes forward with sword in hand and mumbles "Death before dishonor" in Japanese ("Fumeiyo no mae no shi"). The use of the phrase not only pinpoints Marlow's virtuous, never-backing-down personality, but indicates that Marlow picked up a bit of Japanese during his years on Skull island with a Japanese fighter pilot, and learned the tactics of his rival in order to survive the treacherous wilderness.
The song that plays at the end "We'll Meet Again," which Marlow sings and then it continues in the credits, is the same song that plays at the end of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) (which plays while nuclear war lays waste to the planet, and continues through the credits).
The novelization states that Skullcrawlers can mimic human cries, and that was the cause of Gunpei Ikari's death as he and Marlow mistook one for an Iwi child crying.
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Kong seems to care for the native Sker Buffaloes as he is enraged upon seeing one killed by a Skullcrawler and helps another that got trapped under a helicopter wreckage.
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