Written by Stephany Folsom (“Paper Girls”), the working titled “King Kong” project would mark the gigantic ape-like monster’s fourth serialized adventure, but will be the first to feature live actors running alongside the title creature. (“The King Kong Show” (1966), “Kong: The Animated Series” (2000), and “Kong: King of the Apes” (2016) were all animated.)
“‘King Kong’ is a serialized action/adventure drama that brings the classic monster story into the modern age, with a return to Skull Island and the dawn of a new Kong,” reports Nellie Andreeva for Deadline. “The series will explore the mythology of King Kong’s origin story and the supernatural mysteries of his home based on IP from Merian C. Cooper’s original books and the new King Kong novelizations by Joe DeVito.”
The project comes from James Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions and World Builder Entertainment. Wan, Michael Clear, Rob Hackett, and Dannie Festa are set to executive produce. Festa was previously attached to MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television’s “King Kong Skull Island”: a live-action series reportedly about the origins of Skull Island that was in development but never reached audiences.
The character King Kong most recently appeared in three Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ films: “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019), and “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021). Each of these are part of a franchise collective known as the “MonsterVerse.”
This new series from Disney Branded Television is not part of the “MonsterVerse” and will not continue that Kong’s storyline. It will instead feature a new take on the hairy heavyweight-turned-pop culture icon.
Given the ongoing Warner Bros. Discovery merger chaos, it’s worth noting Warner Bros. and the MonsterVerse did not “lose” the rights to Kong. An untitled “Godzilla vs. Kong” sequel film is already in the works with director Adam Wingard attached. The project is expect to begin filming later this year with an aim to reach audiences by March 14, 2024.
Representatives for Disney Branded Television could not immediately be reached for comment on the new “King Kong” TV show.