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Michael Keaton Joins ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ Neil Marshall Says His Version Would’ve Had Pirates & Dinosaurs

Michael Keaton Joins ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ Neil Marshall Says His Version Would've Had Pirates & Dinosaurs

While “Birdman” is being positioned as Michael Keaton‘s comeback movie — and certainly it’s his meatiest and best lead role in ages — let’s not forget that in 2014, the actor also lent his talents to “Robocop” and “Need For Speed.” Basically, it’s not like Keaton has been choosy or hasn’t been asked to help prop up a piece of popcorn entertainment. And so, this next move isn’t a huge suprise.

Deadline reports that Keaton is locking down a deal to star in “Kong: Skull Island.” And while we’re usually wary of franchise movies for the sake of franchise movies, rising talent Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“The Kings Of Summer“) has been given the keys for this one, and with Keaton joining Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons, that’s a cast we’d watch reading the phone book (as the saying goes). We really dig the talent behind this one. And while details on this movie are being kept tight for now, Neil Marshall, who developed a different incarnation of the project a couple years ago, has shared what his take on the great beast would’ve been all about.

“… myself and another writer did a spec script called ‘Skull Island’ about two or three years ago for a movie. And ours is like a period piece. It has pirates on Skull Island, so it was kind of like, pirates and dinosaurs, what more do you want?” he told Chud. “And so we pitched it around the studios and nobody bit. Universal wasn’t interested in doing another King Kong thing, so nothing ever really happened with it, so it went away. And then later someone — it wasn’t me — posted it on my IMDB page as, ‘Skull Island: Blood of the King‘ which is actually the wrong title.”

“Ours was a prequel. They said it’s called ‘Blood of the King’ and ours was actually called ‘Blood of the Kong.’ And then it was left and we never heard anything about it, until Legendary announced they’re making Skull Island at Comic Con,” Marshall added.

And while the current King Kong film is moving on without him, that hasn’t diminished Marshall’s excitement for his version. “I would LOVE to do it. I just think that world is so awesome. And our script, the idea was pretty cool. We had pirates on Skull Island and the origins of King Kong. And it was kind of about King Kong’s parents and Kong is just this little guy. And ours explained why there are giant gorillas on the island,” he shared. “…the script was told from a human point of view, because it was these pirates that end up on the island for their own reasons, but there was a very strong storyline involving Kong’s parents and Kong himself.”

So pirates, dinosaurs, parents, tiny King Kong…we actually sorta see why Universal balked, because that sounds like a hot mess, but perhaps on the page it made more sense. Anyway, Vogt-Roberts’ “Kong: Skull Island” arrives on March 10, 2017. 

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