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Kong Skull Island to be biggest film in Vietnam

Adventure movie Kong: Skull Island stars Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson and is to become the biggest film ever to shoot in Vietnam

The film’s story unfolds on Skull Island, which in movie lore is the mysterious jungle home of great ape King Kong. Filmmaker Peter Jackson remade the original King Kong movie in 2005 (pictured), but the producers of Skull Island are claiming the new movie isn’t a direct sequel.

Kong: Skull Island will film in central and north-eastern Vietnam over the next five weeks and will be supported by the government’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

"We appreciate Viet Nam's support for this film project,” said Ted Osius, the US ambassador to Vietnam, in comments reported by the Vietnam News at a Hanoi press conference ahead of the shoot. 

“This support also makes good sense for Vietnam. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Vietnam could benefit, as Thailand has, from a vibrant foreign film industry? According to the Thailand Film Office, 2015 saw VND 1,989,862 million (around $90m) in revenue from 63 feature films.”

Vietnam is yet to establish itself as an international filming location and is overshadowed regionally by China. 

Kong: Skull Island will nonetheless help raise the country’s production profile and the US studios will be interested in how Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures fare on the ground over the next few weeks. 

The Kong team will take measures to minimise the shoot’s environmental impact in more scientifically-sensitive locations. A concrete road will be laid in one mountainous region to ease local access.

Producers have already filmed on location in Queensland, Australia, and in Hawaii, which is among the most straightforward US locations for jungle scenery.  

For more on filming in Vietnam see our production guide.