The opening scene of Kong: Skull Island is pretty nuts. A WWII-era American soldier falls out of the sky in the very first shot and lands on an island, and we quickly realize that he and a Japanese soldier have both crash-landed here. As they try to shoot each other and eventually come face to face in a sword fight, Kong emerges beside them, causing them to stop what they're doing and give their best Spielberg face up at this hulking beast. But if director Jordan Vogt-Roberts had his way, the opening would have been even crazier.
On the Empire podcast, Vogt-Roberts revealed his plans for the opening scene he wanted, but it was too much for the studio:
"The alternate opening that I pitched to them, the studio said: 'No. You're crazy. You can't do that.' So it's World War II. A full squad comes to this beach. They're killing each other – and then suddenly, this giant monkey (that looks a lot like the monkey from the last King Kong movie) comes out of the jungle. And they just kill it. It's dead. And you're sitting there going, 'wait, did they just kill King Kong? Did they kill the hero of this film?' And then you'd hear a roar and see a much bigger creature – the real King Kong. That was the crazy version of me wanting to send a message that this isn't like other King Kong movies that you've seen. The studio were like: 'you can't do that.'"
That would have been a hell of an introduction to this version of the story, and it's easy to see why the filmmaker wanted to make such a statement right off the bat to establish himself among this franchise's storied history. Ultimately, I think this is a case where the studio may have been right: seeing a giant ape get gunned down in the opening minutes of a huge film like this may have turned people off and might have been too much to recover from. What do you think?