After the third and final “Lord of the Rings” installment hits theaters at the end of this year, helmer Peter Jackson will turn his attention toward reinventing a classic cinematic beast: “King Kong,” for Universal Pictures. Jackson will begin work immediately on the project — pegged for a 2005 release from the studio — after the Dec. 17 release of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” from New Line Cinema.
He wrote the script with partner Fran Walsh and “Rings” co-scribe Philippa Boyens. Jackson and Walsh will produce through their WingNut Films banner with Universal president of production Mary Parent overseeing for the studio. The script will be based on the original story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace, which served as the basis for the 1933 RKO Radio Pictures release. That film, directed by Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, introduced audiences to the story of the gigantic gorilla captured in the wilds and brought to civilization, where he meets a tragic fate. (Chris Gardner)—The Hollywood Reporter