Attack on Skull Island

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In a long piece for the July issue of GQ magazine, Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts detailed a harrowing 2017 assault at a nightclub in Vietnam that almost killed him, and the investigation he launched himself to find the assailants.

After production wrapped on Skull Island, which went on gross more than $500 million at the box office in 2017, Vogt-Roberts had decided to leave Hollywood to relocate to Vietnam, having fallen in love with Saigon. The city embraced Vogt-Roberts’ presence, with officials even appointing him Vietnam’s first American-born tourism ambassador. Upon relocating, the director quickly became a fixture in the Saigon club scene.

On September 9, 2017, at XOXO nightclub in Saigon, Vogt-Roberts, who was joined by friends including Hollywood stuntman Ilram Choi, was jumped and brutally beaten by at least 10 men he described as “insane gangsters,” who beat him and hit him over the head with a champagne bottle before escaping. The director was taken to a hospital where it was determined that he had suffered a fractured skull, contusions, hemorrhaging, and a cerebral air pocket.

Following a 10-day hospital stay, Vogt-Roberts returned to California for further medical treatment and was told his injuries were beyond what was determined by the Vietnam doctors. He also had a concussion, and the skull fracture, from being hit with the bottle, was more serious than originally diagnosed.

There is video footage of the incident, which Vogt-Roberts, still traumatized, was able to gain access to. He was cautioned not to further inquire into the incident from those with knowledge of Saigon’s crime scene, who believed his assailants were “protected,” and Vietnamese police were mum on who the suspects were or if they could be caught. Refusing to let the case go, Vogt-Roberts launched in own investigation, taking to Facebook Messenger and mining sources who have knowledge about the Vietnamese crime world to hone in on the culprits.

Soon, Vogt-Roberts and GQ writer Max Marshall, who penned the article published today, were working on the case together, holding off a planned magazine profile “to play full-on Hardy Boys.”

With help from sources and Canadian authorities, a suspect identified in the attack, Kenny Cuong, has been apprehended (though not in connection with Vogt-Roberts’ attack), while the rest remain at large. Still, the revelations have helped Vogt-Roberts’ healing process.

He also maintains his love for Vietnam, saying “no amount of pain will ever skew my appreciation for that country.”

Click here for the full GQ article.