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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 686 times)
Stacy Dohm
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« on: August 25, 2007, 11:23:37 pm »

The SKULL ISLAND NATIVES are similar to Solomon Islanders Their skins
are very dark, their features broad - but that is where the Melonesian
likeness stops ... Like the architecture, their dress, head-wear and
weapons suggest an INCA or EGYPTIAN level of culture, but with a
fierceness, or even violence suggested in their design. This is not
afro and grass skirt territory - these people are SCARY ... we will
refer to them as "NATIVES" ...

The NATIVES have their WEAPONS poised ... a TENSE MOMENT, it could go
either way. DENHAM offers his hand to the LEAD NATIVE.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Hi, Carl Denham ... how's it going? Do you boys mind if we do a little
filming?

The LEAD NATIVE raises a knife ... DENHAM blanches ... fingers TIGHTEN
on TRIGGERS ...

The LEAD NATIVE produces a leather GOURD and stabs it -MILKY LIQUID
flows out. He takes a mouthful and offers it to DENHAM.

ENGLEHORN
(tense)
Take a drink, Denham.

DENHAM drinks a mouthful and passes it to ENGLEHORN and the SAILORS.
DENHAM wipes his lips, relieved at this gesture of friendliness. He
clamps a hand on the LEAD NATIVE'S shoulder.

DENHAM
Sir ... How would you like to star in a major motion picture?
(belches)
... I can offer you some net points!

CUT TO

INT. TUNNELS/CRYPT - DAY

JACK, ANN, PEEK and KURT are in the MUMMY chamber when the DRUMS START
... accompanied by a LOW MOANING, almost TRANCE-like.

ANN leads the way further up the tunnel complex - towards the SOUND.

PEEK
This is crazy! We gotta go back to the ship - get more guys!

The OTHERS ignore him and continue their WARY journey ...

INT. SKULL CHAMBER - DAY

JACK, ANN, KURT, followed by PEEK - too scared to head back by himself
- walk into a large chamber, about the size of a squash court. DAYLIGHT
FLOODS IN through openings carved in the representation of the EYES,
NOSE and MOUTH of a SKULL ... The MOUTH being the doorway which leads
straight into the heart of the NATIVE CITY. The RITUALISTIC SOUNDS are
very LOUD.

The GROUP hurry across the chamber and peer out Of the doorway, careful
to remain concealed ... They stare in WONDERMENT at the sight ahead ...

EXT. NATIVE CITY -- DAY

SPECTACULAR RUINS surround an open square ... It is FILLED with NATIVES
- in the midst of a WEIRD RITUALISTIC CEREMONY ... A YOUNG WOMAN sits
bedecked in flowers atop AN ALTAR in the center of the square ...

... DWARFING ALL ELSE is the WALL. It rises directly from the square,
towering 5 stories into the air. A STONE structure, with ORNATE
CARVINGS and decorated with HUGE TUSK-like BONES and BRONZE KONG
figures. In the center of the wall is an ENORMOUS 40 foot WOODEN GATE,
strongly built and very old. From the vines and weeds that grow from
cracks, it has clearly not been used for many years. The wall is not
vertical on this side - it slopes like the pyramids, allowing quick
access to the top.

JACK frowns ... DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and the TWO SAILORS are TAKING
PART in the CEREMONY!! They are totally out of it - DENHAM is stripped
down to his BOXER SHORTS and GARTERED SOCKS! He is in a frenzied dance
with 2 NATIVE GIRLS, drinking greedily from the GOURD, milky fluid
spilling down his chest ... ENGLEHORN is on his knees in some kind of
FERVOR, MAIDENS smearing paint over his bare chest, a WITCH-DOCTOR
piercing his nose with a ring! HERB and the TWO SAILORS are in similar
states of DRUG INDUCED DELIRIUM.

PEEK
Holy ****!

The NATIVES suddenly drop to their knees, all facing the YOUNG WOMAN
who remains STRANGELY SERENE. They start CHANTING softly ... "KONG ...
KONG ... KONG"

ANN
(whispering)
She looks like a bride ... Is it a wedding?

KURT
It's a sacrificial ceremony. They're gonna kill the girl.

ANN looks at him ... HORRIFIED.

JACK
(sudden urgency)
She's not the only one!

From JACK'S position he can see YOUNG NATIVE MEN armed with SPIKED
CLUBS quickly closing in on DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and the TWO SAILORS
- who are still off their faces, oblivious to their own impending
deaths.

JACK turns to PEEK.

JACK (CONT'D)
Give me your gun!

PEEK
(worried)
What for?

JACK
(yelling)
Give it to me!

JACK wrenches the RIFLE out of PEEK'S grasp ...

TOO LATE! SAILOR 1 is clubbed to the ground] JACK targets ANOTHER
NATIVE about to kill ENGLEHORN ...

BANG! The NATIVE is shot off his feet! ... The CEREMONY SUDDENLY GOES
QUIET! Without the incessant noise, we can clearly hear DENHAM SINGING
a MUSIC HALL TUNE.

JACK steps out into the SQUARE, SWINGING the RIFLE from SIDE TO SIDE
... The LOUD GUNSHOT has stunned the NATIVES, but JACK knows they
haven't got much time.

JACK (CONT'D)
(urgent)
We're heading back to the ship. Grab them!

KURT and PEEK step into the square ... followed by ANN.

The NATIVES GASP! They stare at her ... She looks around nervously,
GOLDEN HAIR swirling in the SUNLIGHT. NATIVES resume their chant "KONG
... KONG ... KONG" - except this time it's DIRECTED AT ANN!

ANN, KURT and PEEK quickly steer DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and SAILOR 2
back through the RUINED CITY towards the beach. They have to herd them
like sheep ... DENHAM is staring at his fingers like someone who has
never seen a hand before ... ENGLEHORN is GIGGLING at some private
joke.

A NATIVE starts rising ... JACK fires into the air, and they back away
EN MASS. PEEK puts his hands over his ears as over 100 NATIVES suddenly
emit a strange PIERCING SCREECH like a pack of frightened monkeys.

JACK (CONT'D)
(yelling)
Go ... Go!

ANN pushes DENHAM, drags ENGLEHORN by the hand ... KURT has LIFTED HERB
over his shoulder ...

EXT. RUINED CITY/JUNGLE - DAY

The GROUP hurrying through the last of the RUINS ... nearing the BEACH.
NATIVES are following them, stealthily slipping behind RUINS and
UNDERGROWTH ... ALL EYES ON ANN. JACK is covering their retreat,
occasionally shooting over the NATIVE'S HEADS if they get too close.

PEEK is roughly shoving SAILOR 2 along - he suddenly STOOPS DOWN,
snatching up DENHAM'S discarded RIFLE ... He spins around and starts
shooting straight at the NATIVES!

PEEK
(screaming)
Get back you bastards ... Back!

The NATIVES suddenly FRENZY at the sight of their comrades FALLING DEAD
... THEY CHARGE!

JACK
(yelling)
Run!

EXT. BEACH - DAY

ANN races across the sand, pushing DENHAM and ENGLEHORN ... KURT
staggers towards the boat, carrying HERB. He spins around, FIRING HIS
RIFLE one handed ... JACK is FIRING ... PEEK runs past, heading for the
boat -having abandoned SAILOR 2 to his fate ... he falls under a sea of
NATIVE CLUBS and SPEARS.

KURT reaches the boat, dumping HERB on top of PEEK. He pulls ANN,
DENHAM and ENGLEHORN in as the NATIVES flood across the beach. JACK
pushes off and clambers into the boat ... They rapidly head out to sea,
leaving the NATIVES SCREAMING on the beach.

CUT TO

INT. DENHAM'S CABIN/VENTURE - NIGHT

DENHAM is slumped across the table, holding his head ... EYES
BLOODSHOT, SALIVA hangs in a drop from his chin ... It's the hangover
from hell! KURT/RT is fussing around ... he offers DENHAM a GLASS OF
LIVER SALTS.

The CABIN DOOR swings open and ENGLEHORN stands there, supporting
himself in the doorway. He looks worse than DENHAM, mainly due to the
RING PIERCING HIS NOSE - the whole area has come up in a NASTY BRUISE.
It is now NIGHT ... clearly several hours having passed since their
return to the ship.

ENGLEHORN
(gasping)
They're stoking the boilers. As soon as we've got some steam, we're
outta here.

DENHAM
(slurred)
We should never have come! I pay you good money, only to have my life
endangered. You'll be hearing from my lawyer!

ENGLEHORN gives DENHAM a parting SCOWL, and staggers away...

EXT. VENTURE DECKS - NIGHT

ENGLEHORN lurches down the deck.

ENGLEHORN
(gasped yell)
Prepare the ship for sailing!

JACK is leaning against the rail, looking at Skull Island. ANN hurries
over.

ANN
(worried)
Jack!

JACK
We're leaving.

ANN
But . . . we can' t Jack, I need time to collect artifacts ... make
sketches ... gather evidential information.

JACK
(sighs)
Ann ... you're father is dead. You have nothing to prove anymore.

ANN'S hand TIGHTENS on something in her pocket. JACK frowns and gently
pulls her hand out ... she's clutching the small KONG FIGURINE!

JACK (CONT'D)
Oh Jesus ... you took it.

ANN
Jack! This is the archeological find of the century!

JACK
(angry)
This **** is bad luck! Don't you understand? You treat it like a game -
two men have already died!

JACK grabs the FIGURINE.

ANN
(angry)
Give it back!

JACK
I'm not sailing with this thing on board!

ANN
(horrified)
No! Don't!

JACK THROWS IT OVERBOARD!

ANN (CONT'D)
(furious)
You bastard!

ANN tries to STRIKE JACK - he GRABS HER WRISTS.

JACK
Don't blame me if something bad happens, coz I ain't gonna be around to
save you!

ANN pulls away.

ANN
(yelling)
Save me? Is that what you think your role in life is? You've been out
of circulation far too long! Things have moved on since Tarzan and
Jane! You poor, puffed up little peacock of a man - you're pathetic!

Storms off ... JACK looks HURT.

INT. ANN'S CABIN - NIGHT

POV from ANN'S PORTHOLE The PENINSULA on SKULL ISLAND is AGLOW with an
ORANGE LIGHT ... DRUMS and CHANTING can be heard ...

PULL back into ANN'S CABIN. She is sitting on the bed, hugging her
knees ... looking at the island.

The "VENTURE'S" ENGINES start HUMMING, drowning out sounds from the
NATIVES. ANN looks THOUGHTFUL ...

EXT. VENTURE DECK - NIGHT

ANN steps onto the DECK, hugging the coat around her shoulders. She
looks around ...

The TARPAULIN on JACK'S LIFEBOAT moves. ANN approaches it...

ANN
Jack? About those things I said ... I didn't mean it. Jack, I'm sorry.

KURT (O.S.)
(yelling)
Weigh the anchor!

LOW ANGLE from inside LIFEBOAT looking up at ANN She sighs, leans
against the boat ...

SUDDENLY! TWO NATIVES RISE BEHIND ANN!!! They grab her, clamping a hand
over her mouth!

WIDER SEVERAL NATIVES are silently creeping over the -VENTURE"! They
lift ANN over the side ... she STRUGGLES helplessly as they PASS HER
DOWN into a NATIVE DUG OUT.

WITHOUT A SOUND, THE NATIVES slip back into their CANOES and paddle
away towards SKULL ISLAND!

JACK (O.S.)
(alarmed)
ANN!!!

JACK is running along the DECK, having just CAUGHT A GLIMPSE of the
CANOES before they VANISH into the GLOOM.

The "VENTURE'S" ENGINES WIND UP and she starts MOVING AWAY towards the
FOG BANK!

INT. DENHAM'S CABIN - NIGHT

JACK bursts into DENHAM'S cabin ...

JACK
They've taken Ann!

DENHAM grunts and reaches for his clothes.

EXT. VENTURE DECK - NIGHT

JACK runs along the ship, yelling at the WHEEL-HOUSE.

JACK
Stop the ship!

ENGLEHORN emerges from the wheel-house.

JACK (CONT'D)
Ann's been taken!

DENHAM strides down the deck.

DENHAM
(yelling)
All hands on deck! I want volunteers!

SAILORS flood out of doorways.

CUT TO

INT. VENTURE ARMORY - NIGHT

DENHAM is in the bowels of the ship ... He is unlocking a HEAVY
PADLOCKED DOOR while about JACK and 20 SAILORS crowd in behind him.

DENHAM
A man's gotta have a little insurance in a job like mine ...

DENHAM throws the door open ... 25 brand new THOMPSON SUB-MACHINE GUNS
are neatly lined up in racks. Complete with 70 round drum magazines,
the TOMMY GUN is the Chicago gangster's weapon-of-choice.

DENHAM swings around, clipping a DRUM into his TOMMY GUN ... a FAT
CIGAR in his mouth.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Carl Denham Productions has lust declared war on Skull Island!

CUT TO

EXT. NATIVE CITY - NIGHT

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"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe
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