According to The Hollywood Reporter, Howard Shore has stepped down as composer on Peter Jackson’s KING KONG. Shore, who won Oscars for scoring Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE RETURN OF THE KING and has collaborated frequently with David Cronenberg, is being replaced by James Newton Howard. Jackson issued a statement explaining the departure: "I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurable contributions to the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of KING KONG. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film.”
Howard, who now has less than two months to complete work on KONG before its December 14 opening, got an Academy Award nomination (one of his six for movie scores or songs) for his work on M. Night Shyamalan’s THE VILLAGE. He has composed music for all of Shyamalan’s thrillers, as well as other genre pics including DREAMCATCHER, STIR OF ECHOES, THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE and FLATLINERS.