It's still not entirely clear exactly what we should expect from Jordan Vogt-Roberts' upcoming blockbuster Kong: Skull Island - outside of the fact that it has a bunch of explorers visiting the titular location - but now at least one very cool factoid has been released: it will be a period film set in 1971.
This exciting bit of news was dropped by none other than J.K. Simmons, who signed on to be in the film exactly one month ago. The actor spoke to MTV today following his nomination for Best Supporting Actor at this year's Academy Awards, and it was while discussing his reasoning for signing on to the project that he revealed Kong: Skull Island's special setting. He told the network,
"It’s such an interesting, new take on it. It’s set in Detroit in 1971, which is where I grew up. We’re going to shoot it in Detroit during baseball season, so I’ll be able to go to Tigers games! There’s a lot to like about this movie!"
While it may seem kind of silly to be impressed by something as silly as a time setting for a film, I must admit that this news actually does make me more excited for Kong: Skull Island. There always seems to be an instinct in Hollywood to adapt stories for modern day, but by putting the movie in the early '70s, the production will be given all kinds of stylistic opportunities that otherwise wouldn't be available. It's a nice added touch that will hopefully serve the movie well.
As excited as J.K. Simmons is for the project now, however, that wasn't actually always the case. He told the interviewer that he at first questioned why he would want to be a part of a new King Kong movie - but also that his attitude changed completely once he met with the people working on it (namely director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, screenwriter John Gatins, and co-star Tom Hiddleston. Simmons explained that it was ultimately Vogt-Roberts' passion for Kong: Skull Island that allowed him to say yes, as well as his respect for the filmmaker's intelligence and ideas.
J.K. Simmons likely can't complain about the talented people he will be working alongside either. In addition to Tom Hiddleston, who is expected to be the lead character in the movie, the film also recently brought on Simmons' fellow 2014 Oscar nominee Michael Keaton. Presumably the the project is still nowhere near done filling out its ranks (they need at least one woman to join the ranks), so be sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks and months for more updates.
Kong: Skull Island is deep in pre-production now, but it's a bit unclear as to when it will actually have cameras start to roll. Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures don't have the movie scheduled for release until March 10, 2017, so unless the film will need more than a year of post-production work, it's possible that filming won't actually start until either the end of the year or sometime in 2016.