King Kong last roared his way onto movie screens back in 2005 courtesy of Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Despite its illustrious cast (including Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Peter Serkis as the motion-captured beast), it felt like something of an overstuffed misstep. The giant ape will get another chance to astound audiences next year, however, when he returns in Kong: Skull Island, a movie whose latest trailer promises an action-packed saga comprising equal parts awe and dread.
In the new clip for the film (viewable above), a bad moon rises as Kong treats his human visitors — a group of military and science personnel in the 1970s, including Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman — to a less-than-hospitable welcome. That might be because, before arriving, they dropped bombs on Kong’s island, which has him in an extremely bad, smashing-helicopters-from-the-sky mood. And things only get worse once our characters hit land, given that there are also giant lizards, insects, and creatures called Skull Crawlers roaming the isolated terrain, who look like something out of a Silent Hill video game and — according to John C. Reilly’s island-dwelling kook — are even less friendly than the enormous primate who rules the region. Indeed, the field of giant ape skeletons hints that Kong himself is a kind of tragic figure here — the last of his kind who’s the “god on the island” dealing with the “devils” down below.
This Kong: Skull Island trailer suggests that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s film will operate as something of a cross between the King Kongs of old, Predator, and Apocalypse Now — the last of which gets more than one homage in the above promo. The would-be blockbuster rampages into theaters on March 10, 2017.
Watch the ‘Kong’ cast play a movie monster quiz: