EXCLUSIVE: Brie Larson is in talks to play the female lead in Legendary PicturesKong: Skull Island. She will join Tom Hiddleston, who was set some time ago. Legendary is actively setting the two other male leads after the exit of both Michael Keaton and JK Simmons. One actor they are courting hard for one of those roles is Russell Crowe, but it won’t be clear whether or not that happens until the next script draft comes in.

Keaton and Simmons had scheduling conflicts, my colleague Ali Jaafar reported when he broke news of their exits.

Legendary has Jordan Vogt-Roberts directing a script by John Gatins and Max Borenstein, and they are eyeing a production start of late year or early 2016. The film will be released by Universal Pictures on March 10, 2017, with a Imax 3D a big part of the release plan. Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni produce with Mary Parent, with Alex Garcia and Eric McLeod exec producing. Kong: Skull Island will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the iconic ape as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. Clearly it wasn’t lost on anyone that Peter Jackson’s King Kong had its best moments on Skull Island, depicted as a scary place. Wannasee has been high on this since Legendary revealed the project at San Diego Comic-Con awhile back.

Oprah
11 months
Yet another juicy leading role going to a woman instead of a man. When will this trend...
Lily
11 months
Not impressed
jj19871
11 months
Brie is fricking awesome! Time for her to blow up!

For Larson, this role is a big coup. She co-starred in the Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, and she next stars with William H. Macy and Joan Allen in Room, the Lenny Abrahamson-directed adaptation of the Emma Donoghue novel about a mother (Larson) and her son who are trapped in a shed, and the love between them that keeps them going. A24 is releasing the film for awards season and it is expected to surface in the fall festival circuit. Larson just wrapped the Ben Wheatley-directed Free Fire, which is exec produced by Martin Scorsese.

She’s repped by WME and Authentic Literary and Talent Management.