Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Avery Guerra / Robert Hood
Some of you may recall way back in 2009 when I first reported that Spirit Pictures was working on a "King Kong" prequel/sequel called "Kong: King of Skull Island" based on the graphic novel by the same name created by Joe DeVito and Brad Strickland. Prior to that story hitting the web the film had been suffering in development hell at another studio Fantastic Films. Shortly after the news broke that Spirit had taken over the project all related info and images pertaining to it were pulled from Fantastic's web site only to replaced sometime later by a listing for something called “King Kong: The Beginning". It was naturally assumed that the DeVito/Strickland project had been replaced by yet another similar film. Eventually the second project was also removed from the website.
Recently it was announced the Fox Animation was going to tackle a "King Kong" project of their own aimed at a younger audience. Some speculated that somehow "Skull Island" figured into this somehow, possibly that the two were the same film or that they were connected.
Our dear friend Avery Guerra got right on the horn and contacted Devito directly to get some answers.
Here is what he asked Devito:
"I was told a short while back, by someone who had worked on the DeVito project, that they were no longer involved and that they had heard that Ted Fields was now attached to it. In conjunction with this new report that Fields’ team was working on the Fox animation, it all seemed very confusing. Were these the same project? So I enquired of Joe DeVito if this new animated film was related to his project in any way."
“I can tell you that the project you refer to is not connected to mine. The two are on completely different tracks. Mine is still moving ahead very well and I can say this: the project has never been more alive, and has never been on a faster track or in better hands than it is right now.”
So there you have it. "Kong: King of Skull Island" is still moving forward through Spirit Pictures.
Here is a synopsis of the plot:
The story begins in 1957, twenty five years after King Kong’s fall from atop New York City’s Empire State Building. Following Kong's death, both Carl Denham and the body of Kong quickly vanished before any investigation could be launched, leaving rumor and speculation in their wake. Carl's son, Vincent, was left behind. He is now a paleontologist facing a spiritual dilemma, which has its seeds in the disappearance of his father. Upon a chance finding of the hidden Skull Island map, Vincent contacts Jack Driscoll, one of Kong's original captors. They piece together a plan and go to Skull Island in search of Carl Denham, King Kong, and an answer to questions spanning a quarter century.
During a disastrous landing attempt, Vincent is almost killed and Driscoll sets out to find his stricken friend. Upon waking in a dark cavern, Vincent finds himself being cared for by an enigmatic island elder and her young, exotically beautiful but ominous assistant, Kara. The ancient woman, who asks to be called "Storyteller," seems to possess extraordinary knowledge about Vincent and his father. She relates a story from a century earlier that Vincent half-hears and half-dreams through the haze of narcotic herbs kept burning to aid his recovery. Her tale hints at the true origin of the island’s culture and the mystery behind questions such as: Who built the Wall and how? If the Wall was built to keep Kong out, why are its doors big enough to let him in? How could such an island and its monstrous creatures still exist? The answers to those questions and more are all revealed.
Or are they?
While the Storyteller’s tale is sometimes confirmed, it is often refuted by the sights and experiences of Jack Driscoll. He stumbles upon pieces to Skull Island’s primordial history as he struggles to survive the various threats of the island and find his friend. When Driscoll and Vincent reunite, their experiences combine to determine just who the Storyteller and Kara are, what became of Carl Denham, the story behind King Kong and clues to the origins of Skull Island itself. As a result, their lives are all changed forever.
As the story unfolds against a fantastic prehistoric backdrop, woven throughout are themes of personal redemption and reconciliation. All the protagonists have a particular cross to bear: Vincent is on the brink, both emotionally and spiritually; Driscoll comes face to face with past fears and prejudices; in the wake of Kong's death, the lives and culture of the islanders themselves hang in the balance; and we find that Carl Denham's desperate attempt to assuage his conscience decades earlier had very unexpected consequences…
Mysteriously, everyone is inextricably bound to the Storyteller’s ancient tale. It tells of Islanders Ishara and Kublai, and their quest to escape a terrible fate which threatens both themselves and their people. That struggle has the power to reach across time and change the destiny of all - if they survive. For at the nexus of every event is the beast-god of Skull Island: KING KONG.
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