The major movie story of the summer of 2015 is “Look at all the money Jurassic World made!” It zoomed past almost all the box office records in the book and has only Titanic and Avatar to take down for the all-time box office crown. Although that seems exceeding unlikely, the billion and a half made by the dinosaur movie has had the side effect of making the major players involved all hot commodities. So if you’re working on a movie about a mysterious tropical island filled with monsters and you need a writer… Well, you know the drill. So in the case of the trouble production of the King Kong spin-off Kong: Skull Island, they’ve decided to bring in a ringer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Derek Connolly has signed on to take another whack at the script of Skull Island for Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures. Connolly developed the final script for World with Colin Trevorrow from an earlier draft by Rise of the Planet of the Apes writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. It would seem to me that those are the people you’d want to write a screenplay involving a giant ape, but oh well.
It’s uncertain what exactly that Connolly is being brought in to do for the Skull Island script, but he’ll be following in the footsteps of Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Max Borenstein (Godzilla) and John Gatins (Flight) in the attempt to make sense of the project. Apparently, the production is looking to get started with principal photography later this year, which means that Connolly is unlikely going to be re-writing the whole project from scratch. It is possible though that he’s been hired to massage the various drafts into a coherent script that will be ready for the cameras in just a few months time.
Of course, writing hasn’t been the only depart to struggle in the difficult development process of Skull Island. The cast now includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins with Russell Crowe and Samuel L. Jackson, but it once included Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) will direct the film.
Kong: Skull Island is currently scheduled to hit theaters everywhere on March 10, 2017.