King Kong's history in cinema dates all the way back to 1933, cementing himself as America's number one movie monster. King Kong would show up in dozens of more iterations of himself over the years, each one taking their own creative liberties while still sticking to the Kong formula. The latest of these is Kong: Skull Island, a reboot that pushes Kong into the modern era with a big budget behind him. The film honors what came before, but Skull Island noticeably left out one classic element of King Kong: no beauty and the beast love story.
Except for a few hints, there isn't a romance to be found in Kong: Skull Island. The beauty and the beast story is an important part of the original King Kong, which later received more focus in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake. However, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts felt this specific story has been done to tears over the years and he had little interest in exploring it for his action-heavy reboot, as he told the New York Daily News.
We've seen it before so many times, and we've seen it done well so many times. Why tread in that territory again? What do we possibly have to gain retelling the beauty and the beast story? And frankly, I don't think the beauty and the beast story is as progressive or relevant in 2017.
He certainly makes a good point that there isn't a whole lot of new ground to be gained from the beauty and the beast angle. Once you've seen one, you've probably seen them all. And--minor spoilers here--While Kong did technically form some sort of bond with a blonde woman -- Brie Larson's photographer character -- in the film, it has no romantic undertones; they're just friends. This version of Kong was definitely more of a lone protector and his movie didn't really need to tread on any familiar territory again.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts also makes an interesting point that the beauty and the beast story doesn't quite work today as well as it did years ago, or at least it's not progressive. Coincidentally, the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie -- the ultimate beauty and the beast story -- came out a week after Kong: Skull Island and is currently the No. 1 movie two weeks in a row, breaking a few records along the way. That movie underwent its own updates in order to sell its central romance, so maybe there is still room for this sort of story.
Kong: Skull Island is currently in theaters right now, where the only love Kong has in his heart is reserved for punching the crap out of monsters. To find out what else is heading to theaters soon, take a look at our movies schedule.