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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, 11:35:21 pm »

KONG is moving along a ROOFTOP - about 10 STORIES HIGH. He is holding
ANN close to his breast. He looks down at the STREETS - now largely
DESERTED. All around him the MANHATTAN SKYLINE resembles some GAUDY
PRIMEVAL LANDSCAPE.

SUDDENLY . . .

BAM! BAM! BAM ... HEAVY MACHINE GUN FIRE RICOCHETS all around. KONG
ROARS ... ANN clutches his FINGERS as he BOUNDS along the ROOFS at HIGH
SPEED! A SEARCHLIGHT suddenly swings onto KONG from BELOW ...

ARMY VEHICLES are RACING along the QUIET STREETS ... An ARMORED CAR is
firing at KONG ... followed by a TRUCK carrying a MOBILE SEARCHLIGHT.

The STREETS are TEEMING with these VEHICLES as the ARMY spreads out
across town in the hunt for KONG.

As BULLETS WHIZZ around him, KONG LEAPS ACROSS THE STREET - 10 stories
high! He LANDS on the opposite ROOFTOP and BOUNDS AWAY ...

ANOTHER SEARCHLIGHT FINDS HIM! ... And ANOTHER! The ARMY are closing
in. MACHINE GUN FIRE rips past him as he LEAPS another GREAT DISTANCE
across the STREET. ANN clings on, her EYES TIGHTLY SHUT.

ARMORED CARS and MOBILE SEARCHLIGHTS coverage on KONG ... He has RUN
OUT OF ROOFTOP ... ahead of him, across the CAVERN of 34th STREET,
rises the SHEER WALL of the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!!!

KONG leaps across the CHASM, crashing into the SIDE of the EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING! GLASS RAINS DOWN 12 STORIES TO THE STREET as KONG uses
WINDOWS for HAND AND FOOT HOLDS. He is ONE-HANDED - his other hand
still holding ANN protectively to his CHEST.

FOUR SEARCHLIGHTS swing onto KONG ... A MOBILE ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN
screeches to a HALT on 34th STREET -this is obviously the army's
KILLING WEAPON OF CHOICE. Within seconds the LARGE GUN TARGETS KONG ...

POV Looking up CROSS-HAIRS at KONG, high on the side of the building -
a total SITTING DUCK.

GUNNER
Ready to fire, sir!

COMMANDER
How many points do we get for a big monkey?

The GUNNERS LAUGH ... the COMMANDER raises his BINOCULARS to watch the
spectacle.

COMMANDER (CONT'D)
Stand by ...

AT THAT MOMENT ... KONG ROARS DEFIANTLY at the SOLDIERS, swinging ANN
out over the street.

COMMANDER (CONT'D)
(shocked)
Hold your fire! He's carrying a woman!!

The ORDER is shouted down the STREET to the ASSEMBLING SOLDIERS.

SERGEANT
(yelling)
Hold your fire!!!

KONG carefully places ANN on his BROAD SHOULDER ... she GRABS HOLD OF
HIS FUR.

The MILITARY watch helplessly as KONG starts climbing the EMPIRE STATE
BUILDING.

CUT TO

EXT. 39TH STREET - NIGHT

JACK is several blocks away, unaware of the situation at the Empire
State Building.

He wanders down an EMPTY STREET ... a few ABANDONED CARS are dotted
around, but all is QUIET. His shoulders are slumped, his stride falters
... he looks like a BROKEN MAN.

A VEHICLE APPROACHES ...

JACK turns as a MILITARY POLICE CAR pulls up along side him.

MP
For Chrissake buddy! Get your ass inside - there's a goddamn gorilla on
the loose!

JACK doesn't react ... he keeps on walking.

MP (CONT'D)
(angry)
Hey! Did you hear me, mister?

A 2nd MILITARY POLICE VEHICLE pulls up ...

2ND MP
Hey Bill ... you gotta hear this! The stupid ape's climbing up the
Empire State Building carrying a goddamn woman on his shoulder! Naval
planes are being dispatched from Wrights Field at dawn.  Guess the boys
want a little target practice! Orders are to blow the son of a ****
away as soon as he puts the girl down!

The 2nd VEHICLE ROARS AWAY ...

CLOSE ON JACK, still walking as the 1st MILITARY POLICE VEHICLE cruises
up along side ...

MP
Ya want a tip, buddy? Get down to Fifth Avenue ...they blow that ugly
**** off building there's gonna be bits gorilla all over the street!
It'll take the sanitation department a week to clean it up!

The MP LAUGHS LOUDLY as the VEHICLE ROARS AWAY, leaving JACK alone in
the street. He is outside a CINEMA -showcasing some new epic movie
about World War One Flying Aces. An overly romanticized POSTER features
a Jean Harlow type in an embrace with a pilot.

The STREETS are wet ... LIGHTS glisten off the surface. JACK pauses -
glancing at the reflection ...

POV WET STREET ... the UNDERSIDE OF AN AIRPLANE is reflected in the
water!

JACK slowly looks up ...

TWO OLD AIRPLANES have been strung high across the street to promote
the movie ... a FOKKER TRIPLANE ... and a SOPWITH CAMEL!

CLOSE ON JACK'S REACTION ...

CUT TO

The SOPWITH CAMEL lands with a bounce on the street! JACK has released
the support ropes ... he hurries over to the PLANE, quickly assessing
it's condition.

KID (O.S.)
That thing can't fly, mister!

JACK is surprised to see a little AFRICAN-AMERICAN KID -about 8 years -
emerge from the shadows. He is clearly a HOMELESS URCHIN.

KID (CONT'D)
They wouldn't hang it on wires if it was still working.

JACK is peering into the cockpit.

JACK
I'm not so sure, kid.

CUT TO

EXT.EMPIRE STATE BUILDING/MANHATTAN - PRE DAWN

WIDE SHOT ... KONG climbing the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, silhouetted
against the LIGHTENING SKY. He is nearing the top.

LOOKING DOWN ... ANN clings to KONG'S SHOULDER, a DIZZYING 1000 foot
drop to the street below.

KONG scales the final 130 feet of the Empire State Building - the
airship mooring mast - and CLIMBS ONTO the STEEL DOME AT the TOP. He
gently places ANN down on the LIP and STANDS on TWO LEGS ...

WIDER ... KONG BEATS HIS CHEST, ROARING DEFIANTLY!

WIDER ... KONG is a SPECK on the summit of the HUGE building,
surrounded by the vista of MANHATTAN ... his ROAR echoes over the city.

EXT. 39TH STREET - DAWN

KONG'S ROAR REACHES JACK ... HE PAUSES FOR A MOMENT, THEN HURRIES TO
THE PLANE, CARRYING A CONTAINER OF PETROL NE HAS JUST SIPHONED FROM A
CAR.

KID
They used to fly these in the war, mister.

JACK
Is that right?

JACK pours PETROL into the plane's GAS TANK.

KID
Are you gonna start it up?

JACK
Yeah.

KID
Why?

JACK
Coz of something I lost.

KID
What's that?

JACK
Compassion.

KID
What's compassion, mister.

JACK kneels down in front of the KID ...he takes the KID'S HAND and
presses it against his chest.

JACK
It's this. When you grow up, bad things may happen, but you don't ever
wanna lose touch with your heart. Now go and give the propeller a turn
- nice and slowly.

The KID runs around to the propeller ... JACK reacts to the sound of
DISTANT PLANE ENGINES.

EXT.EMPIRE STATE BUILDING/MANHATTAN - DAWN

Looking at MANHATTAN from the HARBOR ... The Empire State Building
rises from the MIDTOWN area like a giant solitary finger, reaching for
the heavens.

SIX NAVAL BIPLANES suddenly ROAR INTO SHOT, sweeping low over the
DOWNTOWN BUSINESS DISTRICT ... and closing in on KONG. These are TWO-
SEATERS, armed with TWIN MACHINE-GUNS for the PILOT, and a flexible
MACHINE GUN for the OBSERVER.

A COLD WIND blows ANN'S hair as she stands on the lip of the dome,
watching the PLANES approach. KONG is UNEASY about these BUZZING
PREDATORS as they CIRCLE above him.

CLOSE ON NAVAL PLANE COCKPIT ... the LEAD PILOT talks to the others via
an RT.

LEAD PILOT
(over RT)
Here we go, boys! The NAVAL PLANES peel off into an ATTACKING DIVE at
KONG.

DOWN GUN-SIGHTS ... drifting left and right as KONG grows in size ...
LOCKED ON!

CLOSE ON PILOT'S FINGER on trigger.

KONG is suddenly FEARFUL ... he INSTINCTIVELY REACHES FOR ANN, holding
her protectively!

LEAD PILOT (CONT'D)
(over RT)
Pull out! Pull out! He has the girl!

The PLANES split to either side of KONG, ZOOMING close by with a
deafening roar.

EXT. 39TH STREET - DAWN

CLOSE ON .. The SOPWITH CAMEL'S Gnome rotary engine SPINS, COUGHS and
DIES.

JACK is at the FRONT of the PLANE, desperately SPINNING the PROPELLER
with both hands, trying to kick the plane into life. The KID is sitting
in the cockpit.

JACK
(urgent)
Flick the switch again!

JACK SPINS THE PROP ... the engine COUGHS, blows out a CLOUD OF BLACK
SMOKE ... and ROARS INTO LIFE!!

JACK lifts the KID out and clambers into the cockpit! The engine NOISE
is LOUD ... propeller wash blasts his hair and clothes.

KID
(yelling)
Hey mister! You dropped this!

The KID picks up JACK'S ENVELOPE - containing the 2 grand- off the
road. He offers it to JACK.

KID (CONT'D) (CONT'D)
(yelling)
You wanna be more careful.

JACK hesitates ... he SMILES at the KID.

JACK
(yelling)
It's your lucky day, kid! Stand back!

The KID steps back, clutching the ENVELOPE as JACK OPENS THE THROTTLE.
The ENGINE WINDS UP and the SOPWITH CAMEL starts moving down 39th
street!

It BUILDS UP SPEED VERY QUICKLY, racing past ABANDONED CARS and
BUILDINGS ... The TAIL LIFTS OFF THE GROUND ...

SUDDENLY!

A MILITARY VEHICLE DRIVES across an INTERSECTION directly in front of
the PLANE! JACK pulls back on the stick and the SOPWITH CAMEL LURCHES
INTO THE AIR! It SKIMS over the VEHICLE, CLIMBING into the air rapidly!

EXT.EMPIRE STATE BUILDING/MANHATTAN - DAWN

KONG is getting ANGRY at the BUZZING PLANES around him ... He puts ANN
DOWN on the DOME! Circling

ANN
( yelling)
No! Pick me up! Kong!

KONG ROARS at the PLANES, as if issuing a CHALLENGE.

The LEAD PILOT waves to the OTHER PLANES.

LEAD PILOT
(over RT)
Ok ... this time! Here we go ...

The NAVAL PLANES PEEL AWAY for the ATTACK ... They dive towards KONG
... lining him up in their sights ...

KONG ROARS at them ... ANN is screaming ...

ANN
NO!!!

AT THAT MOMENT ... JACK'S SOPWITH CAMEL zooms right past KONG and ANN,
flying STRAIGHT AT THE NAVAL PLANES!!! JACK is VISIBLE in the cockpit,
HAIR BLOWING in the wind.

ANN (CONT'D)
(yelling)
Jack!!

The NAVAL PLANES are forced to SCATTER in ALL DIRECTIONS as the tiny
SOPWITH CAMEL meets them HEAD-ON!!

JACK TURNS TIGHTLY and flies at the REGROUPING NAVAL PLANES, sending
them into disarray!

LEAD PILOT
(over RT)
Ignore the cowboy ... Go for the ape! Go for the ape!

The SIX NAVAL PLANES fly at KONG from different directions! MACHINE
GUNS START FIRING! JACK throws his plane around like a MADMAN, trying
to deflect their AIM.

KONG ROARS, and SNATCHES at the NAVAL PLANES as they ZOOM by ... he
FLINCHES as he is HIT BY BtU-LETS! ANN SCREAMS!

JACK DIVES at a NAVAL PLANE, causing it to TURN SHARPLY -straight into
KONG'S GRIP! KONG grabs the NAVAL PLANE, RIPPING IT'S WINGS OFF! He
hurls it down towards the street!

JACK nearly hits the LEAD PILOT, who desperately veers away!

LEAD PILOT (CONT'D)
(over RT)
Let's take this guy out!

The NAVAL PLANES OPEN FIRE on JACK ... he DODGES around the SKY,
avoiding STREAMS OF TRACER FIRE ... nearly hitting the TOP of the
CHRYSLER BUILDING!

JACK'S LUCK runs out ... The SOPWITH CAMEL shudders as BULLETS SMASH
INTO IT'S ENGINE. BLACK SMOKE streams out as JACK quickly loses
control.

JACK knows it's all over ... he GRIMLY STEERS his CRIPPLED PLANE
straight at a NAVAL PLANE attacking KONG ...

With a CRUNCH, JACK'S WHEELS clip the NAVAL PLANE'S WING, sending it
spinning out of control! The NAVAL PLANE SMASHES into the side of the
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!

JACK'S SOPWITH CAMEL flips on it's BACK ...

CRUUMMP!!! KONG GRABS JACK'S PLANE! He waves it above his head JACK
FALLS OUT OF THE COCKPIT! He slides down KONG'S' out-stretched arm,
rolls on his shoulder and just manages to GRAB THE FUR ON KONG'S BACK -
preventing a 1000 foot fall to the street!

ANN
( shocked)
JACK!!!

JACK dangles and swings as KONG continues to SWAT at the ATTACKING
PLANES! MACHINE GUN FIRE strikes KONG in the BACK, just below JACK'S
FEET. KONG SLUMPS, giving JACK the chance to ROLL OFF HIS BACK ... JACK
lands on the DOME, SLIDING TOWARDS THE EDGE!!

ANN REACHES OUT, grabbing his HAND. She pulls JACK to safety!

AT THAT MOMENT ... KONG PICKS ANN UP. JACK can only watch as KONG
TENDERLY HOLDS HER ... the great ape is WEAKENED by BULLET HITS and
clearly in PAIN ... yet he looks mesmerized at ANN as her long blonde
hair blows in the wind.

The NAVAL PLANES are regrouping in the distance ... The FOUR remaining
PLANES turn towards KONG and form a straight line.

LEAD PILOT
(over RT)
We are ignoring the girl! I repeat ... ignore the girl. She's going
down with the ape! Here we go!

The NAVAL PLANES start their ATTACK RUN!

JACK can see what's coming ...

JACK
(desperate yell)
Ann! They are going to shoot! Ann!

KONG looks down at JACK ...

He very gently lowers ANN and returns her to JACK. JACK HOLDS ANN
tenderly as she starts SOBBING.

KONG looks FEARFULLY AT THE APPROACHING PLANES ... He is BREATHING in
GASPS ... very DISTRESSED.

ANN
Kong'. Look at me ... please

KONG looks at ANN ... He gently touches her hair. She clutches his
FINGERS, hugging them, trying COMFORT HIM. TEARS STREAM DOWN HER FACE
...

ALL. SOUND FADES AWAY ... except for a gentle breeze ...

ANN (CONT'D)
(singing softly)
Lullaby ... and good-night, Go to bed and sleep tight ...

The FEAR leaves KONG ... he looks at ANN with TENDERNESS and LOVE. She
fights back the urge to burst into tears.

ANN (CONT'D)
(singing softly)
Close your eyes, start to yawn, Pleasant dreams until dawn.

CLOSE ON KONG ... he SUDDENLY WINCES SOUND CRASHES BACK IN ... with the
DEAFENING ROAR of the PLANES flying past.

For one last precious second ANN HUGS KONG'S HAND ... he slowly topples
back ... disappearing off the side of the building.

ANN SOBS with GRIEF ... JACK gently takes her in his arms ... she
buries her face in his chest.

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE - MORNING

CROWDS are gathering to STARE at KONG'S BODY ... we only see his HAND
on the edge of frame.

A POLICEMAN ushers people away ...

POLICEMAN
Come on folks ... it's all over. The airplane's got him.

PUSH IN ... to an OLD LADY standing in the crowd. She shakes her head
sadly ...

OLD LADY
It wasn't the airplanes ... it was beauty killed the beast.

The OLD LADY turns and slowly walks away from CAMERA.

FADE TO BLACK.

THE END

http://geocities.com/scifiscripts3/scripts/kingkong.txt
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"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe
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