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Tom Hiddleston Says ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Takes King Kong Myth in New Direction

Kong: Skull Island,” an origin story about cinema’s most famous ape, will offer a fresh take on a familiar tale, star Tom Hiddleston promised.

For one thing, the original King Kong film’s period setting has been scrapped.

“It’s not set in the ’30s,” said Hiddleston at Wednesday’s premiere of “Crimson Peak.” “There’s no movie director with a map. There’s no out-of-work actress down on her luck. All of that stuff is respected, we’re just trying to do something new with the myth because Kong is an icon of movies. I think he’s someone people want to see again.”

He is particularly impressed by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ (“Kings of Summer”) vision for the picture, saying he has “come up with the most incredible, deeply imaginative context for [King Kong] to exist in.”

Kong: Skull Island” co-stars Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. It hits theaters in 2017. The hope is that this film will lead into a monster mashup, with a “Godzilla vs King Kong” movie due in 2020.

Hiddleston didn’t spill about whether or not the film would unfold in the 1970s as some news outlets have reported, but he did say he was flying to the set on Sunday to begin shooting.

“Kong: Skull Island” marks a departure for Hiddleston after playing a morally conflicted aristocrat in “Crimson Peak” and the hard drinking, philandering Hank Williams in “I Saw the Light.”

“I’m excited to play an adventurer and a heroic protagonist,” said Hiddleston. “I’ve been excavating some dark material and it’s time to lighten up a bit.”

As for “Crimson Peak,” which features one very haunted mansion and a newlywed who discovers her husband has dark secrets, Hiddleston stressed that it was not a horror film, despite offering its fair share of scares. It’s a Gothic Romance in the style of “The Castle of Otranto” or “The Mysteries of Udolpho,” he argued.

“Within the genre of Gothic Romance are these opposite forces of love and death. And the ghosts, the supernatural elements, the horrific elements are something that evolve out of an emotional story,” said Hiddleston. “It’s quite old fashioned in that way, but I think that it’s very classical and very beautiful.”

“Crimson Peak” opens on Friday.

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