A Live Action 'King Kong' Show is Heading to Television

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 - 9:57PM
Kong: Skull Island
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 - 9:57PM
A Live Action 'King Kong' Show is Heading to Television
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Warner Bros.
Now that King Kong is relevant once more thanks to a very successful Kong: Skull Island movie, the big ape is sticking around. According to Deadline, a new Kong TV show is in its early stages, and being written by Jonathan Penner and Stacy Title (The Bye Bye Man).

Surprisingly, it won't actually be connected to Kong: Skull Island which came out last month - the Skull Island movie is connected to its own cinematic universe from Legendary Pictures, called the "Monsterverse" (which so far only includes Skull Island and the recent Godzilla). This new show will play no part in that, instead connecting back to the original King Kong from 1933. Technically, it's being adapted from DeVito ArtWorks' King Kong of Skull Island novel, but that's canon with the 1933 film, and the family of original director Merian C. Cooper have given their blessings.

The show will also feature a female lead this time around, which is notable for a franchise that began with a giant stop-motion gorilla kidnapping a damsel in distress. No word on casting yet (probably because the producers themselves don't know), but MarVista CEO Fernando Szew told said the show would be "contemporary" and female-focused. While the recent Skull Island featured Brie Larson in the main cast, the title of "hero" firmly belonged to Tom Hiddleston's character, so this'd be a direction we haven't seen yet. Again, especially not in the original:


IM Global president Mark Stern, who's co-producing the show with MarVista, is optimistic about their chances of keeping King Kong a relevant pop culture character. Although he's very vague:

Opening quote
"There's clearly a deep and abiding interest in this timeless story. We love Stacy and Jonathan's approach to this adaptation and look forward to partnering with MarVista as we bring this gripping tale of survival and adventure to life for a new generation of Kong fans."
Closing quote

The big concern is that the husband/wife team of Penner and Title haven't done anything major beyond The Bye Bye Man, a recent horror film that was widely torn apart for being terrible. But while King Kong has some horror elements, it generally leans more toward action, and the recent Skull Island was a full-on adventure movie, so maybe they'll do well in this new environment. The pair was also nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for their short film Down on the Waterfront.

No word on when we can expect the new adventures of King Kong, but the next movie Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled for 2020.
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