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Trivia / Kong: Skull Island

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  • Acting for Two: Will Brittain portrays both young Hank Marlow and his adult son.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • John C. Reilly's character wears a bomber jacket with the ironic back patch "Good For Your Health", which seems to be a sly reference to Steve Brule.
    • As the Sky Devils take off towards Skull Island, Colonel Packard says on the radio, "Hold on to your butts."
      • Possibly unintentional, but Samuel L. Jackson's character is a Colonel.
      • Additionally, Samuel L. Jackson, says his Catchphrase of "motherfucker" in a film, but it gets cut short before he can finish it.
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    • John Goodman in a film set during 'Nam.
    • 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.
  • All-Star Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, and John Goodman lead the charge in this movie.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Both Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson admitted their reasons for joining the movie were basically this (on a lesser note, Brie Larson accepted because her character was an Action Girl instead of a Damsel in Distress). 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!'"
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  • California Doubling: "Skull Island" in the movie is actually based on Vietnamese locales, with the rocky bay area surrounding the island being filmed at the famous Ha Long Bay, one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the Japanese dub, James Conrad is voiced by the singer Gackt.
  • Channel Hop: The movie was originally set to be distributed by Universal. Distribution ultimately moved to Warner Bros..
  • Creator Backlash: The director 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.
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  • Dear Negative Reader: Jordan Vogt-Roberts spent some time on Twitter attacking CinemaSins for their video on the film, calling them trolls and countering some specific sins. Rather notably, he had participated in the Honest Trailers video for the film before all this happened and was released shortly afterwards, where his own criticisms of the film were noted to be especially harsh.
  • Executive Meddling: 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, but Universal (holders of the Kong rights, and Legendary's current partner) refused to allow it, as they wanted nothing to do with Godzillanote .
  • Fan Nickname: Like many other post-2016 works that involve apes, many took to calling Kong "Harambe" after the memetic gorilla.
    • Kong of War, for when Kong uses the ship propellor on a chain in a way very similar to how Kratos utilizes his signature weapon.
  • Follow the Leader: 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.
  • Market-Based Title: According to the Japanese poster, it's "King Kong: Giant God of Skull Island". With bonus Shout-Out as "giant god" is in the kanji that can also be read as "kyojin".
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The Comic-Con trailer has scenes of a concealed Kong walking through a grove of trees, Slivko being with Packard and the other soldiers when they pay their respects to those killed by Kong, and Chapman looking down a hole. The second official trailer extends the scene of Chapman looking down the hole. Both trailers also have lines that aren't spoken in the final film:
    It's a survey job. Just chopper them in and out. It'd be a joyride.
    Packard: What you're looking a monster of some bygone era.
    Weaver: We don't belong here.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Artist Joe DeVito launched a lawsuit against Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros., claiming that he had approached Warner Bros. to make a prequel series to King Kong based on his 1992 Skull Island project, and that they had turned him down only to appropriate aspects of it for the film without his permission or compensating him.
  • Sleeper Hit: Several outlets had expressed concerns that the movie would serve as a loss to its financiers (in spite of the movie's better-than-expected opening weekend) due to the substantial competition it had to face in its release window... And yet it managed to have substantially strong legs by ending its run with about $170M. Even if this was a bit shy of its production budget ($185M), the overseas numbers (particularly from China) ensured that the film was a success. It also did substantially better than Power Rangers (2017), which many believed would have stepped on Kong's legs at the box office (though it ended up being a minor flop instead).
  • Those Two Actors:
  • Throw It In!: "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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • J. K. Simmons and Michael Keaton were originally set to be part of the cast, but dropped out before production began. Simmons was originally going to play Packard and Keaton was originally going to play Marlow before they were replaced by Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly, respectively.
    • Legendary Pictures initially offered Joe Cornish a chance to direct the movie. Peter Jackson (himself no stranger to King Kong) also suggested Guillermo del Toro (who directed Pacific Rim, which is a homage to kaiju films) as a possible director.
    • Originally Ramarak/Skull Devil's name was going to be MacArthur. A nickname given by Marlow since, like MacArthur, Skull Crawlers never gave up.
    • Originally, the Big Bad was going to be a giant dragon-like serpent with a saw-like jaw but was scraped 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.
    • One deleted kaiju was a giant tiger with antlers.
    • Godzilla himself would have actually made a physical appearance in this film. At least two ideas came to be.
      • According to Jordan Vogt-Roberts in the DVD commentary, there would have been black and white shots of Godzilla early in the film. But Jordan Vogt-Roberts fought against this idea of showing Godzilla first in a movie about King Kong, as he didn't want audiences to immediately focus on Godzilla, or have the film feel like a sequel. The director eventually won out and a shot of the damaged USS Lawton, which was attacked by Godzilla, was used instead.
      • In an Empire podcast, it was revealed that Godzilla was at one time considered to directly appear after the credits. Originally Conrad and Weaver are on a boat with Houston Brooks in the Arctic Ocean. Conrad and Weaver were to have asked Brooks what they were waiting for, to which he would have replied "hold on, hold on...". This would have led to Godzilla dramatically surfacing, breaking through the ice. However, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts admitted the scene did not line up with the events of Godzilla, which implied Godzilla had not shown up between 1954 to 2014. As a result, it was ultimately scrapped for an ending that instead evoked Godzilla without directly showing him.
    • Weaver actually had a backstory about growing up with a Control Freak father and all-around dysfunctional family that was scripted but never filmed.
    • According to writer Dan Gilroy, Conrad and Weaver's deleted backstories:
      • Instead of being reluctant to join the expedition, Conrad would have wanted to join as he would've been searching for the giant monster that attacked him and his unit in Vietnam.
      • Weaver was originally written to be a war-weary photojournalist who didn't believe in anything and felt she had been taking photos for too long, but would experience an awakening and "come back to life" when she first sees Kong.
    • In an earlier version of the screenplay, the film was about James Conrad leading a rescue team to Skull Island and facing it's mythical creatures in search of his missing brother, who was stranded there while trying to find a "Titan Serum" said to cure all illnesses.


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