Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American action-adventure monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. It is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and serves as the second flm in Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse. The film was produced by Legendary Pictures and Trencent Pictures, and distributed by Warner Bros.. The film was released on March 10, 2017. A crossover sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, is set for release on May 22, 2020.
In 1944, in the midst of World War II, two fighter pilots - American pilot Hank Marlow and Japanese pilot Gunperi Ikari - parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight and engage in close combat, but the fight is interrupted by a behemoth ape.
Twenty-nine years later, in 1973, U.S. government agent William "Bill" Randa hires former British Special Air Service Captain and skilled tracker James Conrad to guide an expedition to map out a recently discovered island known as Skull Island. Their military escort is a Vietnam War helicopter squadron known as the Sky Devils, led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and his subordinates, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole. The group is joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver, who believes the expedition is a secret military operation. They arrive at Skull Island and Packer's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to map out the island. However, their air unit is attacked by the same ape from 1944, who kills a number of military personnel and scatters the survivors across the island.
Packard regroups with some of the scattered survivors, including his door gunner Reles, pilot Glenn Mills, Cole, Landsat employee Steve Woodward, and Randa; the latter is confronted by Packard and reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch, who was trying to prove the existence of monsters and determine their threat to humanity. The other survivors (Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko, and Landsat employee Victor Nieves) try to get to a rendezvous point to meet a resupply team arriving in three days' time. They encounter the local Iwi natives and an older Marlow, who reveals that the ape is Kong, the island's guardian who is worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting the island's inhabitants from many predators, including reptilian underground monsters dubbed "Skullcrawlers". He informs them that Kong attacked and destroyed the air unit because their seismology explosives would bring the Skullcrawlers to the surface, and they are responsible for killing Kong's ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. He also tells them that he and Ikari became friends, but Ikari was killed by a Skullcrawler some time ago.
Packard's group begins making their way to Chapman, whose helicopter crash-landed elsewhere. Meanwhile, Chapman is ambushed and eaten by a Skullcrawler. Conrad's group helps Marlow complete a boat built from parts scavenged from Marlow and Ikari's downed planes and ride the boat down the river, managing to secure communication with Packard's group, but the boat is attacked by pterosaur-like creatures which kill Nieves. They regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman; his true objective, though, is to find and kill Kong, who he perceives as an enemy for killing his men.
Marlow leads the two groups to a mass grave littered with the bones of Kong's kin, where they are attacked by the Skullcrawler that killed Chapman; Randa and many of the soldiers are killed before the Skullcrawler dies in a flammable gas explosion triggered by Weaver. A vengeful Packard, learning of Chapman's death, blames Kong for the death of his men and becomes even more determined to kill the ape. The two groups part ways, with Packard's group laying a trap for Kong, while the non-military personnel head back to the boat. While scouting the paths ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and resolve to save him after seeing his true benevolent nature.
As Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong, Packard's group uses the remaining seismic explosives to lure him into the trap. Kong charges into the lake, where he is incapacitated with ignited napalm, though Woodward is killed. Conrad's group arrives and persuades the other soldiers to spare Kong but Packard refuses to back down and is crushed to death by a recovering Kong as a massive Skullcrawler emerges from the lake. The Skullcrawler overpowers Kong and pursues the humans. Cole is killed in a failed suicide bomb attempt to kill it, but Kong returns to rescue the others and battles the beast. Weaver gets knocked into the marsh during the fight; Kong saves her from drowning and then kills the Skullcrawler by ripping out its innards and allows the survivors to leave the island.
During the credits, Marlow returns home, reunites with his wife and meets his son for the first time, and watches a Chicago Cubs game on television. In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are detained by Monarch and informed by Brooks and San that Skull Island is just the beginning and that Kong is not the only monster king to roam the world. As proof, they are shown archive footage of cave paintings depicting Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. The film cuts to black and Godzilla's roar is heard.
- Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, a broken but noble former British Air Service Captain.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard, a United States Army Lieutenant Colonel.
- John Goodman as William "Bill" Randa, a senior official.
- Brie Larson as Mason Weaver, a feisty and altruistic photojournalist and peace activist.
- Jing Tian as San Lin, a young biologist.
- Toby Kebbell as Jack Chapman, a United States Army major and Sea Stallion helicopter pilot.
- John Ortiz as Victor Nieves
- Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks
- Jason Mitchell as Glenn Mills
- Shea Whigham as Earl Cole
- Thomas Mann as Reg Silvko
- John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow