Triple Academy Award® winner PETER JACKSON, whose The Lord of the Rings trilogy made motion picture history, now brings his sweeping cinematic vision to one of the screen's most enduring classics and one of the greatest filmic adventures of all time: King Kong .
Cast: Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Jamie bell, Evan Parker, Lobo Chan, Kyle Chandler, John Sumner, Craig Hall
THE STORY OF KING KONG
It is 1933, and vaudeville actress Ann Darrow (Oscar® nominee for 21 Grams , NAOMI WATTS) has found herself—like so many other New Yorkers during the Great Depression—without the means to earn a living. Unwilling to compromise and allow herself to sink into a career in burlesque, she considers her limited options while aimlessly wandering the streets of Manhattan . When her hunger drives her to unsuccessfully try to steal an apple from a fruit vendor's stall, she is rescued—literally—by filmmaker and multiple hyphenate Carl Denham (JACK BLACK of The School of Rock ).
It seems that the entrepreneur-raconteur-adventurer is no stranger to theft, having that day lifted the only existing print of his most recent and unfinished film from under his studio executives' noses when they threatened to pull his completion funds. Carl has until the end of the day to get his crew onboard the Singapore-bound tramp steamer, the S.S. Venture , in hopes of completing his travelogue/action film. With that, the showman is certain he will finally achieve the personal greatness he knows awaits him around the corner…and although the crew believe that corner to be Singapore, Denham actually hopes to find and capture on film the mysterious place of legend: Skull Island.
Unfortunately for Carl, his headlining actress has pulled out of his project, but his search for a size-four leading lady (the costumes have all been made) has, fatefully, led him to Ann. The struggling actress is reluctant to sign on with Denham, until she learns that the up-and-coming, socially relevant playwright Jack Driscoll (Oscar® winner for The Pianist , ADRIEN BRODY) is penning the screenplay—the fees his friend Carl pays for potboiling adventure are a welcome supplement to Driscoll's nominal income from his stage plays.
With his newly discovered star and coerced screenwriter reluctantly onboard, Denham's “moving picture ship” heads out of New York Harbor…and toward a destiny that none aboard could possibl y e foresee.
Joining Watts , Black and Brody is an accomplished ensemble cast from around the globe. German star THOMAS KRETSCHMANN ( U-571 ) portrays Captain Englehorn, commander of the Venture , who allows Denham and his ever-increasing
bribes to persuade him to endanger the lives of his crew by searching for Skull Island . COLIN HANKS ( Orange County ) is Preston , Denham's put-upon assistant and unwitting moral compass, who attempts to keep his boss in check and the production from spiraling out of control. Young actor JAMIE BELL ( Billy Elliot ) plays Jimmy, the youngest crew member, whose experiences onboard the Venture prove more fantastical than any old salt's seafaring yarn. EVAN PARKE lends his talents to the role of first mate Hayes, keeping a watchful eye on young Jimmy and serving as Englehorn's conscience.
KYLE CHANDLER takes on the character of Bruce Baxter, a “B”-movie-level leading man cast opposite Ann Darrow in Denham's adventure movie. ANDY SERKIS (who performed the role of the CGI character Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) provides both on-set performance reference and motion-capture performance for the “Eighth Wonder of the World”…the title character of King Kong; he also appears onscreen as the eccentric sailor in charge of the Venture 's galley, Lumpy the Cook.
To create the widely diverging worlds of two disparate settings—the urban jungle of 1930s Manhattan and the primordial environs of Skull Island, home to a lost race and a myriad of formidable, not-extinct creatures—Peter Jackson gathers an unparalleled team of film artisans, the majority with whom he enjoys longstanding collaborative relationships. These include: director of photography ANDREW LESNIE, who received the Academy Award® for his cinematography in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ; production designer GRANT MAJOR, Oscar® winner for the third in the trilogy, The Return of the King ; and film editor JAMIE SELKIRK, who likewise collected an Academy Award® for his artistry on the final installment of Jackson's epic. Visual effects are again accomplished by New Zealand-based companies Weta Digital Ltd., under the direction of Oscar® winner JOE LETTERI ( The Return of the King ), and Weta Workshop Ltd., under the direction of Oscar® winner RICHARD TAYLOR ( The Return of the King ). The film is scored by six-time Academy Award® nominee JAMES NEWTON HOWARD ( Batman Begins ).