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Peter Jackson's 1st Draft King Kong Script (1996)

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Author Topic: Peter Jackson's 1st Draft King Kong Script (1996)  (Read 677 times)
Stacy Dohm
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« on: August 25, 2007, 11:19:53 pm »

ANN
(alarmed)
Father!

LORD DARROW
These are priceless artifacts! They're ruining the site!

DENHAM
(quietly to kurt)
Who is this limey ****?

KURT SHRUGS ... LORD DARROW hurries towards the VEHICLES.

LORD DARROW
Out! Out! All of you! We have been issued with an exclusive permit -

ANN
(interrupting Darrow)
Father ... Father!

THE BUDDHA ... Bullet hits have blown lumps of stone away, revealing a
creepy BRONZE STATUE - concealed beneath the thin "Buddha" shaped outer
layer. Only a small section is revealed, but it is clear that the
BRONZE FIGURE is that of an ANIMAL ...

LORD DARROW
(mesmerized)
What the ...

LORD DARROW rushes up the slope to the STATUE ... He hits the STONE
VENEER with his stick - once, twice, on the THIRD BLOW, the remainder
of the "Buddha" shell suddenly CRUMBLES AWAY and falls in a heap on the
ground!

Exposed for the first time in nearly 800 years is the STATUE OF A
FRIGHTENING ANIMAL ... an APE-LIKE creature -FACE SNARLING with
fearsome RAGE ... bristled fur ... taloned hands. It sits atop a pile
of REAL HUMAN SKULLS, integrated into the bronze work. At the base of
the statue - PANELS OF HIEROGLYPHIC-TYPE INSCRIPTION. An ancient piece
of frightening art ... it sends the GROUP into STUNNED SILENCE.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D)
God Lord ... I don't believe it.

LOW ANGLE ... LORD DARROW turns to face the GROUP, the STATUE filling
the frame behind him. The old man's eyes blaze with obsessive
intensity.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D)
(creepy)
Behold ... the Beast God ... KONG!

MR GINTING backs away, TREBLING.

MR GINTING
(terrified)
Kong.

LORD DARROW
(creepy)
Worshipped by a savage race ... "Talak e a Kong" The Cult of the Beast
God - until now a myth ... a superstition.

The SUMATRANS are all backing away. The EUROPEANS stare at the STATUE -
KURT moves closer, studying the HIEROGLYPHICS on a panel that seems to
contain a CRUDE MAP. The ATMOSPHERE is mesmerizing.  SILENCE ...

DENHAM
(loudly)
That was great your Lordship! Now, if you wouldn't mind - just repeat
that and we'll get it from another angle. Exact same words please!

HERB has been filming LORD DARROW!

LORD DARROW
No photography!!! Turn that thing off!

DENHAM climbs out of his VEHICLE ...

DENHAM
Hi - Carl Denham. I'm A big admirer of your work, sir. I've loved all
your discoveries. I really want to work closely with you on this
incredible find. It'll be good for you and good for me.

ANN
Look Mr Denham - you're not welcome here. Just pack up your cameras and
go.

DENHAM'S face CLOUDS WITH ANGER.

DENHAM
I don't take orders from women in trousers. Herb! Get a close-up of the
big monkey.

HERB carries the TRIPOD and CAMERA towards the STATUE.

DOUGLAS suddenly rushes forward, pushing HERB away ... In a split
second - KURT punches DOUGLAS to the ground, knocking him out!

A GUN COCKS ... ANN has snatched a RIFLE from the CAR. She aims it at
KURT ... he backs away.

ANN
(softly)
Have you got a hearing problem? Get out.

DENHAM'S GROUP climb into their vehicles.

DENHAM
You just made a big mistake, lady. This is a public place - I know my
rights! Charles Lindburg's lawyer's a personal friend of mine. I'm
gonna put you people in litigation hell for the next five years!

CUT TO

INT. VENTURE - DUSK

CLOSE ON A drawing of the MAP from the base of the Kong statue ... It
appears to show the position of a SMALT. ISLAND, south west of the
Sumatran mainland.

KURT is sketching it from memory ... he refers to his TRANSLATION BOOK.
DENHAM and the ship's skipper CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN look on.

KURT
(Slowly)
"Pulau Tengkorak" - The Island of the Skull ...

DENHAM
(excited)
What else? Were there directions?

KIURT
(pause)
Yeah.

KURT looks at them BLANKLY.

 

DENHAM
(frustrated)
Well?

KURT
(slowly)
There were detailed navigational co-ordinates in an ancient Sanskrit
alphabet. I didn't have time to translate it all.

ENGLEHORN
(tense)
Look, I've sailed these waters for twenty-seven years ... there's no
island like that around here.

DENHAM
(more excited)
What a climax to the film - The first white men to set foot on ...
(pauses)
"Skull Island"
(very excited)
Twentieth Century man comes face to face with a ... a ... naked stone
age tribe!

ENGLEHORN
(agitated)
I tell you it doesn't exist!

DENHAM
We need those co-ordinates -someone's gotta get back there and jot the
rest of it down

A cough O.S ... DENHAM'S'S turns and his gaze settles on PEEK standing
in the doorway ...

EXT. SUMATRAN DIG - DUSK

CLOSE ON ANN - skillfully producing an accurate PENCIL RUBBING of the
HIEROGLYPHICS and MAP on a sheet of TRACING PAPER.

LORD DARROW and DOUGLAS are studying the STATUE OF KONG in the soft
twilight ... They talk QUIETLY - out of ANN'S earshot.

LORD DARROW
The Beast God cult flourished up until the fifth century. It originated
on a remote island and quickly spread to the mainland, where the
worshipers were systematically hunted down and killed by the Hindu. No
likeness of Kong was allowed to survive. All trace of this culture was
eliminated as if it had never existed ...

DOUGLAS
(animated)
Are you suggesting a pocket still survives on this island?

LORD DARROW
Maybe ... but, from what we know of the culture, I wouldn't set foot on
the "Island of the Skull" with anything less than full military back-
up.

ANN comes running over, EXCITEDLY waving the finished COPY OF THE MAP.

ANN
Father It's somewhere south-west of here - we need to inform the museum
... organize an expedition -

LORD DARROW
(interrupts)
All in due course, Ann. Our first responsibility is to get these
artifacts safely back to London.

DARROW checks the time with an ornately engraved SILVER FOB-WATCH.

BINOCULAR POV ANN with MAP, LORD DARROW and DOUGLAS.

ANN
(waving MAP)
But, it's here! An undiscovered island!

CLOSE ON RANDELL PEEK, casing the site from a safe distance...

JACK (O.S.)
Hey!

JACK is scrambling up the hill towards the GROUP.

ANN
Oh God, it's that bloody yank!

LORD DARROW
Now now, Ann! Try be to polite.

JACK
(angry)
Alright old man! You'd better have a good explanation because you've
just lost me ten grand's worth of business!

LORD DARROW
(confused)
I beg your pardon?

JACK
I've gotta contract to clear a hundred thousand acres of rainforest by
Christmas and my entire work force has just walked out. They're spooked
by some weird **** you guys are pulling out of the ground!

LORD DARROW
(casual)
Oh no! That can't be right ... we've had no problems with our people
...

CUT TO

POV TENT FLAP pulled back to reveal ... LARGE EMPTY TENT, clearly
VACATED IN A HURRY.

WIDE SHOT LORD DARROW looks around ... Apart from the HANDFUL of
ENGLISH, camp is deserted. ANN looks flustered. JACK stands with his
hands on his hips.

ANTHONY - another ARCHAEOLOGIST, runs over to LORD DARROW.

ANTHONY
(whispers)
They said the wrath of Kong has returned ... "Those in his shadow will
be plagued by death".

LORD DARROW
(urgent whisper)
Call the shipping company, Tony. It's time we started freighting the
artifacts home.

JACK
Your Lordship! Aren't you forgetting something? I'd appreciate a little
talk about compensation.

LORD DARROW
What?

ANN
He's grubbing for money, father.

JACK
(to ANN)
I just wanna deal with the boss, ok?

ANN
(angry)
No, it's not ok! We're not about to be robbed blind by some two-bit
hustler on the make!

JACK
You - calling me a thief? Well, that's great, coming from a glorified
grave robber! You break into the tomb of some dead Egyptian - the poor
guy's happily enjoying the afterlife when suddenly his **** gets stolen
by a bunch of light fingered limeys!

ANN
Tell me, Mr Driscoll - is it a requirement of the forestry business
that you have to be as thick as the trees you cut down?

LORD DARROW
Ann!

LORD DARROW steps forward - JACK backs away in MOCK HORROR.

JACK
(theatrical)
Holy God! The mummy walks!

ANN
(yelling)
How dare you? My father is the British Museum's most respected
archeologist!

JACK
(yelling)
Do they have him on display at the weekends?

CLOSE ON ANN'S MAP, on a table with OTHER SKETCHES. PEEK calmly grabs
it and heads away. EVERYONE is distracted by the ARGUMENT that
continues ...

ANN
(yelling)
God, you're so obnoxious! Our work happens to be of great
anthropological value!

JACK
(yelling)
Value? ... Value?

JACK grabs an ancient EARTHENWARE POT off a table of ARTIFACTS ...

JACK (CONT'D)
You couldn't get ten cents for this thing! It's cracked!

He tosses the POT over his shoulder, SMASHING it!

BEHIND JACK ...

ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!!! MILITARY VEHICLES roar into the camp ... 100
SUMATRAN SOLDIERS spill out of several TRUCKS - they stream through the
site, YELLING and PULING PEOPLE FROM TENTS.

SOLDIERS
(yelling)
Out of your tents! Out of your tents!

JACK looks around, totally confused.

LORD DARROW
What is the meaning of this???
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"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe
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