King Kong Is Coming To TV


Kong: Skull Island did well, but are we still excited enough about King Kong to follow him to the small screen?

Ever since the groundbreaking 1933 film, King Kong, filmmakers have periodically attempted a comeback for the gigantic gorilla. The property is just too good to pass up, it seems. The King Kong story features not just a humongous gorilla, but the mysterious Skull Island, other giant beasts, and plenty of opportunities for a big city rampage.

The 1976 remake proved to be commercially successful. It also featured big name actors like Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. However, critical reaction was decidedly mixed. And don’t forget the weird, campy sequence in which Kong falls in love with Lange’s character, inexplicably named Dwan.

The 2005 remake, directed by Peter Jackson, also earned good reviews. However, you have to draw on your patience and bladder strength to sit through the 187 minute movie.

King Kong has even been to the land of television before. He showed up in a late-1960s series, The King Kong Show, as well as Kong: The Animated Series. There’s even an ongoing Netflix series, called Kong: King of the Apes.

Still, none of these touched off a big monster craze, a lá the spate of creature features from the early 20th century. Legendary Entertainment, however, is trying to kickstart a new era of gigantic monster films, which they’re calling the “MonsterVerse”.

Now, King Kong is going to be appearing on your TV screen sometime in the near future. MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television have decided to collaborate on King Kong Skull Island, a live-action television series featuring the giant ape. The series will work off the 1933 King Kong and DeVito ArtWorks’ book, Skull Island.

Confusingly enough, it will have little to no relation to the Kong: Skull Island film released last year. Neither will it tie into the 2020 Godzilla vs. Kong film. Instead, the series is a serialized continuation of the King Kong story. It will feature a female-led, multicultural cast exploring Skull Island itself.

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Now, well-done monster movies can be great fun. Even the most cold-hearted individual can manage to get some joy out of gigantic, rampaging beasts. However, it will be interesting to see how King Kong and the monster-infested Skull Island will translate to television. In particular, how will creators manage the effects on a television budget? Is this going to sound a little too much like Lost, given the mysterious island location? Is it too much to hope that monstrous insects won’t get too much screen time?

Clearly, much remains to be seen. Cross your fingers and hope that a decent chunk of the budget will be going towards clever writing and good special effects.