While “Kong: Skull Island” wasn’t a runaway success domestically — the movie has yet to break even on its rumored $185 million production budget — it has connected well with international audiences, grossing more than $552 million worldwide. Those are the kind of numbers that encourage studios to think about spinoffs and alternate revenue streams, which naturally led to today’s announcement that MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television are currently developing a new television series starring everyone’s favorite giant monkey.
According to the piece in Deadline, the spinoff series — confusingly titled “King Kong Skull Island” — will be a “serialized, contemporary continuation of the classic,” bringing together a “female-led, multicultural ensemble” to explore Skull Island and its origins. Furthermore, Deadline notes that the new series will plug directly into the planned Warner Bros. cinematic universe between ‘Kong’ and 2014’s “Godzilla” remake, possibly serving as a bridge of sorts between this spring’s film and the planned upcoming crossover event. If that’s the case, it could possibly answer one of the bigger questions from ‘Kong,’ specifically how the studio was going to bring together that film’s ’70s setting and the modern setting of “Godzilla.”
While it’s certainly an ambitious idea, the prospect of bringing together film and television properties has a dicey history. Lucasfilm has been successful with animated canonical television shows like “Star Wars Rebels,” but they’ve never tried a live-action television version of their franchise, perhaps understanding that differentiating between two audiences was the smart way to go. Perhaps the best approach would be the one Marvel has taken with its Netflix properties, making it abundantly clear that shows like “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” are connected to the larger events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe without ever attempting to cross over their respective casts and crews. I’m not sure that audiences are exactly clamoring for a small screen adaptation of “Kong,” but then again, the last time Hollywood gave us a show about a magical island full of monsters, it pretty much caused the internet to melt down for the better part of a decade. I guess maybe it’s time to go back after all.