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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 11:02 GMT
Jackson's Kong finally unveiled
Peter Jackson, Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody at the King Kong world premiere

The world premiere of Peter Jackson's eagerly-awaited King Kong remake has taken place in New York.

Jackson and stars Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Naomi Watts and Andy Serkis attended the event, while a 20ft King Kong model dominated Times Square.

The director told reporters outside the premiere that he first tried to remake King Kong with a home movie camera when he was 12, but it "didn't work out".

Early press reviews for the 2005 version have been largely positive.

The Loews Theatre premiere was just blocks from the Empire State Building, which famously featured in the 1933 original and reappears in the new film.

"I actually tried to make it when I was 12 - I got my parents' home movie camera and tried to shoot some footage," said Jackson.

I think most people will think we got in a time machine and somehow shot it in New York in '33
Director Peter Jackson
"That didn't work out, but here we are in 2005. We finally made it."

Jackson was paid a reported $20m (11.5m) and given complete creative control of the film, after his Lord of the Rings trilogy broke box office records and the final film won 11 Oscars.

King Kong is more than three hours long and ran $32m (18m) over budget, costing a record $207m (116m), but Universal studio executives are reportedly delighted with the finished product.

Jackson said: "We used a lot of computer technology, and I think New York looks pretty convincing - I think most people will think we got in a time machine and somehow shot it in New York in '33."

'Lovely story'

Universal has described King Kong as a tragic love story between the giant ape and an actress, played by Naomi Watts.

The original King Kong starred Fay Wray in Watts' role, while Jessica Lange played the part in a 1976 version.

Watts said: "It seemed like a great idea - Peter Jackson, the king of effects, and this lovely story which still stands up even in the 1930s version when you don't buy those effects, it still manages to really hold you.

A 20ft King Kong model in Times Square
Times Square's new resident was hard to miss
"I just thought that combined with Peter Jackson's brilliant talents in the whole CGI world, it sounded like a great idea."

Shallow Hal and School of Rock actor Jack Black admitted the part of the movie producer aiming to exploit the discovery of a giant ape was a departure for him.

"I've got some villainous qualities so I was able to tap into some of my villain," he said.

"This was a different role for me - usually I don't play the bad guy and it was good."

Co-star Adrien Brody said: "The filming process was tough but very exciting. The action sequences were harder than I thought they would be."

He added: "Really the hardest part was being away from home for nine months, but the filmmaking process was really fun."

King Kong goes on general release in the US on 14 December and in the UK a day later.

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