With three major roles on screen last year, including his stunning, awards-nominated work as washed-up actor Riggan Thompson in Birdman, Michael Keaton had one hell of a 2014, and it appears that he’s looking to maintain the momentum of that career resurgence in coming months. Deadline reports that the actor is finalizing a deal to take on an unknown part in Legendary’s anticipated Kong: Skull Island, which the studio has already staked out for 2017.
Should everything come together, Keaton will join Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons in the fantasy adventure film, which will serve as a hard reboot of the King Kong franchise while still honoring series’ mythology. Little is known about the film other than its basic logline, but Legendary is clearly aiming to use it to kick off a major Kong franchise.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer, episodes of FX’s You’re the Worst) has been set to direct, working from a script from John Gatis (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla). The success of Borenstein’s Godzilla reboot was certainly a factor in developing Kong: Skull Island, though hopefully Legendary will learn from some of the more negative reviews of that flick and not keep the titular ape off-screen for almost all of this first entry.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film:
In the spirit of its worldwide blockbuster Godzilla, Legendary Pictures presents a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast with KONG: SKULL ISLAND, which stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers and Thor series). Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and written by John Gatins (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla), KONG: SKULL ISLAND will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Legendary’s story honors the foundations of existing King Kong lore, but places it in an entirely new, distinct timeline. Thomas Tull (Godzilla, The Dark Knight, Pacific Rim) and Jon Jashni (Godzilla, upcoming Warcraft) will produce and Alex Garcia (Godzilla) will executive produce. The film will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D by Universal Pictures.
Kong: Skull Island will open on March 10th, 2017.