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  • Movie

I love the smell of giant apes in the morning …

Well… not really. But it’s a cool Apocalypse Now reference, and next month’s Kong: Skull Island monster thriller is doubling down on its homage to the hearts of darkness featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 war epic.

The new IMAX poster for the film (which you can see above) is a direct tribute to the one-sheet image created for that earlier movie by artist Bob Peak. The Skull Island poster swaps out the gargantuan Kong for Brando, but maintains the fireball sun, mosquito-sized fleet of choppers, and battered riverboat.

The movie, directed by Kings of Summer filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is set in the 1970s, and stars Room Oscar-winner Brie Larson as a photojournalist and Thor‘s Tom Hiddleston as a one-time tracker for the British SAS who join Samuel L. Jackson’s military leader, and John Goodman’s greedy explorer on a quest to an isolated South Pacific island where magic and science seem to meld.

Apocalypse Now, 1979
Credit: United Artists / Courtesy: Everett Collection

John C. Reilly plays a wooly-bearded American who has already been stranded on the island for a long time and has come to know its secrets and indigenous people (and other beings.)

He’s basically a comic-relief version of Dennis Hopper’s character from Apocalypse Now, only this time paying tribute to the “great man” who is not a man at all — and the pairs of ragged claws from the “skull crawlers” who aren’t scuttling so silently.

One of Hopper’s first lines in that movie, coincidentally, is “Watch out! Those goddamn monkeys’ll bite you!”

Kong Skull Island, which also sets up the 2020 crossover movie Godzilla vs. Kong, hits theaters on March 10.

Apocalypse Now

  • Movie
  • R
  • 153 minutes
  • Francis Ford Coppola