J.K. Simmons Joins Simian Prequel Kong: Skull Island


Just last week, Legendary Pictures retitled their Kong prequel pic and pushed back its release by several months. While the reason for the shift in both date and title weren’t offered, it seems production is still steaming ahead. Courtesy of a Deadline report, we’ve learned that Whiplash‘s hard-hitting mentor, J.K. Simmons has signed on for a role in the renamed, Kong: Skull Island.

Simmons will be joining comic book veteran, Tom Hiddleston, for the trek to Skull Island – home to cinema’s iconic giant ape, King Kong. Set to establish an entirely separate timeline from the events of other Kong films, this rebooted take will follow a gang of explorers who decide to venture deep into the island. Apart from that simple outline, there’s no details on who precisely Simmons will be portraying.

A long-standing character actor, this year Simmons received widespread critical acclaim for his performance as Miles Teller’s drum teacher in indie gem Whiplash. For genre fans, he’s most widely remembered for his role in Sony’s Spider-Man franchise as J. Jonah Jameson and as the dangerous Vern Schillinger in HBO’s cult prison drama, Oz. Before we see him in Kong, he’ll appear in next summer’s Terminator: Genisys in an as-yet undisclosed role.

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings Of Summer), from a script by John Gatins (Flight) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla), Kong: Skull Island opens in 3D and IMAX on March 10th, 2017.

Legendary announced its plans to make a feature film [Skull Island] based on the cinematic origins of King Kong during this year’s San Diego Comic Con with an original draft of the script by Max Borenstein. Previous works have touched on the island, but staying on and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions. Universal Pictures will distribute the film on November 4, 2016.

Vogt-Roberts directed and executive produced the Sundance darling THE KINGS OF SUMMER. He has also directed the pilot and multiple episodes of FX’s new series “You’re the Worst” and is set to direct METAL GEAR SOLID for Sony. His other credits include directing the pilot of “Cocked” for Amazon Studios and directing and executive producing the concert documentary NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM. He is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Andy Gawker.