KING KONG SCRIPT REVIEW
Film Force posted a script review for the upcoming king Kong, which is being directed by Peter Jackson. Here's a sample..
'First, let me be clear that I am a fan of Peter Jackson's work. I especially adore his LOTR films. I was excited to hear that he was (finally) getting to remake King Kong and to be able to read his 1996 draft. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the original Kong, I wouldn't say it's one of my all-time favorites. (The 1976 remake, though, is truly one of the worst films I've ever seen, a spectacular failure on every level.) So I didn't approach this draft with some preconceived notion that it must live up to the original's legacy, which is probably an impossible goal anyway. While Jackson and Walsh's draft paid respect to the classic and was far superior to its remake, it nevertheless felt like a rehash of other recent films and I suspect I know why.
Kong was penned for Universal back in 1996. The studio had enjoyed immense success three years earlier with Jurassic Park; it had also been trying to remake The Mummy for some time. Not long after Jackson and Walsh's script was shelved, Universal produced The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and The Mummy (1999). The Jackson-Walsh draft of King Kong had whole sections that not only aped (excuse the pun) Jurassic Park but made direct references to and in-jokes about it. There was even a dinosaur stampede right out of the first Jurassic Park. Remember, Jurassic Park owes much to the original Kong as well as to Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, which itself inspired Kong! (And let's not also forget Jules Verne's Mysterious Island.)
There was a long spell about halfway through this draft where Kong isn't seen at all; the humans are evading raptors and other dinosaurs. In a film called King Kong, I want more ape and less dino. I know dinosaurs appeared in the 1933 film, too, but this was overkill. It was as if Universal was simply cannibalizing their own franchise. I have to wonder if Jackson and Walsh weren't just responding to development executives' notes by including such Jurassic-like sequences.
There's a bigger problem, though, with the inclusion of so many prehistoric beasts. They steal the limelight away from the title character. Kong doesn't seem as impressive when there are dozens of other bigger, faster and deadlier monsters inhabiting Skull Island. I know, I know, they were in the original film, too, but Kong was more impressive than they were in that version. Here he just seemed like another beast in the jungle. I also couldn't see what made him particularly special to the natives. Why did they develop a cult around this creature as opposed to any of the other fabulous monsters on the island? And why is there only one giant gorilla around but plenty of dinosaurs?..'
For the full script review head on over to Film Force or just try and read the script yourself here.
Courtesy of Film Force