THE ULTIMATE 2017 PREVIEW
APES, GUNSLINGERS, GETAWAY DRIVERS AND A VERY CREEPY CLOWN: THIS YEAR’S MUST-SEE MOVIES AND TV
Films set in 2017 include Pamela Anderson ‘vehicle’ Barb Wire, sections of Adam Sandler ‘comedy’ Click, the last bit of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows — Part 2 and Terminator Genisys. And you thought 2016 was grim.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
THE RULES OF engagement are clear: fight fur with fire. As this piece of exclusive concept art shows, adventure epic Kong: Skull Island will see everybody’s favourite big-screen (and just plain big) ape pitted against modern combat technology. Well, not quite modern. Rather than yanking the traditionally old-school tale into the present day, the blockbuster reboot is set in the early ’70s, at the tail end of the Vietnam war. That inferno you’re looking at might just be caused by the source of Colonel Kilgore’s favourite smell: napalm.
“The script I first read took place in 1917,” says director Jordan Vogt-roberts. “But when I started talking to the Legendary [Entertainment] guys, I was thinking, ‘What weird King Kong movie would I want to see?’ So I pitched them the Vietnam War connection. Literally thinking they were gonna laugh me out of the room. And to Legendary’s credit, they said, ‘Cool. Let’s figure it out.’ The aesthetics of that time mixed with King Kong makes for an incredible genre mash-up.”
The beleagured band of visitors to Skull Island include pro tracker Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), war photographer Weaver (Brie Larson) and Randa (John Goodman), a bureaucrat working for Monarch, the shadowy organisation introduced in Legendary’s Godzilla. And then there’s Samuel L. Jackson’s Colonel Packard, jungle-hardened and trigger-happy. “He becomes hell-bent on killing Kong, because Kong kills some of his men, and he didn’t lose any men during the war,” explains producer Alex Garcia. “He’s like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick — he’s obsessed with bringing down this creature.”
Determined to return to America with some kind of victory, Packard and his ’Namveteran loyalists have a state-of-the-art arsenal with which to topple Kong. (“Guns, grenadelaunchers, formidable weaponry,” promises Garcia.) On the other hand, never discount the devastating potential of a well-placed banana skin. NICK DE SEMLYEN