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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 918 times)
Stacy Dohm
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Posts: 4565



« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2007, 11:32:31 pm »

SMASH CUT TO

EXT. BROADWAY/NEW YORK - NIGHT

"KING KONG - the EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD" in HUGE NEON LIGHTS on the
marquee of a large Broadway THEATRE.

The STREET is busy, with a LARGE CROWD flocking outside the THEATRE ...
TAXI'S unloading PEOPLE in TUXEDOS and EVENING DRESS. The GLITTERATI of
NEW YORK have turned out for this one. SCALPERS are selling tickets
outside the door.

INT. THEATER AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

The AUDIENCE are settling in their seats ... USHERS working the ailses.
It is a GRAND OLD THEATRE with spectacular DECOR and a capacity of
about 1200. Tonight is a FULL HOUSE.

An USHER shows an ELDERLY LADY to her seat.

ELDERLY LADY
Is this one of Mr Denham's cute little animal pictures?

USHER
This is not a motion picture, Madam. It's more in the nature of a
personal appearance.

A COUPLE are sitting together ... The HUSBAND has clearly come under
duress ...

HUSBAND
(checks watch)
The Yankees'il be in their second innings. This had better be worth it!

INT. DENHAM'S OFFICE/THEATRE - NIGHT

TWO BURLY SECURITY GUARDS deliver the BOX OFFICE TAKING'S in cash to
DENHAM ... He is dressed in a TUX and looks much rested since his Skull
Island adventures.

DENHAM
Thanks fellas.

DENHAM loads the cash into HIS SAFE.

JACK (O.S.)
Hey, Denham!

JACK is standing in the office doorway, UNCOMFORTABLE in his TUX.
Looking very

JACK (CONT'D)
Payment in advance. That was the deal.

DENHAM stuffs a WAD OF CASH into an ENVELOPE.

DENHAM
Two grand, Jack. You'll be able to retire on that!

Slips the ENVELOPE into his TOP POCKET.

JACK
Not me. Thought I'd head out west ... get into some Redwood country.

DENHAM
How about Ann? Is she going with you?

JACK shakes his head.

JACK
Haven't seen her - not since we got back.

DENHAM
She's got a bit of an attitude, that girl. She's turned down a bunch of
money. Too bad ... it would've been a great angle - "Beauty and the
Beast".
(shakes head)
I must be getting old - I thought you two had something going there.

JACK shrugs ...

JACK
I don't need anyone tagging along with me.

INT. BACKSTAGE - NIGHT

DENHAM and JACK are walking through a BUSY BACKSTAGE AREA. A PRESS
OFFICER runs up to DENHAM.

PRESS OFFICER
The press are clambering to come backstage, Mr Denham! Take some photos
of Kong.

DENHAM
Let'em wait. They'll have their opportunity when the curtain goes up!

DENHAM pats JACK on the back.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Are you nervous Jack?

JACK
Nab- Let's get it over with.

CUT TO

INT. THEATRE AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

The THEATRE is packed ... The AUDIENCE HUSH as the LIGHTS DIM. A GIANT
CURTAIN covers the STAGE, with just a single MICROPHONE to one side.

ANNOUNCER (0. S)
(loudspeaker)
Ladies and gentlemen ... Mr Carl Denham!

MUSIC strikes up and the CROWD APPLAUD as DENHAM strides onto the stage
in the GLARE of the SINGLE SPOTLIGHT. He steps up to a MICROPHONE.

DENHAM
(amplified)
Ladies and gentleman ... If anybody here is of faint disposition, or
weak heart I suggest you take this opportunity to leave the auditorium.

The CROWD MURMUR NERVOUSLY ... but of course, NOBODY leaves!

DENHAM (CONT'D)
(amplified)
We all hear tales of adventure we scarcely believe ... but seeing is
believing, and tonight you will see Kong - the living proof of our
adventure! An adventure in which thirty-six of our party met terrible
deaths! Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to you the man
who felled the mighty beast armed only with a native spear! Mr Jack
Driscoll!

BIG APPLAUSE as another SPOTLIGHT finds JACK stepping onto the stage
... His earlier bravado has vanished - he looks VERY NERVOUS! He joins
DENHAM at the MICROPHONE.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
(amplified)
Well, Jack ... what is it like to risk your life to save a beautiful
woman?

JACK looks out over a sea of 1200 faces ... he hesitates. DENHAM'S
smile wavers as he realizes JACK has dried up with stage fright!

DENHAM (CONT'D)
(amplified)
Did you fear for your life?

JACK
(long pause)
Yeah.

The AUDIENCE CHUCKLE.

DENHAM
(amplified)
It must have been terrifying?

JACK
(long pause)
Yeah.

The AUDIENCE LAUGH. DENHAM puts his hand over the MIC and whispers
angrily at JACK.

DENHAM
(whispers)
Grand a word! Thanks for nothing, pal!

DENHAM turns back to the AUDIENCE ...

DENHAM (CONT'D)
(amplified)
Ladies and gentleman! It is now time to see for yourselves ... One who
was a King and a God of the world he knew, but who now comes to
civilization as a captive - as an exhibit to gratify mankind's
insatiable curiosity. Ladies and gentlemen ... Look upon Kong - the
Eighth Wonder of the World!!!

With a dramatic flourish, DENHAM waves his arm at the CURTAIN ... It
slowly rises, as MUSIC strikes up.

KONG is REVEALED ... His SITS SLUMPED, HEAD turned away from the
AUDIENCE. This is a BOWED, BROKEN SPIRIT ... not the mighty ape we were
expecting to see.

His WRISTS are MANACLED, attached by long lengths of THICK CHAIN that
lead to the BEAM of the BIG STEEL SCAFFOLD he sits on. Other MANACLES
and CHAINS secure his AN/ANKLES and WAIST.

There is BIG GASP from the AUDIENCE. KONG'S sheer size is SPECTACULAR.

DENHAM looks a little ANXIOUS at KONG'S LETHARGY.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Don't be alarmed, Ladies and Gentleman Those chains are made of chrome
steel!

KONG continues to SIT ... he picks at his TOES. DENHAM steps past JACK,
towards the WINGS, WHISPERING to STAGEHANDS...

DENHAM (CONT'D)
(whispering)
Get him on his feet!

INSERT HUGE ELECTRICAL WINCHES start GRINDING BACKSTAGE ... winding in
KONG'S WRIST CHAINS onto big drums.

KONG'S ARMS are pulled up towards the STEEL BEAM ... He is hauled to
his feet, arms out-stretched - to APPRECIATIVE MURMURS from the CROWD.
His HEAD is slumped.

DENHAM strides towards KONG ... armed with a LONG POLE with a sharp
METAL BARB. He prods KONG in the stomach ...

KONG ROARS ... The AUDIENCE LAUGH and APPLAUD. JACK looks
uncomfortable.

DENHAM jabs him in the SIDE ... KONG ROARS and rattles the CHAINS. The
AUDIENCE CHEER.

DENHAM edges towards closer, TOUCHING KONG'S LEG.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Am actually laying my hand on the twenty-five foot gorilla.Ladies and
gentlemen! I am touching the beast!

ANN
(angry yell)
Take your filthy paws off him -you ignorant pig!

DENHAM looks ALARMED as ANN strides down the AILSE from the BACK of the
THEATRE.

KONG RECOGNIZES ANN! He ROARS and pulls on his CHAINS.

DENHAM races over to the MIC in an attempt to pass this off as part of
the show.

DENHAM
(amplified)
Ladies and gentlemen! Miss Ann Darrow ... the bravest girl I have ever
known!

The CONFUSED AUDIENCE starts to APPLAUD ...

ANN
(angry yell)
Show's over everybody! Go home !

The APPLAUSE dies away.

ANN (CONT'D)
(angry yell)
What are you waiting for? You've seen the big monkey humiliated. Go on
... go home!

Nobody moves.

ANN (CONT'D)
( screaming)
Get the hell out of here.''!

DENHAM
(amplified nervous chuckle)
Now Ann ...

SOME PEOPLE STAND and STEP into the AILSES, but nobody actually leaves
... all eyes are on ANN as she bounds up ONSTAGE ...

ANN
You're hurting him - let him down

JACK steps forward ...

JACK
Ann!

ANN pushes JACK away.

ANN
(yelling)
Let him down!

ANN hurries over to KONG ... he is VERY AGITATED. She gently STROKES
HIS LEG.

ANN (CONT'D)
(gentle)
It's ok. You're going to be ok. I'm not going to let them hurt you.

DENHAM whispers BACKSTAGE.

DENHAM
(excited whisper)
Jet the press in . .. This is great!

ANN has EYE CONTACT WITH KONG ... he is CALMING DOWN.

NOISY MOB of 50 JOURNALISTS and PHOTOGRAPHERS suddenly stream onto the
STAGE.

DENHAM (CONT'D)
Here's your angle, boys "Beauty tames the Beast"!

FLASHBULBS POP ... A BABBLE OF QUESTIONS are thrown at ANN!

JOURNALIST' S BABBLE
Smile Ann'. Have you got a pet name for the monkey?  What does he eat?
Come a little closer, Miss Darrow!

ANN
(yelling)
Bugger off!

DENHAM grabs her arm ... Without breaking his GRIN, he hisses in her
ear ...

DENHAM
(angry whisper)
Just a couple of photos, you
Ungrateful little ****!

DENHAM drags ANN away from KONG! He ROARS! FLASHBULBS POP! ANN starts
crying ..- KONG is getting ANXIOUS .. flinching against the CONSTANT
FLASHES. DISTORTED JOURNALIST'S FACES ...

JOURNALISTIC BABBLE
Smile Ann! ... Smile!

DENHAM
Come on Ann - Snap out of it'.

DENHAM SLAPS HER ON THE CHEEK ... ANN FLINCHES
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"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe
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