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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
King Kong 'goes $32m over budget'
King Kong
King Kong is a computer generated creation
Peter Jackson's new film King Kong has gone $32m (18m) over budget but the studio remains happy, say reports.

The New York Times reports that the film - due for release at the end of the year - is more than three hours long and has cost $207m (116m).

But studio executives are delighted with the final film, the paper says.

It is unclear who will foot the extra costs, with Universal and Jackson both reportedly happy to cover the bigger budget for the re-make.

"This is a three-hour feast of an event," Marc Shmuger, vice chairman of Universal Pictures, told the New York Times.

Love story

He described the film as a tragic love story between the ape and Naomi Watts, who plays Ann Darrow, an actress.

We offered to pay for these extra shots ourselves
Peter Jackson, quoted in the New York Times

"I've never come close to seeing an artist working at this level," he said.

Jackson was given complete creative control over the film, following his enormous success as director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which broke box office records and swept the board at the Oscars for the final film.

"I anticipated it would be long, but not this long," Universal chairwoman Stacey Snider said.

On Wednesday she said she was delighted with the film.


"This is a masterpiece. I can't wait to unveil it."

Peter Jackson
Jackson's The Return of the King won 11 Oscars in 2004

She told the New York Times that the studio and Mr Jackson, who was paid a reported $20m to make the film, would split the extra costs.

But in an e-mail to the paper Mr Jackson said he would pay for the costs.

Referring to his partner Ms Walsh, he said: "Since Fran and I believed in the three-hour cut and wanted to take responsibility for the extra length, we offered to pay for these extra shots ourselves. That's what we're doing."

But a spokesman for Universal later told the newspaper: "We are working together to cover overages."

Due for release in the US on 14 December, and in the UK the following day, King Kong retells the beauty-and-the-beast tale first released in 1933 and starring Fay Wray.

The new film also stars Adrien Brody and Jack Black.

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