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Legendary Wants Joe Cornish to Direct King Kong Prequel ‘Skull Island’

King Kong Skull Island
Universal Pictures

At Comic-Con this year, one of the biggest surprise announcements came at the end of the Legendary panel when a mysterious teaser trailer revealed the upcoming ‘King Kong’ prequel, ‘Skull Island‘. The trailer did what it set out to do, teasing the audience with the announcement of a new movie they previously knew nothing about. Well, today we’re finding out a little bit more about ‘Skull Island,’ specifically who could be directing it.

With a movie as big as ‘Skull Island’ headed for a November 4, 2016 release date, Legendary and Universal need to start work on hiring a director and they’re certainly not waiting around. Deadline reports that the studio has offered the job to Joe Cornish, who did fantastic work on ‘Attack the Block’ and co-wrote a script for ‘Ant-Man‘ with Edgar Wright. Cornish had been in talks to direct ‘Star Trek 3‘ but was reportedly scared off the job by producer Roberto Orci, who wanted to direct the film himself (and, eventually got the job).

‘Skull Island,’ which is reportedly without a script at this point, is designed to be a ‘King Kong’ prequel of sorts that would follow the massive ape and the other creatures of the titular island. Said the press release:

Previous works have touched on the island, but staying and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions.

While many have speculated that a ‘Godzilla vs. King Kong’ movie could be in the works now that Legendary is with Universal, at this point, the studio looks focused on the ‘Godzilla’ sequels before we ever get to that point (and, the ‘Godzilla’ sequels are waiting for Gareth Edwards to finish his ‘Star Wars‘ spinoff). But, if you’re looking way down the road, it’s possible that Legendary is building to ‘Godzilla vs. King Kong’ in a big ‘Avengers’ like way.

As for Cornish, it’s a great choice. It was only a matter of time before he was snatched up by Warner Bros., Lucasfilm or another major studio to direct one of their tentpole projects, so congratulations to Legendary for grabbing him and beating the others to the punch. And, hey, he’s got experience with big, scary, dark, hairy monsters. So, there’s that too.

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