King Kong:Dark Horizons has some interesting news on Peter Jackson's next project, a remake of King Kong, which was revealed in a recent interview in The Dominion Post. Universal approached the director about 6 months ago to see if he was still interested in the picture after an aborted attempt in 1997. Jackson agreed, and had this to say about the original, "King Kong had a profound effect on me. It changed my life. It literally made me want to become a filmmaker."

King Kong is to be made exclusively in New Zealand. Two thirds of the story will take place on the mysterious Skull Island, situated supposedly near Sumatra, and will require the scouting of some "exotic" locations around the country. The final act, infamously taking place in a 1930's New York City, will actually be shot on a big back lot set somewhere around Wellington, as filming on location was deemed to costly and difficult. Weta Workshop's expertise will then be needed to realise the vision of NYC with some digital trickery. And, of course their Academy Award winning skills will be vital at breathing life into the gigantic gorilla and Skull Island's prehistoric inhabitants. Most of the crew will be New Zealanders, with international actors filling the major roles.

The picture has a budget of $90 M (US). Peter Jackson will be penning the script with his usual co-writers in October, once Return of the King, the final Lord Of The Rings film, has been delivered. Filming would then commence mid-2004 looking to a 2005 release.

Related: King Kong Meets Planet of the Apes in Epic Crossover Comic

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Brian B.