Brie Larson, almost overnight, became one of the biggest comic book superheroes around. It was a well-deserved turn for the actress who has always shown the ability to act her ass off in any number of different roles throughout her career. So it makes sense that, these days, when you hear her name you instantly think Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel. But just a few years ago she was part of another rather huge franchise that involved its own share of earth-shaking monsters. And that flick is crushing it on streaming right now. Kong: Skull Island is in the top-ten in worldwide views for Netflix.
Kong: Skull Island came out two years before Brie Larson would headline Captain Marvel and the movie was the second flick in Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise. It’s set in 1973 with a clear Vietnam War theme to it. Larson plays Mason Weaver, a war photographer who accompanies a group of soldiers and scientists to a remote and mysterious island. Everything is going fine until they meet up with King Kong himself who isn’t too pleased a bunch of military folks showed up in their choppers.
Brie Larson is joined by a number of other A-list actors including some folks she’d get to know also in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Samuel Jackson plays Preston Packard, a hard-charging Army Lieutenant who has a take-no-prisoners approach to his time on the island. There’s also Tom Hiddleston, a British intelligence officer, and tracker who teams up with Weaver on the island and shares similar goals. Also making appearances are Corey Hawkins, Shea Whigham, and of course John C. Reilly who offers some comedic levity.
What unfolds is a new take on the King Kong story with Brie Larson essentially taking on the Fay Wray role from the original movie. She understands that Kong is, at his core, not an instinctually violent creature. He’s more a protector of the island, keeping everyone safe from much more evil courses. She’s, of course, excellent in the role and clearly understands that though the beast is nearly indestructible, it doesn’t make him bad.
Because Kong Skull Island is more about setting up future stories and happens well in the past compared to the other Monsterverse movies, it makes sense why Brie Larson didn’t reprise the role in future films. In the present day, she’d be much older. This movie was meant to set up some of the back-story for the rest of the universe.
Kong: Skull Island received quite positive reviews from critics, sitting it at 75% on the Tomatometer. Most praised its vision around what could have been a tired and retread story. And Brie Larson’s role received more than a few compliments in her stoicism and emotion as it stood in stark contrast to Samuel L. Jackson’s character becoming increasingly unhinged.
While it paled in comparison to the $1.128 billion Captain Marvel made with Brie Larson in the lead, Kong: Skull Island still turned a hefty profit at the box office. It took in about $567 million on a $185 million budget. Studios will take that all day long for a big-budget flick.
While she never took another role in the Monsterverse, Brie Larson is doing huge things with Marvel these days. On the back of Captain Marvel’s runaway success, she just rumored to be inking the most lucrative movie deal ever for a female actress. The number being floated out there is $15 million for the upcoming sequel.
It also looks like Brie Larson is taking more production control going forward with Captain Marvel as well. Rumors have it that she’s fighting hard for a female-only cast for a sequel and has also made sure to have an inclusion rider with all of her film contracts these days. She’s pushing forward to make the industry more balanced for all involved, leveraging her fame and success to help others in Hollywood. And there’s even some talk that she’ll have an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Just remember though, that before she was in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she showed the ability to hold her own on screen in a massive, blockbuster action film. And now you can make sure to keep up with the rest of the world in revisiting the film just a few years later. Go check out Brie Larsen in Kong: Skull Island.