Legendary Entertainment packed its film panel today with plenty of monsters (Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah), but a small teaser at the end of the Hall H event today glimpsed an unexpected one: King Kong. It was Legendary’s way of unveiling that it will be making a feature film based on King Kong’s home Skull Island. That film will be released November 4, 2016. The teaser video did the trick, showing first person POV soaring over dark and stormy seas into an island — Skull Island — where King Kong stands tall and roars.
From the studio’s post-panel release: “Previous works have touched on the island, but staying and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions.”
EXCLUSIVE: Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn’t the only case where a film division at 20th Century Fox is monkeying around with a primate picture. Fox Animation has set the team of Christian Magalhaes & Bob Snow to write a modern day twist on the King Kong story. It will be animated, and will tell the story from the vantage point of the ape. It’s an interesting take on the material, because let’s face it, Kong got a bum deal and had no way to verbally complain about it. It is based on a story by Mike Weber, who’ll also produce.
Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps will produce with Ted Field’s Radar Pictures. Magalhaes & Snow’s recent spec script Murder of a Cat made the Black List and is in the process of being set up. Gersh and Madhouse rep the scribes.
The colorful and controversial De Laurentiis, who helped to revive Italy’s cinema scene after World War II before embarking on a prolific Hollywood career, died Wednesday night at his Beverly Hills home surrounded by his family. He was 91. Honored in 2000 with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, it could be a welcome announcement or wary predicament for Hollywood VIPs when they found out Dino was attached to a property. Best known in recent years as the official producer of the Hannibal Lecter series of films, it was said that negotiating with De Laurentiis over those pics was more painful than a root canal. Because of all of Dino’s different deals, a tortuous history of the rights to Hannibal, the Silence of the Lambs sequel, was drafted at one point by the Century City law firm of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger and took 10 pages to sum up. Even so, the confidential document was incomprehensible even to those people involved from the very beginning. And yet De Laurentiis was capable of surprising people. As the producer of Manhunter, the 1986 film adaptation of Thomas Harris’ first novel featuring Lecter ”Red Dragon” which allowed Dino to control the rights to both the Harris books and character, he scaled back his famously overaggressive persona and demands in his dealings with Universal in order to get Hannibal to the screen. (Dino was canny enough to send his personal pasta chef to Miami to cook for Harris so the writer … Read More »