Author Topic: Peter Jackson's KING KONG  (Read 56864 times)

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MacGuffin

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #105 on: September 03, 2004, 03:29:32 PM »
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The main players in the remake of the movie King Kong, Naomi Watts, as Ann Darrow, Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll, Peter Jackson, the director and Jack Black as Carl Denham in front of the tramp steamer Venture on the set at the Miramar studios, Wellington, New Zealand, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004. Shooting of the movie begins next Monday September 8.
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bonanzataz

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #106 on: September 03, 2004, 04:40:29 PM »
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adrien brody has a funny lookin' schnozz.
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eward

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #107 on: September 04, 2004, 12:56:33 AM »
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looks like petey lost a tiny bit of weight...or he trimmed his beard
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rustinglass

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #108 on: September 04, 2004, 05:49:31 AM »
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september 8 is wednesday. do they mean september 6?
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meatball

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #109 on: September 04, 2004, 04:18:43 PM »
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naomi watts is hunching.

p.s. since we were critiquing their appearances.

matt35mm

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #110 on: September 04, 2004, 05:09:11 PM »
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and Jack Black's head is twice the size of Naomi's.

Jeremy Blackman

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #111 on: September 04, 2004, 05:39:14 PM »
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And doesn't Jack Black look a bit like Sean Astin?
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meatball

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« Reply #112 on: September 04, 2004, 06:40:10 PM »
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Adrien Brody looks menacing. It's as if he's secretly holding the other three hostage and forcing them to take a picture with him.

MacGuffin

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #113 on: September 17, 2004, 09:41:50 PM »
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Jackson Revealing 'Kong' Secrets

Movie fans who can't wait for Peter Jackson's multimillion-dollar remake of "King Kong" can log on to the Internet to watch the gorilla thriller as it is being made.

A new Web site maintained by fans of the Oscar-winning director features online video clips of the media-shy Jackson on the set with actors and the film crew.

His remake of the 1933 classic will be released in December 2005. The "King Kong" cast includes Jack Black and Adrien Brody.

Production diaries and director commentaries often appear as bonus material on DVD releases of major films, but this marks one of the first times a director has unveiled the creative process prior to a movie's release.

In one clip, Brody and Black are shown staggering onboard a giant tramp steamer, the Venture, simulating rough seas.

"We want to let anyone that's interested (in on) just a few little secrets," the shaggy-haired Jackson is shown telling Black in another excerpt.

Jackson won the best-director Oscar for "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the third film in his trilogy. The movie also won Oscars for best picture and best screenplay.

http://www.kongisking.net
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meatball

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« Reply #114 on: September 18, 2004, 03:55:25 PM »
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I love PJ for putting a quicktime production diary on the website!

matt35mm

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #115 on: September 18, 2004, 04:09:07 PM »
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Oh my freaking gosh, this looks like the funnest set in the world!  The production diaries are SO awesome, I'm in love.  Peter Jackson absolutely looks like he's lost weight, and just seems a bit different without his trademarked mammoth glasses on.

MacGuffin

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2005, 01:31:12 PM »
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King Kong
It was the monkey who made a filmmaker out of Peter Jackson. His return to Skull Island promises a character study, a surprising love story — and all the rampaging dinosaurs $150 million can buy.
Source: Los Angeles Times


HIS INSPIRATION: Jack Black, left, says of working with Jackson: “You can’t really ignore that I am playing the director of the film and I’m watching Peter all day on the set.”
 

Compared with his work as an Oscar-winning director and the filmmaker behind the most popular trilogy in movie history, Peter Jackson's first attempt to remake "King Kong" was by any measure pretty amateurish.

Jackson painted the Manhattan skyline on an old bedsheet, constructed the Empire State Building out of cardboard and pinched his mother's shawl to craft the giant gorilla's fur. It didn't look like much, Jackson admits, but then again he was 13 years old.

If filming "The Lord of the Rings" was Jackson's cinematic passion, remaking "King Kong" has been his lifelong obsession. For as much resolve as the now-43-year-old Jackson exhibited in adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's books about hobbits and elves, the Kiwi director has shown even more perseverance in retelling the legendary beauty-and-the-beast story.

In fact, he essentially owes his career to the 1933 original "King Kong": Had he not seen it, Jackson says, he might not have become a filmmaker.

"In a sense, this is more important to him than 'The Lord of the Rings,' " says actor Andy Serkis, who played Smeagol and Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" films and in "King Kong" will play Lumpy the Cook and, with some digital assistance, the titular giant gorilla.

Besides his adolescent effort — "I still have some of that footage, somewhere," the director says — Jackson came within weeks of filming "King Kong" for Universal Pictures in 1997. But the production was derailed by the studio's cold feet, an about-face that left Jackson devastated, his production team in tears and the director's future uncertain.

A global blockbuster helps heal all wounds, though, and soon Universal (with a new management team) came to New Zealand on bended knee, asking Jackson to please, please reconsider revisiting Skull Island.

What else could a director who owns the original film's brontosaur and pteranodon say? This was the movie he believed he was born to rework, and with the third and final "Lord of the Rings" film nearly behind him at the time, he was more equipped than ever to tackle it.

So in early 2003 it was agreed. Before he would film Alice Sebold's ghostly novel "The Lovely Bones," before he would film Ian Mackersey's aviatrix biography "Jean Batten: The Garbo of the Skies," before he completed "The Return of the King," Jackson promised Universal that "King Kong" would be his next movie. To clinch the deal, Universal said it would pay Jackson, his partner Fran Walsh and screenwriter Philippa Boyens a combined $20 million to direct, produce and write the remake, with Jackson and Walsh receiving a share of the film's gross revenues. "Obviously, there's a lot of criticism and apprehension about remaking any film, and it has the potential for pitfalls that are greater than 'The Lord of the Rings,' " Jackson says during a short break on the set of "King Kong," whose filming is now more than halfway completed. "But it's a dream come true. That's the reality of it."

FIRST, THEY NEEDED A BOAT

Moviemaking perfectionism can take unusual forms, from actors packing on pounds to play drunks to screenwriters marooning themselves to compose starvation stories. In Jackson's case, his craving for "King Kong" authenticity can be found floating in Wellington Harbour, and it still smells a little like tuna.

Sitting in the water is the boat Jackson and art and set director Dan Hennah selected after an international search for the perfect ship to play the S.S. Venture. The Venture is the boat upon which "King Kong's" hustling filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black), its reluctant playwright Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) and the movie-within-the-movie's desperate actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) travel to a mysterious Indian Ocean island, where a giant gorilla just might roam.

Some directors would have picked any old trawler, but Jackson wanted exactly the right 1930s boat, the one with the proper rivets and hull shape. He finally found it, but the winning nautical contestant from Tonga carried one small complication: Its hold was filled with frozen fish. So Jackson purchased the boat — tuna and all (the fish was gone by the time the production took possession).

That quest for verisimilitude governs much of the $150-million remake's thinking (the film was remade previously in 1976, but that Jessica Lange version was a flop). Written with Walsh and "Rings" collaborator Boyens, "King Kong" is both a reverent tribute to the initial film and an energetic reworking of its main themes.

Jackson approached the original Ann, Fay Wray, about making a cameo. Although Jackson said the actress was interested, she died before it was possible.

Rather than filming on location in jungles, Jackson is shooting almost all of "King Kong" inside, as his "Kong" predecessors did 72 years ago. So in place of traveling to a real rain forest, Jackson and his crew manufactured a highly stylized one indoors. "That's about wanting the look of the original 'Kong,' " Jackson says.

Even as it pays tribute to specific scenes in the original, Jackson's version nevertheless will make numerous departures, adding spectacular chase sequences involving rampaging dinosaurs and emphasizing more of the love story between Ann and the big primate.

"What Peter and Fran and Philippa have been able to do is create all of these nuances that never existed," Brody says. "It's not just a giant gorilla and a damsel in distress."

When you also consider Jackson himself, the remake begins to exhibit autobiographical strains as well.

Jackson's career at various early turns mirrors that of original "King Kong" co-director Merian C. Cooper, and just as Cooper's collaborator Ernest B. Schoedsack's wife, Ruth Rose, was enlisted to rewrite the 1933 screenplay, Jackson's companion Walsh worked on the remake's script.

Cast as the plot's movie director, Black can't help but remind one of Jackson without a beard. The director discounts the resemblance, but when the production was announced in a New Zealand news conference, Jackson and Black were not seated beside each other because of their physical likeness.

And then there's Black's character of Denham, who in the original was a loose composite of Cooper and Schoedsack. In Jackson's telling, Denham is a driven filmmaker who will stop at nothing to get his movie made. Defeat is only momentary, and Denham must capture Kong on film above all else. Sound like any other director?

Sure, Denham has a lot less talent than Jackson, and yes, the character in actual fact is based more on a young Orson Welles. "But he's got vision, and he's got tremendous ambition. He wants to make the greatest film ever made," Black says.

"You can't really ignore that I am playing the director of the film and I'm watching Peter all day on the set, watching the way he directs," Black continues. "It's not the same guy at all, but there are parallels you can't ignore."

GUNS AND DINOSAURS

If a dinosaur falls in the forest and it's not really there, does it still make a sound?

It's a real-life issue Jackson's actors are facing on a November day inside Wellington's Stone Street Studios as the director guides the Venture's crew through a dense jungle set.

"Remember, it's 1933 and a lot of you don't know what dinosaurs are, unless you've seen 'The Lost World' several years earlier," Jackson says to the assembled actors, referencing a 1925 movie whose creatures were crafted by "King Kong" technician Willis H. O'Brien. He then instructs the cast how to react to the thundering steps of dinosaurs, all of whom will be created in post-production. "Everybody who has a gun just starts blasting," Jackson says. "It's one of those mob things, so it's important that everybody fire in a different direction."

A slimmer Jackson (he's recently shed nearly 30 pounds) picks up a megaphone and starts counting down, his amplified voice representing the impending plant eaters. Once one of the dinosaurs is fatally shot in a panicky barrage of bullets, Jackson describes its collapse. He urges his actors to express shock as the beast finally, yet invisibly for now, falls at their feet, its crash to the earth supplied by Jackson.

John Sumner, who plays one of Denham's camera assistants, pantomimes stepping over the dinosaur, but he ends up forgetting where the digital creature will be positioned in postproduction. "Let's try that again, John," Jackson says in good cheer. "You've walked through his legs, I'm afraid."

Even with Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" know-how, making a movie of this scale at times resembles chain saw juggling, especially since Jackson has relatively little time to finish all the film's complicated effects before its Dec. 14 debut. As Sumner prepares for another take, Jackson settles into the upholstered chair from which he directs and in rapid order examines computer tests of Kong's digital fur, offers notes on that day's production diary for "Kong's" Internet site (www.kongisking.net), and reviews a video feed from another stage, where Brody is running as fast as he can on a treadmill, to simulate Driscoll's escape from other dinosaurs. "In many ways, 'King Kong' is a more ambitious film than 'The Lord of the Rings' was," Jackson says.

While the 1933 filmmakers employed then-novel techniques such as stop-motion animation and rear projection, Jackson has an array of high-tech procedures to bring his 25-foot gorilla to life. Visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri is creating as many computer effects for "King Kong" as he and others did for all three "Lord of the Rings" films.

Cooper and Schoedsack may have longed for Kong to leap from New York rooftop to rooftop. In Jackson's production, it can happen.

"The story is such a compelling story that rendering the story with the new technology opens it up to a whole new interpretation," Jackson says. The first film, Jackson says, is a classic but "a product of its time."

In the lobby of Weta Workshop, where scores of artists and technicians are working on everything from "King Kong" tree branches to wigs for the Skull Island natives, stands a model of Kong wrestling three tyrannosaurs. The miniature dates from the film's 1997 incarnation and it serves as a reminder of how close Jackson came to making the movie then.

It may sound silly in retrospect, but the movies that torpedoed Jackson's "King Kong" were the quickly forgotten "Godzilla" and "Mighty Joe Young." Universal was concerned that there was only so much audience interest in tales of oversized rampaging beasts. Combined with Jackson's poorly received film "The Frighteners" and Universal's concerns about Jackson and Walsh's screenplay, the studio decided to cancel Jackson's remake.

"As much as I like being angry at [then Universal studio chief] Casey Silver for killing the film — which was literally the blackest day in my entire career — in hindsight you can't but be grateful it didn't happen," Jackson says. "And I don't even like our old script. I don't think there's a single line of dialogue that is the same."

So perhaps "King Kong" was best left for later, much like Jackson's first effort when he was 13. "It would have been pretty tough to do it eight years ago," visual effects supervisor Letteri says. "Well, let's put it this way. It's pretty tough to do it today, so it would have been impossible eight years ago."



Jackson relies on conceptual illustrations not only as inspiration for the look of his creatures but also to choreograph the action sequences, such as a battle between Kong and Skull Island’s dinosaurs. The director says of making the movie, “It’s a dream come true. That’s the reality of it.”
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lamas

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Peter Jackson's KING KONG
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2005, 10:34:55 PM »
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Quote
Universal was concerned that there was only so much audience interest in tales of oversized rampaging beasts.


I agree.  Does this story need to be told again?

matt35mm

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« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2005, 11:23:38 PM »
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Well there's the difference between movies remade by studio's for more money and someone's lifelong dream of remaking a movie.

With Jackson's obvious passion for the project, this won't be a simple retelling of the story.

lamas

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« Reply #119 on: January 17, 2005, 04:07:41 AM »
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Quote
adding spectacular chase sequences involving rampaging dinosaurs and emphasizing more of the love story between Ann and the big primate


hmmm...sounds like a recipe for success!  i guess it won't be a simple retelling after all.  it'll be a retelling + corny fake crap.

 

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