King Kong Returns

Ryan Owen 08/12/2005

It wouldn't be an understatement to say that King Kong is the most eagerly awaited film since Sith and Jackson's own Return of the King. From the look of the recent King Kong Production Diaries on DVD, we can see Peter Jackson is yet again retelling a classic story in epic proportions. Gone are the hobbits, but hairy feet remain as Kong returns.

Jackson, king of splatter and gore, has abandoned punk for a more accessible style akin to that of the epic blockbuster. Here this adopted style of grand ambition reigns, remaking his personal favourite King Kong (1933) by expanding the storyline, and doubling the original's running time to three hours, all during an intense eight-month production.

Much of the action takes place on Skull Island within the dark jungles, an over-sized environment where danger lurks everywhere. We also see a scientifically incorrect Tyrannosaurus Rex with three fingers instead of the normal two. Jackson chose this as a homage to the original in which the T-Rex had an extra digit.

More fear-instilling is Kong himself who battles enemies though the perils of Skull Island with his agility and raw brute strength. After studying gorillas in Africa, Andy Serkis embodies Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World.
We also see New York as we have never seen it before, largely shot in New Zealand where vintage vehicles, airplanes and period costumes adorn the 1933 cityscape, whilst Adrien Brody does his own stunt driving.

The story of King Kong (1933) is one that is timeless, has influenced numerous film-makers and captivated many an audience.
Plot: A film crew pay a visit to a remote tropical island, and discover that its inhabitants are worshippers of a colossal ape called Kong. The fearsome beast takes a shine to blonde bombshell Fay Wray, which leads to his downfall. Captured and brought to New York as a Broadway attraction, Kong escapes from his captors and goes on a rampage in Manhattan, searching for the woman he loves with an unforgettable climax on the Empire State building.

Society deemed King Kong worthy of a remake in 1976 with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange taking the lead roles. Although quite entertaining it wasn't a patch on the original.
Peter 'can-do-no-wrong' Jackson helms the new Kong with an estimated expenditure of $207,000,000. One can get quite excited about that.
Jackson about Kong "We are trying to honour the original film and approaching it with very much the same feeling as Lord of the Rings, trying to do it with integrity, to make it feel real and to make the emotions feel real."

The new Kong movie fulfils a lifetime obsession for director Peter Jackson.
The Oscar-winning Lord Of The Rings movie maker made his first King Kong film with a cardboard set when he was just 13, so to be given a $175 million
budget to remake the 1933 version is a "dream come true".
However, production was not problem free. Jackson hired a new composer after creative differences with long-time collaborator Howard Shore. Fear not, according to Adrien Brody "Peter Jackson is going to create the definitive King Kong" and he wouldn't lie, would he?

Whatever the outcome Jackson has shed 70 pounds working on the forthcoming epic, as well as having eye surgery. Lets hope he can personally transform Kong as well. We've come to expect great things...

Released Dec 15