Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody
Plot: After a movie crew travel to a mysterious island to shoot their picture, they encounter a giant and furious gorilla who takes their leading actress and form a special relationship with her, protecting the beautiful lady at all costs.
It took 18 months to craft the CGI version of the Empire State Building. The real thing was built in 14 months.
The scene where Denham, Driscoll and the crew fall into a pit filled with giant bugs is a reference to a scene in the original King Kong (1933), where the crew fell into a pit and were devoured by giant spiders, which was cut after many members of preview audiences ran out of the theater in horror during the scene. The original scene has never been found.
King Kong's roar is a lion's roar played backwards at half speed.
Andy Serkis had 132 sensors attached to his face so that his every facial expression could be captured and shown on King Kong's face.
The tyrannosaurus has hands with three fingers (instead of the scientifically correct two) as an homage to the original King Kong (1933) in which the tyrannosaurus also had an extra digit, and is explained by the idea that the dinosaurs on Skull Island have evolved in the 65 million years since the two-fingered tyrannosaurus went extinct elsewhere in the world.
The color orange was deliberately kept off set and in the lighting effects because it was found to create an odd effect on Naomi Watts' piercing blue eyes.
As a personal favor for Peter Jackson, Bryan Singer - who was in Australia working on Superman Returns (2006) - spent two days directing the King Kong vs T-Rex confrontation sequence. He was given a special thanks at the end credits.
Natalie Portman tested for the role of Ann Darrow, but was deemed too young for the part.
The billboards that appear in Times Square are the same as the ones found in King Kong (1933).
Peter Jackson owns a number of props from the original King Kong (1933) and put some of the items from his collection into this film. These items include Skull Island spears and a brightly painted shield (seen in the cabins of the Venture) and some of the drums from the sacrifice scene (in use during the jig scene).
At the time, this was the most expensive film ever made. Universal were placated at the excessive bill when Peter Jackson showed them an advance screening.
Ann Darrow and Kong have different personalities from their 1933 counter parts. Ann in this version is much more braver and confident than her 1933 counter part. Even though Ann is scared of Kong at first she soon befriends him and treats him like a pet. She is also stubborn as she refused to work for Carl Denham until Jack Driscoll is mentioned. Plus she refuses to do more tricks for Kong which angers him and it is implied she resigned from her job after seeing the way Carl Denham treated Kong on Skull Island and refused bribery from him. Kong is much more aggressive and frightening than his 1933 counter part. Kong in this film does not warm up to Ann at first but befriends her after saving her from the dinosaurs. It was implied Kong was going to kill Ann as he took her to a part of the island where there were remains of other victims which suggests they were sacrificed to Kong in the past. But like a normal gorilla he is a vegetarian as he is seen eating bamboo and like other male gorillas is a silver back.
The film is the 2nd remake of King Kong (1933). The film was remade in 1976 with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. King Kong (2005) was released 29 years after King Kong (1976).
Director Peter Jackson has a cameo as a gunner in the airplanes. Jackson and makeup man Rick Baker both shaved off their beards to do the cameos.
at around 2h 55 mins) Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the producer and director of the 1933 version, planned on creating a single shot of Kong falling into the distance from the top of the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, technology at the time didn't allow for this shot and it looked unrealistic. The idea was scrapped. Peter Jackson paid homage to Cooper's original idea by creating this shot at the end in his honor.
Fay Wray the lead actress of the 1933 version was in negotiations to appear in the film before she died. Peter Jackson wanted her to deliver the legendary last line: "Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast." Instead, Jack Black's character now makes a reference to her as he is searching for a leading actress for his film, suggesting a "Fay" as a possible candidate. Colin Hanks's character responds by saying, "She's already filming something for RKO," which in reality was the original King Kong (1933). Black responds, "Cooper. I should have known," a reference to original Kong director Merian C. Cooper.
In the Broadway show, where Kong is the unwilling star, the "native dancers" are dressed in the same costumes as the Skull Island natives in the original 1933 King Kong (1933). (The men wear furry gorilla costumes, and the women wear grass skirts and coconut brassieres.) The theater orchestra (led by composer 'Howard Shore (I)') plays sections from Max Steiner's score from the original film. During the "native dance" number, the orchestra plays the music from Steiner's score that is heard in the original film during the Skull Island natives' sacrifice dance. When the fake "Ann Darrow" (played by Julia Walshaw, Naomi Watts's stand-in) appears on stage before Kong, the theater orchestra plays the music from Steiner's score that is heard in the original film when Kong first appears before Fay Wray.