Kong: Skull Island is taking the creature out of his usual time frame and putting him somewhere unique. Instead of the turn of the 1900s, the film is set to take place in the Vietnam war era.
But how and why did that choice get made? Speaking with Empire, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts explained how that came to be. He explained:
The script I first read took place in 1917. But when I started talking to the Legendary [Entertainment] guys, I was thinking, 'What weird King Kong movie would I want to see?' So I pitched them the Vietnam War connection, literally thinking they were gonna laugh me out of the room. And to Legendary's credit, they said, 'Cool. Let's figure it out.' The aesthetics of that time mixed with King Kong makes for an incredible genre mash-up.
I'm happy the decision was made, at least conceptually. If nothing else it will make the film feel totally different to anything that has come before. For a monster that has been taken on so many times over the decades, that seems like a good jumping off point.