King Kong prequel Skull Island just landed a supervillain to be its star

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Sep 16, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT (Updated)

Legendary's King Kong origin story, Skull Island, will be led by an actor who's already got a massive genre fan base.

The announcement that Legendary Pictures -- a studio that's already handling the successful reboot of the Godzilla franchise -- would also be returning to King Kong with the 2016 prequel Skull Island was one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. No one expected the announcement, and we still don't quite know what the film will be about, but we now know who'll direct the flick that will explore "the cinematic origins" of Kong, and we also know who will star.

Legendary announced today that ThorThe Avengers and Crimson Peak star Tom Hiddleston has joined the film as its lead. We still don't know the name of Hiddleston's character, or anything else about his role in the plot, but right away, this lends serious intrigue to the still-mysterious project. Robert Downey Jr. is the big fish of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to be sure, but after winning over audiences (and pretty much all of Tumblr) in The Avengers and two Thor films, Hiddleston is inarguably its biggest breakout star, and acclaimed roles in films like Only Lovers Left Alive have endeared him to genre fans even more. Quite a few fans will flock to Skull Island just to see him as part of the adventure. 

Legendary also announced that the film will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a filmmaker best known for his coming-of-age drama The Kings of Summer (one of the breakout hits of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival) and for TV work on shows like MTV's monster-hunting mockumentary Death Valley, the Comedy Central series Mash Up and the new FX comedy You're the Worst. This will be his first big-budget film effort, but don't forget, Godzilla was Gareth Edwards' first big-budget film effort, and look how that turned out.

Skull Island, featuring a script by Godzilla writer Max Borenstein, is slated to hit theaters in November 2016.

(Via The Wrap)