Actress Brie Larson to star opposite Tom Hiddleston in Kong: Skull Island

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Red-hot actress Brie Larson (21 Jump Street, The Spectacular Now) is set to become the beauty that awakens the beast.

Larson is in talks to play the female lead in Legendary Pictures’ Kong: Skull Island, the origin story of everyone’s favorite over-sized, skyscraper-scaling simian. The actress — who is fresh off a co-starring gig on Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck — will star opposite Tom Hiddleston (Thor, The Avengers) and Deadline reports that the studio is targeting Russell Crowe for one of the open male leads.

With Legendary co-producing the Godzilla sequels as well, there are also rumors of a future Godzilla Vs. King Kong crossover film (!), but that’s unconfirmed at present.

Related: Tom Hiddleston to star in King Kong spinoff Skull Island

John Gatins and Max Borenstein wrote the script for the new film, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct. The studio aims to start production by early 2016 at the latest and may even kick things off before the end of the year.

The film is said to follow a team of explorers as they delve into the heart of the perilous, prehistoric Skull Island, a place where King Kong isn’t the only monster on the block.

Movie fans will remember that we also visited Skull Island in Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) but that film was a remake of the classic 1933 version. This time around, the island will take center-stage, meaning the Empire State Building is probably safe … for now.

As for Larson, the actress has been extremely sought after of-late, and has no less than six projects on her plate: Two in pre-production (Kong: Skull Island, Brooklyn Bridge), two currently filming (Free Fire, Wiener Dog) and two in post-production (Basmati Blues, Room).

Sounds like she could use a vacation. We hear Skull Island is lovely this time of year …

The film will be released by Universal Pictures on March 10, 2017, and will appear in Imax 3D in select theaters.

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