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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
King Kong remake begins filming
Left to right: Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Peter Jackson and Jack Black
Left to right: Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Peter Jackson and Jack Black
Filming on a remake of King Kong gets under way in New Zealand on Monday, reuniting director Peter Jackson with many of his Lord of the Rings cohorts.

Jackson is bringing the 1933 classic up to date with his Rings writing team, effects company and cinematographer.

Andy Serkis is providing the gorilla's movements - as he did for Gollum. The cast also includes Adrien Brody, Jack Black and Naomi Watts.

Jackson claims the 1933 film "inspired me to want to become a film-maker".

Jackson won the Oscar for best director for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King earlier this year.

He said he made his first version of King Kong aged 13 using a cardboard model of the Empire State Building, a sheet painted with the New York skyline and a Super 8 camera.

Original King Kong
King Kong was recently voted the most terrifying movie monster ever
"I have loved the film since I was a kid," he said.

"I saw the movie when I was about eight or nine years old... and it just captured a feeling of fantasy and adventure and mystery."

Jackson said he would not make a "carbon copy" of the 1933 film, changing Brody's character from a ship's first mate to a movie screenwriter.

"We're really just attempting to make a wonderful, mysterious adventure film," he said.

The gorilla's character and his relationship with a young woman, played by Watts, would be explored in greater depth, he added.

'Brutal life'

"He's a very old gorilla and he's never felt a single bit of empathy for another living creature during his long... brutal life."

Watts is filling the role actress Fay Wray played in the classic version. Wray died aged 96 just a month ago.

Watts said she met Wray just before she died. "Those are some big shoes to fill," she said.

"She did a wonderful job. Going back and seeing the movie several times and seeing what she did - it's quite beautiful."

King Kong is expected to be released on 14 December 2005.

King Kong heroine is dead at 96
09 Aug 04 |  Americas
Gollum actor to 'play' King Kong
11 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
King Kong tops movie monster poll
03 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
Peter Jackson: King of the Rings
01 Mar 04 |  Entertainment


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