J.K. Simmons Reveals a Surprise Setting for Kong: Skull Island

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Kong: Skull Island 1971

Following his nomination this morning for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash, J.K. Simmons spoke briefly with MTV, revealing a major surprise concerning his role in the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. He says that the film will take place in Detroit in 1971! (That is, of course, in addition to its setting on a fictional island off the coast of Sumatra). What’s more, the production is planning to take place in Detroit.

“When it first came to my attention, ‘There’s interest in you for a new ‘King Kong,’ I thought, ‘Okay… Why?'” Simmons explains, “But then I met with Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who’s going to be directing it and John Gatins, who’s writing and Tom [Hiddleston]. Jordan was just so passionate and so smart. It’s such an intersting, new take on it. It’s set in Detroit in 1971, which is where I grew up. We’re going to shoot it in Detroit during baseball season, so I’ll be able to go to Tigers games! There’s a lot to like about this movie!”

In addition to Simmons and Hiddleston, it was recently revealed that Michael Keaton (who himself was nominated today for his leading role in Birdman) is being sought for a role. His casting doesn’t appear to be 100% confirmed quite yet as it remains to be seen how the Kong: Skull Island shooting schedule will stack up against yesterday’s news that Keaton will headline John Lee Hancock’s McDonald’s “origin story,” The Founder.

Set for release on March 10, 2017, Kong: Skull Island aims to fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Legendary’s story honors the foundations of existing King Kong lore, but places it in an entirely new, distinct timeline.

Thomas Tull (GodzillaThe Dark KnightPacific Rim) and Jon Jashni (GodzillaWarcraft) will produce and Alex Garcia (Godzilla) will executive produce. The film will be released in 3D and IMAX 3D by Universal Pictures.