Michael Keaton, J.K. Simmons Leave ‘Kong: Skull Island’


Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons have exited Legendary-Universal’s “Kong: Skull Island” due to scheduling conflicts.

The King Kong origins movie is set to open on March 10, 2017, and will be released in 3D. The studio and Legendary unveiled “Skull Island” during last year’s Comic-Con. They announced in September that Tom Hiddleston was on board to star, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts directing.

Production is expected to start later this year.

John Gatins (“Flight”) and Max Borenstein (“Godzilla”) wrote the script, about a team of explorers who venture deep inside the primordial island that is King Kong’s home. Legendary has said the story honors the foundations of the King Kong lore created in the iconic 1933 film.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produc with Alex Garcia and Mary Parent. Eric McLeod is exec producing.

Keaton will be seen next in Thomas McCarthy’s Catholic Church child-abuse drama “Spotlight,” due out  from Open Road in November. He is also starring in “The Founder” as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.

Simmons, who won an Oscar for “Whiplash,” has a part in “Terminator: Genisys,” which opens Wednesday. He’s starring in  Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant” and Luc Besson’s actioner “The Lake.”

Keaton is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content. Simmons is repped by Gersh.

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