Universal and Peter Jackson to remake....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Weinberg, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    King Kong
    A piece I came across at CHUD.com :
    Well, it may be an unnecessary remake, but they could release a 2-hour test pattern and it would be more entertaining than the Delaurentis crapheap.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    I heard of this a while ago now, I 'sort of' like the idea. It has some potential but it could easily go right down the drain. Peter Jackson will have some real power over the films he makes, now that he has struck big time. For it to work, it can't simply be like the recent Godzilla film. Perhaps something we wouldn't expect from a monster flick.
    I'm fairly sure i've read that once PJ is finished with LOTR, he will take a break for a while - and I think he deserves it as well [​IMG]
     
  3. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    Agreed. That Jackson King Kong remake news has been around for at least 5 years. I don't know, I'll go see just about anything PJ makes so bring it on.
     
  4. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Though it's probably impossible to duplicate the effectiveness of the original 1933 version of KING KONG (which I never tire of watching), a 21st century remake has a far better chance of being worthwhile with a director like Peter Jackson, who is a major Kong fan, at the helm (as opposed to Devlin/Emmerich, and legions of other Hollywood hacks).

    One potential side benefit of a new remake could be the recreation of the dinosaur/'spider pit' scenes that were cut out of the 1933 film (and likely exist no longer). It's practically a given that any retelling of the Kong story will feature the set-piece of Kong rolling Carl Denham's crew off the log and into the gaping chasm below, and these cut scenes bookended this sequence.

    For those of you who've never heard of these lost scenes, here's what they basically boil down to:

    Originally, when the men are chased into the jungle by the brontosaurus, they run into Kong, who is battling 2-3 Triceratops, who are partially trapped in a natural asphalt pit; Kong hurls a big chunk of asphalt at one of the beasts injuring/killing it, and moves deeper into the jungle (to where the big log is). Another enraged Triceratops breaks free of its sticky trap, and charges at the men, who flee in the direction of Kong. One of the men gets his shirt caught on a branch (this bit remains in the film), and is gored to death by the horned dinosaur, who continues chasing the others. When the men run onto the log, they are trapped between Kong on one side, and the dinosaur on the other (which is why they don't just hustle back to the other side of the chasm, away from Kong).

    The "Spider Pit" scenes happen when Kong starts rolling the men off the log. Instead of dying from the fall into the chasm, the (injured) men sink waist-deep in thick mud at the chasm floor. Giant spiders and other weird arthropod & reptilian creatures crawl from their hiding places and devour the hapless crew. All that survives of this in the finished film is the brief scene of that odd lizard-like beast that climbs a vine in an attempt to reach Bruce Cabot, who cuts the vine just in time.

    A shot-by-shot remake of KING KONG (ala the PSYCHO remake) would be rather pointless, but the recreation of the lost scenes I've just described would be pretty cool, if Jackson (abetted by the producers and screenwriter(s)) decided to make that particular choice in the storyline. Whatever Jackson & co decide to do, I just hope their idea of a KONG remake is to do it as a period piece, and that it has an island full of vicious prehistoric monsters. The lack of the latter (apart from a rather lame giant snake) was one of the bigger disappointments of the 1977 Dino De Laurentiis/John Guillerman remake.
     
  5. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I also heard that next year they would be releasing a better version of the 1933 King Kong DVD. How about a commentary with PJ and Ray Harryhausen ?
    This would be awesome
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I think Jackson has better things to do with his time.
     
  7. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Peter Jackson could film 2 hours of drying paint and I'd go see it.

    However, not being a real big fan of real big ape movies, I'd far rather he do something else. He's also been talking about another zombie movie (yay!) and I sure wish he do that next, after his well-deserved break.
     
  8. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  9. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I, for one, am very excited about this prospect. See the "Dream Projects" thread!

    Mostly because this is PJ's passion. This is what he really, REALLY wants to do. That's how we film lovers get great films. Great filmmakers realizing their vision. I am a KK fan, although not a huge one. PJ has shown incredible intelligence and humanity in his choices for films, and I imagine his KK adaptation would set a new benchmark. Long story short, the idea of KK gets his blood up, and that's where great filmmaking comes from.

    It would be NOTHING like the KK remake, Godzilla remake, or the Mighty Joe Young remake. With PJ's new clout, I am certain that Universal would just cut the checks (and release an "Ultimate Edition" The Frighteners 2 DVD set)!

    Take care,
    Chuck
     
  10. Keith Yatsuhashi

    Keith Yatsuhashi Stunt Coordinator

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    They'd probably update it to make it present day, but what would be wrong with keeping it pre 1940? There's a real romanticism to that time period, and for me, it make it more of a fantasy, than seeing Kong stomping around present day NY.
     
  11. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Everything I've ever read about this project stated the story would take place circa 1933, and that it would be a very faithful and respectful remake in the tradition of the original. I agree totally a re-creation of the lost spider scenes are a must!
     
  12. DanHaya

    DanHaya Second Unit

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    I have been waiting for confirmation of this for about a month now. I had heard some rumblings recently that this was happening. I would suspect that the trades will pick up on this story shortly and some kind of official confirmation will come once the deal is done.

    I remember seeing an interview with Jackson about a year ago where he talked about this project and why it was shelved. Universal was hoping this would be a summer 1998 release. Apparently, Universal got cold feet when Centropolis announced its Godzilla film and Disney greenlighted Mighty Joe Young. Jackson had already spent a lot of time, energy and money in developing this project. Some of the details that I remember: It was/is to be set in 1933, Kong was/is going to be created by CGI, Kate Winslet was Jackson's first choice to play Ann Darrow, and Fay Wray would make some kind of cameo appearance.

    I don't know how much interest Jackson still has in casting Winlset. Since that rumor broke (pre-Titanic), her stock in Hollywood has risen, fallen and risen again. Fay Wray is still alive and in her mid-90s, so she is available for a cameo.

    I would imagine that whether the film is set in 1933 will be a studio decision based on budget. If they want to back Jackson 100%, then he will get his way. He now has the clout to get his way, which he might not have had before. I'll put my money on Peter Jackson.

    If the film, however, is set in present day...wouldn't it be a poignant scene for Kong to walk past Ground Zero on his way to the Empire State Building? Maybe look down for a moment and scratch his head? Food for thought...
     
  13. David Echo

    David Echo Stunt Coordinator

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    Silly rabbits, trix are for kids!
    The 1996 first draft of Fran Walsh and PJ's King Kong script has been available online for a long time now.
    Those that are interested can find it HERE
    For those that want to be completly spoiler free I'll confirm the time period in the black abyss below.
    Except for a WWI prologue wherein PJ and Fran introduce a brand spanking new character the rest of the films takes places circa 1933.
    I've only read about half the script close to a year ago now but loved what I did get through, it's fresh and inventive as well as being a real love letter to the classic original.
    Frankly I can't wait to see whatever PJ comes up with next but it'd be nice to see him use his newly aquired clout to push ahead on one of his dream projects.
    Dave
     
  14. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    As everyone said this is a known old fact. My personal opinion is that forget it. Peter Jackson has more talent (especially in directing, Liv Tyler anyone?!) than to waste it on King Kong. I would say do something worthy! He is now in the A list directors. Maybe he could do one of the later Harry Potter films. That would be exceptional.
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  16. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't mind seeing Jackson do King Kong. I just think it says a lot that as great a job as he's doing on LOTR, it's still second in his heart to King Kong. I'm always up for something original but if he really, really wants to do Kong then I have no problem with that (of course, I'd really like to see him do Bad Taste 2 [​IMG]).
     
  17. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's just that, well, some films shouldn't be remade. Kane. Casablanca. Vertigo.

    No?
     
  19. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I'm normally completely against remakes, but since this has already been remade, the ice is broken so to speak, and I don't mind Jackson doing it as it would obviously be a labor of love. A period piece and a (hopefully nude) Kate Winslett sound good. I just hope Peter constructs a giant robot, or uses MAN IN SUIT [​IMG] rather than use CGI. I do not under any circumstances, want a CGI'd Kong.
     
  20. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I'm not sure I'd go along with the idea that some films shouldn't be remade. Extend that to other art forms, and plays would never be revived, music would never be re-interpreted, stories would never be translated from one medium to another, etc.

    The problem with doing it with movies, as I figure it, is that making a movie is such a big process, which requires the infrastructure support of a small city. The risk/reward generally isn't worth it.

    Consider: If a musician covers a song, it takes him and a small group maybe a day. It may be great, it may be a disaster, but it's not terribly resource-consuming. It's a "good risk".

    Movies... Well, there may be people out there who can make a better Vertigo, or at the very least, an interestingly different and worthwhile one. But, the cost and effort it would take to find out! Man-years and millions of dollars. It's seldom worth the effort.

    King Kong with Jackson may be worth the risk, but most are not.
     

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