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Kong: Skull Island (2017) Poster

Trivia

Kong: Skull Island features the tallest incarnation of Kong in an American film, standing at approximately 104 feet (31.6 meters). Peter Jackson's Kong, by comparison, was only 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall. The tallest incarnation of Kong overall is the one featured in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), who stood approximately 147 feet (45 meters) tall. However, it is stated in the film that Kong is still growing, so this means he may be taller in future releases.
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This trivia item contains spoilers. Click to view
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The reason Kong is larger than any of his other incarnations is due to the fact that with the upcoming green lit King of the Monsters (aka Kong vs Godzilla), Kong would've been too small to fight Godzilla at his more traditional size. This is also why they included the line in the movie that "he's still growing".
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Samuel L. Jackson said on a talk show that throughout filming, he and his co-stars didn't know just how big Kong was supposed to be. Whenever they asked, they got conflicting answers.
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At 104 feet (31.6992 meters), this incarnation of Kong is the biggest out of all the American versions.
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Sets were built at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, near the same filming locations as Jurassic World (2015).
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Originally the movie was over 3 hours long, however it was cut down to 2 hours in length. Elements of the film's extended plot that didn't make it into the final film can be found within the film's novelization. They include James Conrad's encounter with a giant snake, and an extended fight sequence between Marlow and Gunpei Ikari.
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The poster for the IMAX release is an homage to the iconic poster for Apocalypse Now (1979).
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Samuel L. Jackson repeats his line "Hold on to your butts..." from Jurassic Park (1993), which is also about an island inhabited by giant creatures.
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Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons were originally attached to the film. Both had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
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The outfit worn by John Goodman replicates the outfit worn by Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham in King Kong (1933).
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Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts admitted that he was strongly influenced by video games from his childhood. That is why the movie contains many point-of-view shots of guns being fired (like in a first-person shooting game), and the shot of a helicopter making 360-degree spins toward the ground was inspired by a similar scene from a Resident Evil game.
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According to Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the first draft of the screenplay had the action taking place in 1917, and was an entirely different film. Although he liked the script, he didn't think it was something he wanted to make. When asked what kind of monster movie he had in mind, he suggested to have it take place in the Vietnam war era, as a sort of "Apocalypse Now (1979) with monsters", since there had never been a monster movie set in that time. He also saw interesting parallels between the political turmoil and racial riots from the 1970s and the 2010s. Contrary to his expectation, the studio loved the idea and the script was re-worked from there.
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The scenes with mountains, rivers, and grassy fields were mostly shot in Vietnam, including Ninh Binh and Quang Binh. Jordan Vogt-Roberts and the cast members said they were the most beautiful places that they've ever been.
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At the premiere in Vietnam, the 16-foot-tall display model statue of King Kong was engulfed in flames, caused by the model volcanoes surrounding the statue. The fire was extinguished in 15 minutes, and no one was hurt.
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"It sounds like a bird, but it's a fuckin' ant!" This entire scene was an outtake in which John C. Reilly was trying to get the cast and crew to laugh by throwing out the most bizarre, outlandish imaginary monster he could come up with. Jordan Vogt-Roberts decided that it fit in with Skull Island's bizarre ecology and kept it. In a later interview, Vogt-Roberts said he wanted to include the giant ant in a scene, but couldn't due to budget constraints.
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The Skullcrawlers' history on Skull Island is revealed in Riccio's visions. Riccio says that the Skullcrawlers attempted to invade Skull Island and waged war against Kong's ancestors. When the Iwi first arrived on Skull Island, the Skullcrawlers had wiped out all but the two strongest apes, which turned out to be Kong's parents. After the 1973 Monarch expedition, Skullcrawlers still inhabit Skull Island, but their population is controlled by Kong and none of them has grown to the size of Skull Devil. In another vision, Riccio explained that the Skullcrawlers continued their fight against Kong's parents. One day, the Skullcrawlers attempted to kill Kong's mother who is in labor but Kong's father kept them at bay. After Kong was born, his mother hid him in a cave and sealed it with rocks before she rushed to aid her mate. Kong then watched as the Skullcrawlers slaughtered his parents.
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The two-armed pit lizard from King Kong (1933) was used as a reference for the Skullcrawlers. They were also inspired by several other cinematic creatures. Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated, "That creature, beyond being a reference to a creature from the 1933 version, is also this crazy fusion of all the influences throughout my life, like the first angel from Shin Seiki Evangerion (1995), and No-face from Spirited Away (2001), and Cubone from Pokémon.
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The names of Marlow and Conrad are likely references to Joseph Conrad and the lead character, Marlow, from Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness. The novella, as well as the Vietnam War film it inspired, Apocalypse Now (1979), are thematic and visual inspirations for this movie. Heart of Darkness was also read by a character in an earlier King Kong (2005).
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Kong is similar to Godzilla from Godzilla (2014) in several ways: both are the last of their kind, both have a vendetta against their natural enemies (Skullcrawlers/MUTOs) who have killed the rest of their species, and both are portrayed as morally neutral alpha-predators who maintain order and have no personal quarrel with humans. However, while Godzilla ignores humans and pays them no heed (except when he sees Ford Brody and shows emotion when they make eye contact), Kong recognizes and forms relationships with individual humans either as friends (Conrad and Weaver) or as enemies (Packard). Also, while Godzilla is an adult, Kong is an adolescent, still growing and learning.
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Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke (1997) helped influence the design and approach of the monsters. Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated: "Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference, in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that, so a big thing was trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful at the same time". However, biophysical analysis of Kong and other creatures concludes that, although biophysically they are viable, the ecosystem of the island could not support them.
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Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts co-wrote and appeared in the Honest Trailers of his own movie, highlighting some legitimate flaws with the film, such as massive (in his own words) structural problems, lack of character arcs for most of the human cast and the fact that there are too many human characters to begin with. However he still stood by the film and attacked the video made on the film by CinemaSins shortly before Honest Trailers was released. he also spent some time on Twitter attacking CinemaSins for their video on the film, calling them trolls and countering some specific sins.
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The reason Kong is bigger than usual is because Jordan Vogt-Roberts said he wanted Kong to feel like a god in front of his audience.
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To prepare for filming, Jordan Vogt-Roberts screened the South Korean monster movie The Host (2006), the South Korean western Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (2008), and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991), for the cast.
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The film takes place in 1973. At the beginning of the film, President Richard Nixon announces the end of the Vietnam War; this announcement occurred in January of 1973.
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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2016, when asked about his artistic vision with Kong and the process of bringing him to life, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said: " With Kong, there's been obviously so many different versions of him in the past and ours needed to feel unique to our film. I had a mandate that I wanted a kid to be able to doodle him on the back of a piece of homework and for his shapes to be simple and hopefully iconic enough that, like, a third grader could draw that shape and you would know what it is. A big part of our Kong was I wanted to make something that gave the impression that he was a lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island. We sort of went back to the 1933 version [King Kong (1933)] in the sense that he's a bipedal creature that walks in an upright position, as opposed to the anthropomorphic, anatomically correct silverback gorilla that walks on all fours. Our Kong was intended to say, like, this isn't just a big gorilla or a big monkey. This is something that is its own species. It has its own set of rules, so we can do what we want and we really wanted to pay homage to what came before...and yet do something completely different. "
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The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has proposed that Jordan Vogt-Roberts be the Vietnam Tourism Ambassador for a three-year term.
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Will Brittain portrays both young Hank Marlow and his adult son.
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The Sker Buffalo resembles a larger version of a Yak but its horns resemble moose antlers and it bears close similarities to Cape Buffalo and the Philippine Water Buffalo (also known as a carabao).
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The Mother Longlegs spider could be an homage to the giant spider with crab claws that was cut from King Kong (1933). Also, the Skull Crawlers could be an homage to the two-legged lizard that climbs up the side of the mountain in the original Kong.
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Marlow's mention of "really big ants that sound like birds" is undoubtedly a reference to Them! (1954), a science fiction film about giant ants. Clips of another 50's sci-fi movie about extra-large insects, The Beginning of the End (1957), are shown in the exposition. The latter movie features grasshoppers filmed walking across a photograph of a building, in an attempt to depict a plague of gigantic insects invading Chicago.
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In September 2015, Legendary Pictures moved the film from Universal Pictures to Warner Brothers.
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No reporter would be embedded with MACV-SOG. The military never even admitted MACV-SOG existed until the 1980s.
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Kong's appearance is based on his King Kong (1933) counterpart.
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Actor and stuntman Terry Notary motion-captures an ape in both this and the "Planet of the Apes" series where he plays Rocket. Coincidentally, he also appeared in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which also features a character named Rocket.
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Kong is referred to merely as "Kong" and not the usual moniker of "King Kong" (the official bio references this, stating the story of how Kong became king).
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King Kong (1976) was also filmed in Hawaii.
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In an interview with Collider, writer Dan Gilroy revealed that Weaver was originally meant to be "a war-weary photographer who had been taking pictures for too long and didn't believe in anything, but would experience an awakening during her first encounter with Kong."
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The film's marketing emulates that of Godzilla (2014), teasing and showing as little of the titular monster as possible until the release date gets much closer. Justified due to being made by the same production companies and even being set in the same universe.
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In the novelization, it's revealed that Conrad's cynical demeanor stems from an incident where he failed to save a kidnapped seven-year-old girl named Jenny who was killed by a sniper along with two of the five men under his command.
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Part of the reason for the film going to Warner Bros. Legendary wanted the film to be a prelude to a potential crossover with Godzilla (2014), but Universal (holders of the Kong rights, and Legendary's current partner) refused to allow it, as they wanted nothing to do with Godzilla.
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Toby Kebbell did motion capture work as an ape (Koba) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) with Andy Serkis, who did motion capture work as Caesar. Andy Serkis played King Kong in King Kong (2005).
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The Psychovultures were originally based on stingrays.
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Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson admitted their reasons for joining the movie were basically this. Jackson even stated: "When they said 'King Kong, we want you', I was like 'Awesome!'. Then I found out that I was the second choice and I still didn't care. I'll do it anyway. They had an Academy Award winner at first and he didn't want to be home away from home, away from his kids that long because we were gone forever in Hawaii, Australia, and Vietnam. So I was like 'My family didn't care, I'll go!'" Brie Larson accepted because her character was an action girl instead of a damsel in distress.
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Portions of the movie were filmed in northern Vietnam, including the famous Halong Bay.
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In April 2016, artist Joe DeVito sued the producers of this film for using elements of his Skull Island universe, which he claimed that he created and the producers used without his permission or compensating him.
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Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a fan of video games, anime and manga, and littered the movie with references to them. For example, the jacket worn by John C. Reilly's character ("Good for your health, bad for your education") is a spin on the one worn by Kaneda in Katsuhiro Ôtomo's manga "Akira" ("Good for health, bad for education").
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The Psychovultures are similar to the bat-like Terapusmordax from King Kong (2005).
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Kong combines features of early hominids, the mythical Bigfoot, and perhaps some aspects of the Gargantuas and Gigantopithecus, as opposed to being a more realistic gorilla as seen in King Kong (2005).
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One deleted kaiju was a giant tiger with antlers.
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Writer Dan Gilroy originally wrote Conrad to be "a guy whose unit was attacked by a monster in Vietnam, driving him to go in search of it, and instead of being approached at the bar and being given a job, Conrad would have wanted to be part of the mission."
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In the intro credits, there is a sketch of a turtle with the words "M.U.T.O. - Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism" written beside it. This could be a reference to the Gamera movies, which involve a giant turtle attacking Japan, or the two giant turtles from Toho movies, the skeletal remains of one in Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), and Kamoebas from Space Amoeba (1970).
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Kong seems to show a great deal of loneliness, as a result to him losing his parents to the Skullcrawlers at a young age. His eyes well up with tears when Weaver gently touches him, and one of the cave paintings depicts him crouching and mourning over the remains of his deceased parents. The producers intentionally designed Kong to have a personality similar to a "teenager orphaned early and forced to assume adult responsibilities," being not yet fully grown but left to fend for himself. The director wanted to give the audience insight into Kong's state of mind of him being a lonely and exhausted God lumbering around the island, being its protector but also killing time as he drags himself from place to place. Terry Notary played Kong as a lonely, burdened "14-year-old that's trapped in the life of an adult" who's coming into himself and his role as a protector, driven to uphold his sense of duty by the burden of the loss of his family. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts also described Kong as an adolescent growing into his role as alpha as he faces the defining battle of his life to claim his rightful place as King of Skull Island.
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Despite its name, the Spore Mantis does not resemble an actual mantis (lacking the trademark clasping forelimbs) and instead looks more like a stick insect. It is possible the name is a reference to Kamacuras.
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During development, Peter Jackson recommended Guillermo del Toro direct the film.
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Kong: Skull Island (2017) reunites Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, who portrayed Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, respectively, in Straight Outta Compton (2015).
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In the novelization,it is stated that the Skullcrawlers are amphibious as Weaver mentioned the one in the Boneyard had gills, and thus would pose a threat to the world if they ever left Skull Island.

This is similar to Godzilla, who is also a reptile but strangely possesses gills. The fact the Skullcrawlers eyesockets can be mistaken for their real eyes has a similar fact for orcas, as they're white markings make people believe those are it's real eyes.
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Even though the Leafwings are said to be subspecies of the Psychovultures, they have different genus and species names.
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The Skullcrawlers combine features of snakes, lizards and mosasaurs all of which are members of the reptile order Squamata (it is possible that the Skullcrawlers are ancient, highly specialized members of this taxon).
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The Skullcrawlers don't appear to have the ability to digest bone, as one is seen vomiting a human skull in the boneyard, which is similar to some species of snake that eat eggs.
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Originally the bad kaiju was going to be a giant dragon-like serpent with a saw-like jaw but was scrapped and replaced by the Skull Crawlers. Several unused concepts for the Skullcrawlers included having a more snake-like body, being able to glide and climb trees, and having mantis-like raptorial arms.
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Tian Jing (San) has a total of eleven lines.
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Long before production on the film began, the filmmakers experimented with different techniques to create Kong's roar, which were overseen by supervisor sound editor/sound designer Al Nelson. As the original 1933 Kong roar was made with a reversed tiger roar and a lion roar, Nelson visited the National Zooligical Park in Washington D.C. and Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom and recorded lion roars as the starting point. He also mixed and matched gorilla and monkey sounds to create additional layers. To fully capture the desired "island-shaking" levels, the sound team set up speaker systems at Skywalker Sound and played Kong's bellows and roars through a 5.1 channel system.
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The director has said an inspiration and reference used for the design of the Skullcrawlers came from the Pokémon Cubone.
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The film was given a limited 70mm release in North America.
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The leafwings are the smallest known MonsterVerse kaiju.
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When Marlow is showing off his makeshift boat, the Grey Fox, there is a baseball signed by Bill Nicholson of the Chicago Cubs, Marlow's favorite team. Nicholson played for the Cubs from 1939-1948 during WWII, the time period when Marlow's plane crashed on Skull Island.
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When Marlow first notes that he is a Cubs fan, Slivko makes fun of him, noting that he is a Tigers fan. Marlow then asks if the Tiger had won it all. In 1945, the year after Marlow was shot down and stranded on Skull Island, the Tigers defeated the Cubs in the World Series. The Cubs would not appear in another World Series until 2016, about seven months after principal photography ended.
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This film features six actors and one actress who have appeared in films based on Marvel comics: Samuel L. Jackson played S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston played Loki, John C. Reilly played Nova Corps Officer Rhomann Dey, Shea Whigham played Roger Dooley, Toby Kebbell played Victor Von Doom, and Brie Larson played the title character in Captain Marvel (2019) and Terry Notary played on set Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Avengers Infinity War. All, except Von Doom, are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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The Skullcrawlers were designed to act as the "fallen angels" of Kong's kingdom and represent the darker, bleaker aspects of Skull Island.
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This film was released 12 years after Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005), 41 years after Dino De Laurentiis' King Kong (1976), 84 years after the original King Kong (1933), and 55 and 50 years after the Toho Kong movies: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) and King Kong Escapes (1967).
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The Skullcrawlers share a similar body design to the Leapers from the Dead Space video games.
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The film's cast includes one Oscar winner, Brie Larson, and three Oscar nominees, Richard Jenkins, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly.
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In Birth of Kong #2 the Monarch file erroneously depicts a Skullcrawler with its eyes in front of the sockets as opposed to behind. The cover of the same issue also shows a Skullcrawler tongue forked into four rather than three.
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According to Hank Marlow,the Skullcrawlers are the "Devils" of Skull Island and are feared by the natives to the point where they won't mention their true name, this makes "Skullcrawlers" an alias or a nickname, as Marlow admitted he just "made up the name" To make them sound scarier.
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Weaver actually had a backstory about growing up with a Control Freak father and all around dysfunctional family that was scripted but never filmed.
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The roar of the Skullcrawler is very high in tone, possessing a raspy quality with a hiss and growl mixed in between. According to supervisor sound designer/editor Al Nelson, the Skullcrawler roar was inspired by the pained squeal of a dying rabbit as well as the sounds of sea lions and squirrels.
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Joe Cornish was offered the chance to direct, but declined.
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In January of 2016, the production was on location at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. On January 15, 2016, filming took place at Mt. Tamborine, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Local newspaper The Gold Coast Bulletin ran front page stories on January 12 and January 14 about the film's production.
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The names Conrad and Marlow are a reference to the novel "Heart of Darkness" , written by Joseph Conrad, featuring a main character named Marlow. The novel was also the inspiration for the movie Apocalypse Now (1979).
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While it seems that most of the boat is made from the forward fuselage, cockpit, and components of a B-29 Superfortress, the forward twin machine gun emplacement was actually not generally used on that kind of aircraft except for rare testing models. It is a modified ventral "belly" or "ball" turret of a B-17 Flying Fortress, or B-24 Liberator bomber, made by Sperry. All three aircraft were used in the Pacific theater (although by 1943, all B-17 units were converted to B-24s). Ball turrets were not well-liked, because the gunner (a small man) was crammed entirely into the turret, sitting in a fetal position between the two .50 caliber machine guns, aiming between his legs. Entry or exit into the ball turret could only happen when the turret and fuselage hatches were properly aligned. If turret damage prevented this for any reason, the gunner was trapped, and had better hope that the landing gear was okay, because there wasn't room for a normal parachute. Instead of this system, the B-29 had an advanced system of two upper, and two lower quad (four-gun) turrets that were aimed remotely using a gunsight behind fishbowl observation windows (the gunner wasn't actually in the turret). A ball turret malfunction, combined with a landing gear malfunction, was featured in Amazing Stories: The Mission (1985).
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Mason Weaver's camera is a Leica KE 7A US Army.
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William Randa (John Goodman) says "monsters do exist" ironically John Goodman did the voice of James P. Sullivan "Sully" in Monsters, Inc. (2001) (2001) 16 years ago and the prequel Monsters University (2013) (2013) 4 years ago.
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This is the fifth King Kong film in which characters such as Ann Darrow, Carl Denham, and Jack Driscoll do not appear. It is also the second film that is different from King Kong (1933) in terms of plot. The others are sequels to the original, The Son of Kong (1933), the two Toho films, and King Kong (1976).
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Russell Crowe was considered for a role.
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John C. Reilly says, "Good night, Irene." Bugsy uses the same line in The Perfect Storm (2000), in which Reilly appears as Murph.
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Jordan Vogt-Roberts confirmed on Twitter that the soldier getting impaled by the giant spider's leg is a nod to Cannibal Holocaust.
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Samuel L. Jackson uses one of his Pulp Fiction (1994) catchphrases when he exclaims "bitch please!"
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Some of the background extras from the scenes shot in Vancouver also worked on Godzilla (2014).
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Richard Jenkins (Senator Willis) played John C. Reilly's dad in Step Brothers (2008).
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When Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) is first introduced, the back of his jacket says "Good for your health". This is an homage to the character Dr. Steve Brûlée on his television show, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (2010).
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The name "Psychovulture" comes from a mix of "psycho", a state they go into upon ingesting certain poisonous pufferfish, and "vulture", which is a reference to their avian form. For their subspecies, "Leafwing" comes from their wing design, which is both green, and shaped much like a leaf, which is multiplied by the veins running through their wings, which look like leaf veins.
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Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson starred together in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Jackson playing the virtuous hero Nick Fury and Hiddleston playing the super-villain Loki of Asgard. In "Kong: Skull Island", Hiddleston plays honourable hero James Conrad, while Jackson plays Preston Packard, a villainous, Captain Ahab-like character.
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This is the second movie with John Goodman to feature the song "Run Through the Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the first one being The Big Lebowski (1998).
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Brie Larson's character has the surname Weaver which is probably a homage to famous actress Sigourney Weaver who coincidentally worked with gorillas in the movie Gorillas in the Mist (1988).
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There are subtle references to the movie Jeremiah Johnson (1972). At one point, the characters must decide if they should walk through a sacred graveyard with many skeletons or go around, and thus take a longer route. The other reference is when Marlow asks about the outcome of the war: "Who won?" This is a line that Robert Redford used in his movie as well.
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Both John C. Reilly and the character he plays, Hank Marlow, are from Chicago.
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The second feature film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
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Samuel L. Jackson's character makes multiple references to "Force 5" during the opening helicopter attack sequence. In Pulp Fiction (1994), the wife of Jackson's character's boss was in a TV pilot called "Fox Force 5".
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Second time Samuel L. Jackson says the line "Hold onto your butts"
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Jordan Vogt-Roberts fell in love with Vietnam while visiting the country during location scouting for the movie which was ultimately filmed in the Southeast Asian country. He ended up moving to Saigon after completing the movie, which was going well until a night out last September. While visiting a nightclub called XOXO, Vogt-Roberts was viciously attacked: "This was not a fight," he tells QQ. "I was almost killed as were others. This was a fucking assault by insane gangsters." The filmmaker sustained contusions, a fractured skull, a cerebral air pocket, and hemorrhaging, resulting in a 10-day hospital stay and the possibility of permanent brain damage. The article's description of the surveillance footage states that "a tall guy with an expensive-looking haircut walks up and grabs the bearded man's shoulder," with the bearded man being Vogt-Roberts. He turns around and about a dozen bodies swarm him, landing punches, flipping tables, throwing glasses, bludgeoning him while he curls on the ground. The scene--one continuous, unbearable ten-minute take--ends with as many as nine mauled clubgoers on the floor. As a director, I love violent movies," Vogt-Roberts says. "And I love fight scenes. But after I watched that shit, I was just in fucking shock." "I remember I wasn't being an asshole, I wasn't instigating. I remember getting punched in the fucking side of the face. But you never fucking know. You're out at a fucking nightclub." Vogt-Roberts -- who's been a tourism ambassador for Vietnam since his time making "Kong" -- began looking into who might be responsible for the assault, learning that they could indeed be powerful mobsters.
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The natives of Skull Island were antagonists out of desperation in the original 1933 film and horrifically degenerate troglodytes in the 2005 remake. In this movie, they are a very territorial and taciturn but ultimately friendly and helpful people.
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The psychovultures are shown to have bright blue blood. This suggests copper-based physiology, which is unlikely as copper is highly toxic to most animal life - on Earth, it's found only in Mollusca and Arthropoda. The Skull Island creatures are explicitly Earth biology as they are either pre-KT event Mesozoic animals or Cenozoic megafauna.
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Interestingly Kong is shown with chimp-like feet with splayed big toes, despite being an obligate upright biped. A human-like foot, with a non-opposable big toe, would be more fitting for an upright ape as the big toe provides more leverage.
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The Skullcrawlers have horizontally-slit pupils like a goat, even though for large terrestrial animals, this is a trait of herbivores to help them keep watch for predators.
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Packard's unit is called an assault helicopter battalion, which in 1973 should consist mostly of AH-1 Cobra gunships and OH-6 Loach scout choppers. Instead, it is made up almost entirely of UH-1 Hueys, only a few of which are in gunship configuration. Once downed, the surviving pilots and door gunners simply operate as infantry and are even geared up accordingly. In a real life Vietnam-era Air Cavalry battalion, the helicopter crews were just that, with the infantry they carried (who couldn't fly the choppers) to and from battle being a seperate formation (at least company-size) within the same battalion.
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Marlow says he was in the 15th Air Force and wears its Shoulder-Sleeve Insignia. The 15th operated in Italy during WWII. The 13th Air Force would be correct for the Southwest Pacific.
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Marlow says the boat was built from salvaged parts of his P-51 Mustang, Gunpei's A6M Zero, and a B-29 Superfortress. However, the .50 BMG machine guns are mounted in a ball turret, which was only used on the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator.
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Marlow's P-51 has invasion stripes painted on the wings and fuselage. These were only applied to Allied aircraft used in Western Europe during and after the Normandy Landings. In the Pacific, his aircraft would not have these.
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Gunpei Ikari's sword which Marlow keeps after his death is a shin-gunto.
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The Skullcrawlers, at least in their role in the film's story, are reminiscent of the Deathrunners and Gaw from the novel Kong: King of Skull Island. Like the Deathrunners, the Skullcrawlers are insatiable carnivores that force the natives of Skull Island to hide behind a wall, and are responsible for killing Kong's parents. Just like in the novel, Kong earns his status as the island's god by killing the Skullcrawlers and saving the island from their reign of terror.
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The leader of the skullcrawlers is known as a Ramarak which is a fully grown male skullcrawler upon maturity, they leave the nest and head out to open water.
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RAF lighter Conrad inherited from his dad and lends to Weaver. During the fight in the boneyard, Weaver uses it like an improvised grenade to set fire to one of the Skullcrawlers with the latent flammable gas in the air, burning it alive. However, in the novelization, Conrad uses it instead.
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Major Chapman's final line is a whispered, despairing, "Dear Billy, sometimes life just up and kicks you in the balls for no good reason," moments before his fatal encounter with a skullcrawler.
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Kong kills Packard the same way as Kong killed Col. Nevitt in King Kong Lives. Kong is also heavily implied to eat one of the soldiers like he did in the same movie.
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Kong attempts to snap a Skullcrawler's jaws apart at one point in the climax, much like he did with the T-Rex in the original and the V-Rex in the 2005 remake. In general, the final fight between Kong and the Alpha Skullcrawler appear to take some cues from King Kong (2005) fight between King Kong and the V-Rexes. Both fights have a very swampy setting with Kong holding and protecting the female protagonist from the enemy who is trying to eat her. Kong also happen to use a rock in both fights, but while it was fatal to a V-Rex in King Kong (2005); it only did minimal damage to the Skullcrawler.
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Kong is the last of his kind like he was portrayed in the 2005 film, with visible remains of his parents.
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Kong resides in the skull-featured cave atop the tallest mountain on the island, just like in the original.
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In the climax, Kong becomes accidentally ensnared in chains, a reference to the numerous times he has been held captive the same way by humans.
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The freighter Wanderer, that apparently crashed ashore in 1933 shares a name with the ship from the 1933 Kong.
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Kong shares his 2005 counterpart's love of natural beauty, as he sits enraptured by the Aurora Australis.
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In the 1976 film, the humans go to Skull Island in search of oil. In an earlier draft of this film's script, they travel to Skull Island because of Conrad's search for his missing brother, after he's stranded on the island looking for a cure to all diseases known as the "Titan Serum."
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Hank Marlow calls the huge reptilian creatures lurking on the island "Skullcrawlers", and the classified Monarch reports designate them as "hypervores" in the viral marketing. Both seem to indicate how insatiable and vicious they are.
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Like the 1976 film, Skull Island is found by satellites but instead of a permanent cloud bank, it's hidden inside a perpetual storm system.
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Nieves' death in the sun's silhouette is the director's nod to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
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Gunpei's and Marlow mutual stranding, initial hostility, and subsequent friendship mirror the plot of Hell in the Pacific.
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Miyavi, who played WWII Japanese pilot Gunpei, was cast as the Big Bad (who was also an Imperial Japanese military member during World War II) of the 2014 film Unbroken.
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The mire squid gets its name from its environment, as "Mire" refers to a stretch of swampy or boggy ground, the same areas they tend to inhabit.
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In the official novelization, it is revealed the Mire Squids' ink is flammable, and igniting it results in their death.
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In the novelization thehe snake could be a reference to the Giant Boa seen in King Kong or the Giant Sea Serpent from King Kong Escapes.
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Almost every creature (or at least those that are shown onscreen) on Skull Island has the ability to camouflage themselves and blend in to their surroundings, from Mother Longlegs, Spore Mantis, Sker Buffalos, and Leafwings. This is to disguise themselves from the apex predators like the Skullcrawlers and Kong himself. Even the natives on the island also learned to blend into the environment to avoid detection.
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The Alpha Skullcrawler's It Can Think moment makes sense even if it isn't that intelligent: the natives probably attempted similar methods of killing it, albeit with poisons rather than explosives, once it became clear the giant apes were losing their struggle against the creatures. Too bad it most likely threw up the native volunteer before it could expire. Also, look at how Ramarak reacts to Cole's attempt at self-sacrifice; hesitant, confused and even frustrated. The skullcrawler, like most predators, is probably used to prey that chooses either fight or flight. So having prey that does neither and is even calmly walking towards it sends up a big red flag, as this unusual behaviour just does not compute with its predatory instincts
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Kong finishes off the "Big One" Skullcrawler by ripping its stomach out by its tongue. However, Kong wasn't holding the tongue, the Skullcrawler's tongue was wrapped around Kong's arm. If it had been willing to let go, it would have survived. Kong killed it by turning its hunger against it.
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The MONARCH Organization is a meaningful name when we take into account of its members' views regarding the giant monsters. Both Randa and Brooks have an almost reverence respect for them despite the threats they posed to humanity, a trait that Dr. Serizawa and his assistant in Godzilla (2014) also shared. All of them look at these monsters as akin to some higher being, such as a King or a God, hence why the name MONARCH makes sense. The general definition of monarch is "a ruler, a person or thing that holds a dominant position", something that definitely applies to beings like Kong and Godzilla.
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Kong's intelligence and ability to quickly adapt to a fight and take advantage of his surroundings, as well having practiced on smaller skullcrawlers for years, may explain why he manages to best Ramarak when his parents couldn't. Like his parents Kong himself is not strong enough to defeat the creature (he fails to break its jaws despite trying with all his might), but by utilizing the giant boat propeller he can pierce Ramarak's skin, weakening it, and by taking advantage of the later opportunity to access its soft insides he is able to kill it. It's also possible that Kong's parents intentionally made themselves vulnerable to Ramarak's attacks, specifically to lure the alpha Skullcrawler away from their young son. Kong has no vulnerable baby apes to defend, hence can pick his fights at his own discretion rather than having to stand between the alpha and his offspring even if it leaves him at a disadvantage.
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There's a good chance that in their fight with Ramarak, Kong's parents very nearly killed it, or at the very least left it heavily wounded, before being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Ramarak's offspring. The Brilliance in this is two-fold, that Ramarak went underground for years to simply heal from it's wounds (as opposed to ravaging the Island once it was unopposed), and that Kong was not only fighting the smaller Skullcrawlers for experience, but was culling the population. Effectively ensuring that when he would be large and strong enough to take Ramarak in a fight, Ramarak would be forced to fight alone. One may wonder why Ramarak doesn't try to eat Kong either of the times Kong is seemingly defeated by it, instead deciding to continue going after the humans. However, recall that Kong's parents bodies also seem to have been left largely intact (judging by the state of their skeletons). Kong to them is not prey but a rival to be driven away or killed, much as a number of real world predators like lions will readily kill other large predators like leopards and hyenas but rarely ever eat them.
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Packard seems unusually quick to forgive Randa for lying to them, which resulted in the massacre of the helicopter attack force, but Randa's story about being the sole survivor of a monster attack on a naval vessel and then dedicating himself to protecting humanity from monsters and doing what's necessary for that is something Packard himself can relate to. Both are military men who survived an attack and both want vengeance on their attackers.
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Kong isn't like Godzilla, the Mutos, and Shinomura, who were ancient monsters slumbering beneath the ground, he, the Skull Crawlers, and the rest of Skull Island's residents are breeding populations that are alive and well in present day (or was in the case of Kong, since his parents died). In other words: Kaiju in this universe aren't limited to the super ancient past, there are considerably younger ones than that. The Earth could be filled with monsters without humanity ever even knowing it. Actually, from the viral marketing website, if you look at the cryptozoology section, and click on the Mother Longlegs, it says this following quote; " The Mother Longlegs has evolved sharpened spikes at the end of its powerful legs. " Think about that for a moment. Not only have these monsters been breeding , but apparently they have been around for so long, that they actually evolved
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Eugene Cordero (Reles) previously appeared in Jordan Vogt-Roberts' directorial debut, The Kings of Summer (2013).
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This will be the 45th feature film from Legendary Pictures.
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Derek Connolly did some last-minute work on the script.
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The Mother Longlegs' name comes from "Daddy Longlegs", a common nickname for various types of insects and arachnids.
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Bill Randa (John Goodman) doesn't believe in aliens. He previously played the alien robot Hound in the "Transformers" films. His co-star Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) voiced Kong in King Kong (1976).
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Tom Wilkinson was in talks to play Senator Willis.
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On the FX Channel's bowdlerized version of the Samuel L. Jackson film Snakes on a Plane (2006), his often-quoted line is changed to, "I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!" Jackson later ended up fighting monkey-type creatures in The Legend of Tarzan (2016) and this movie.
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Both Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell starred in Straight Outta Compton (2015).
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First collaboration between Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson.
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Both John Ortiz and Shea Whigham were both in the "Fast and Furious" series.
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The aspect ratio changes to a letterbox format at various times throughout the movie whenever it airs in TV, Sometimes the changes occur within edits in a single scene or set piece, resulting in a very unusual viewing experience. It turns out HBO is airing the airplane edit for "Kong: Skull Island" instead of the theatrical cut. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts took to Twitter to ask HBO why they were not airing or streaming the original edit of "Kong: Skull Island." Filmmakers often have to provide an airplane edit of a movie so that their films can properly be shown on such small screens. Vogt-Roberts says he switched to a letterbox format for some shots on the airplane edit so that it could maintain the same scope and size as the original but on a smaller screen. Peter Atencio, the director of the Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key-starring comedy "Keanu," responded to Vogt-Roberts and revealed he faced a similar issue with HBO on his movie, one that has never been corrected. "HBO refuses to play anamorphic movies in the correct ratio unless they're contractually obligated to," he said. "Completely ridiculous that they don't do it when even tv commercials are letterboxed these days."
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Kong flinging a tree at a chopper is similar to a scene in King Kong Escapes.
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Twice a character is grabbed by island predators and lifted into the air, and despite clearly wanting to shoot them free the soldiers are unable to due to the difficulty of hitting the moving target while not inadvertently shooting the person they want to save. They find a way around the issue the first time, the second not so much.
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According to Samuel L. Jackson, Weaver is like a photojournalistic Jane Fonda.
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Weaver shoots Ramarak in the eye with a flare gun, similar to what Herc and Chuck Hansen did to Leatherback in Pacific Rim.
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Randa's camera continue to flash after he was eaten by a Skullcrawler, similar to how the Nash's satellite phone kept ringing in the Spinosaurus after he was eaten in Jurassic Park III.
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Running Gag: The soldiers saying "Dear Billy..." when coming across something unusual, which is taken from the letters that Chapman was planning to send to his son.
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Thomas Mann, who plays Slivko, talks about the Chicago Cubs and who would win in a fight, a tiger or a cub. In the movie Project X (2012), Thomas Mann's character is named Thomas Cubb.
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The name 'Spore' means that a cell made by some plants that is like a seed and can produce a new plant while 'Mantis' is an insect.
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Tom Hiddelston, Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson all play characters in the marvel cinematic universe; Tom Hiddelston-Loki, Brie Larson-captain marvel and Samuel L Jackson- Nick Fury. John C. Reilly is also in the Guardians of the Galaxy.
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The film process is on Vietnam near Ha Noi.
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When Brooke's is documenting seismic activity he says to Randa that the bedrock is almost hollow, John Goodman who plays Randa starred as Fred Flinstone in the live action movie in which he lives in the town of Bedrock.
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Third collaboration between John Ortiz and Shea Whigham. They previously starred together in 'Pride & Glory' (2008) and 'Silver Linings Playbook' (2012).
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Tom Hiddleston and Samuel Jackson both appeared in avengers
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Cameo 

Nick Robinson, Moises Arias, Erin Moriarty: Brief background cameos during the bar scene are from the actors of Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings of Summer (2013).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There is an after credits scene which sets up the MonsterVerse by establishing that Kong isn't the only king, or monster, out there. This leads to pictures of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, followed by Godzilla's roar that can be heard when the scene ends.
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Kong's design is inspired by a combination of King Kong (1933) and the Japanese adaptation in the 1960s. This allowed the creative team to utilize a look similar to the classic Kong, while also drawing upon the exaggerated "kaiju" aspects and powers displayed by the Japanese adaptation, such as greatly exaggerated height, build, strength, and supernatural abilities. This will allow a more "even" confrontation with Godzilla in the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
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Many ideas were suggested for the post-credit scene in order to tie the film to Godzilla (2014) and the future movies in the MonsterVerse. One idea was to have the characters see Godzilla surface in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. However, Jordan Vogt-Roberts vetoed the idea because this would violate the notion from the 2014 movie that Godzilla was hardly ever seen before that time. It would also have required an inordinate amount of the budget that he preferred to spend on the rest of the movie. So he pitched the idea of the conference room with the projector, as it appears in the end of the movie.
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The second installment of the MonsterVerse, following Godzilla (2014).
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The scene where Kong fights a giant squid is an homage to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), in which Kong's first fight is against a giant octopus.
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Just as Godzilla (2014) featured characters that worked for Project Monarch and used the term M.U.T.O., so too does this movie, tying both together in the MonsterVerse, which includes Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
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The copyrights of the Kong franchise are complicated. The novelization of the original King Kong (1933) film is now in the public domain. One small difference between the movie and the novelization is the name of Captain Englehorn's ship. In the film, it is the Venture; in the novel, it is the Wanderer. The rusted-out hull of the Wanderer in this movie is a nod to the novel.
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Near the end of the credits is a line that says: Characters of "Godzilla", "King Ghidorah", "Mothra", and "Rodan" created and owned by Toho Co., Ltd. This ties in with the MonsterVerse and could be a clue to Kaiju appearing in future films, including Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
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The novelization states that Skullcrawlers can mimic human cries, and that was the cause of Gunpei Ikari's death as he and Marlow mistook one for an Iwi child crying, the book also suggests that the Skull Devil appeared when it did because it somehow sensed that Kong was down.
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John Goodman's character says he is the sole survivor of a ship accident involving a monster. This is likely a reference to Godzilla, who we learn is connected to this film during the after-credits scene.
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This is the first American King Kong film where Kong does not die at the end. In King Kong (1933) and King Kong (2005) he is shot by aircraft and falls to his death from the Empire State Building. In King Kong (1976) he fell from the World Trade Center, but was revealed to be in a comatose state in King Kong Lives (1986)in which he is given an artificial heart which eventually fails and he dies. Furthermore, in contrast to the 1933 and 2005 versions who met their ends trying to fight off attacking airplanes, this incarnation of Kong makes his first major appearance by successfully defeating a group of military aircraft.
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Various direct references to the original King Kong (1933) occur throughout the film, such as when Kong is seen fighting off helicopters like the original Kong battled planes in New York City, and Kong being briefly held back by chains is reminiscent of Kong being put on display for an audience. The lead female character comforting Kong is also a recurring theme throughout several Kong films.
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Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah appear in an after-credits scene as cave paintings.
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In the film, Weaver makes it off Skull Island with her film intact, while in the novelization, her film is ruined when she falls into the marsh. The book also explains that Weaver's camera acts as a barrier between her and the events going on around her.
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Kong ripping apart and devouring the mire squid is a rare instance of a kaiju actively consuming another,while Godzilla was stated to be a "predator" of the MUTO, he does not consume their remains after they are killed. In a deleted script of Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) however, Godzilla devours Deutalios.
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In this film, which takes place in 1973, Hank says Kong isn't fully grown yet. We may see that Kong has grown much larger when he battles Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
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Wilhelm Scream: When Kong is set on fire.
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Kong seems to care for the native Sker Buffaloes as he is enraged upon seeing one killed by a Skullcrawler and helps another that got trapped under a helicopter wreckage.
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In the official novelization, another mire squid attacks and tries to eat Slivko before it has one of its arms cut off by San Lin, and is finished off with a flare gun to its ink sac, killing it.
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Hank's boat is named "The Gray Fox" - director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is slated to direct Metal Gear Solid which contains a character named "Gray Fox".
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Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) is the only person to actually have physical contact with Kong by softly touching his face. Apart from when Kong squashes Packard (Samuel L Jackson) with his giant hand.
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The song that plays at the end "We'll Meet Again," which Marlow sings and then it continues in the credits, is the same song that plays at the end of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) (which plays while nuclear war lays waste to the planet, and continues through the credits).
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Kong actually avenged his parent's death by killing the "Skull Devil" who led the other Skullcrawlers to skull island and killed his parents.
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Bill Randa (John Goodman) is somewhat similar to Quint (Robert Shaw) from Jaws (1975). Both are the survivors of Word War 2 shipwrecks. Both survived dangerous hazards while being stranded at sea; sharks for Quint and Godzilla for Randa. Both began an obsession of hunting and learning about the creatures that tried to kill them; Quint became a shark hunter and Randa became a monster hunter. Both die in an ironic way; Quint is killed by a giant great white shark and Randa is killed by a Skullcrawler.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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