Trailer released for 'Kong: Skull Island': How original 'King Kong' inspired Hollywood

The latest take on the 'King Kong' story, 'Kong: Skull Island' stars Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson and will be released on March 10. The original 1933 movie was praised for its innovative special effects.

Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube
'Kong: Skull Island' stars Brie Larson (l.) and Tom Hiddleston (r.).

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming movie “Kong: Skull Island,” the latest adaptation of the King Kong story for the big screen following the still-influential 1933 movie starring Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong.

“Kong: Skull Island” stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and Samuel L. Jackson as a group of people who travel to a mysterious island and meet Kong. The film takes place in the 1970s with Mr. Hiddleston playing James Conrad, a Vietnam veteran, and Ms. Larson playing Mason Weaver, a photojournalist and peace advocate. 

The movie is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts of “The Kings of Summer.”

The original 1933 movie has been called groundbreaking for its scenes involving stop-motion animation and other effects. Director Peter Jackson, who helmed the 2005 remake of the film starring Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, and Jack Black (the movie was also remade in 1976 starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange), told Rolling Stone, “One Friday night, Kong was on [TV]. I watched it, and I wanted to become a filmmaker ever since.” 

And the late Ray Harryhausen, who was behind the visual effects for films including 1963’s “Jason and the Argonauts” and 1981’s “Clash of the Titans,” told the Baltimore Sun in 1998, “My mother, my aunt and I visited Graumann's Chinese Theater to see a strange film called 'King Kong,’ and when I came out, I haven't been the same since. There's no doubt about it, that film changed my life.”

The story of the film, however, has not been without controversy. NPR writer Karen Grigsby Bates noted in 2005, “[The movies] feature a big, black ape who falls in love with a willowy white woman. The unspoken fear about black-white sexual relations has been remarked on by film historians and cultural critics ever since.... [A]nd the film's supposedly African natives – who offer the heroine up to the giant ape – came from what some critics called the ooga-booga school of thespian arts.” 

While the treatment of characters in “Kong: Skull Island” has yet to be revealed (the movie comes out on March 10), it sounds like the movie will have a different take on how Kong interacts with female characters. “This is not a traditional Beauty and the Beast story,” Mr. Vogt-Roberts told The Guardian of his movie. “I personally don’t want to see a damsel-in-distress story and I don’t think the rest of the world really wants to see that anymore.”

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