King Kong (2005 film)

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King Kong Films
King Kong Lives
King Kong (2005)
Kong: Skull Island
Universal Pictures Monster Movie
King Kong (2005 film)
King Kong
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Jan Blenkin
Carolynne Cunningham
Fran Walsh
Peter Jackson
Written by Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
Music by James Newton Howard
Distributor Universal Pictures
Rating PG-13
Budget $207,000,000[1]
Box Office $550,517,357[1]
Running Time 187 minutesTheatrical
(3 hours and 7 minutes)
200 minutesExtended
(3 hours and 20 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
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King Kong is a 2005 American giant monster name produced by Universal Pictures, and a remake of the 1933 name of the same name. It was released to theaters on December 14, 2005.


The film opens in 1933 New York City at the height of the Great Depression. Having lost her job as a vaudeville actress, Ann Darrow is hired by troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to be an actress in his new motion picture against the famous and popular actor Bruce Baxter. With time running out, Ann signs on when she learns her favourite playwright Jack Driscoll is the screenwriter. On the SS Venture, they slowly fall in love. As for Carl, a warrant is out for his arrest and Captain Englehorn begins to have second thoughts, following the fears of his crew over the legend of Skull Island. Despite his attempt to turn around, their ship is sucked up into a fog and crashes into one of the encircling rocks.

Carl and his crew explore the island, with a deserted village against a wall, but they are attacked by the vicious natives. Mike, the sound technician, is speared, one of the sailors has his head crushed, and Jack is knocked out. Ann screams, and a roar beyond the wall responds. The matriarch vows to sacrifice her to "Kong", a 25 ft (7.6 m) gorilla. Englehorn and his crew break up the attack and return to the damaged ship. They finally lighten the load to steer away, until Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped. On the island, Ann is hung from a balcony to the other side of a valley. The crew comes armed, but are too late. Carl sees the gorilla that has taken her. Englehorn gives them 24 hours to find her. In the meantime, Ann discovers the remains of the previous sacrifices, and stabs Kong's hand with her ceremonial necklace to no avail. Kong takes Ann into the jungles of the island.

Captain Englehorn organises a rescue party to find Ann and hunt down the beast. The rescue party is caught up in a Venatosaurus pack's hunt of Brontosaurus, and four of them (including Herb, the cameraman) are killed while Jack and the rest of the crew survive. Ann manages to entertain Kong with juggling and dancing, but he does not kill her when she refuses to continue, leaving her instead. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp. It is here that Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The survivors stumble across a log where Kong attacks, shaking them off the log into a ravine. He returns to rescue Ann from three Vastatosaurus Rex (modern Tyrannosaurus), and takes her up to his mountain lair. While there, Ann briefly attempts to communicate with Kong using sign language, but without success. Englehorn and the rest of the crew rescue whomever is left of the rescue party from the pit of giant insects, and as Jack decides to continue to search for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack comes to Kong's lair, and disturbs him from his slumber. As Kong fights a swarm of giant bats, Ann and Jack escape by grabbing the wing of a Terapusmordax and then jumping to a river. They arrive at the village wall with the angry Kong following them, where Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and struggles to get her back, but he is knocked out by chloroform.

In New York around Christmas, Carl presents Kong — the Eighth Wonder of the World on Broadway. Ann has become an anonymous chorus girl and a double of her is used as a replacement in the play however Kong becomes enraged from the fake 'Ann' and breaks free from his chrome-steel chains. Causing chaos throughout the town searching for Ann by picking up several look alikes, Jack looks him in the eye and results in a chase across town where Kong eventually encounters Ann again. They share a quiet moment on a frozen lake in Central Park before they are interrupted by the military. Kong climbs onto the Empire State Building, and observing the dawning day repeats the sign for "beautiful" Ann had used in his lair, causing a shocked Ann to realize his intelligence. Before Ann is able to attempt further communication they are again attacked and Kong makes his last stand against the Curtiss Helldivers, downing three of them. Ultimately Kong is hit by several bursts of gunfire from the surviving planes, and gazes at a distraught Ann for the last time before falling off the building to his death. Ann is greeted by Jack, and the reporters flood to Kong's corpse. Carl takes one last look and says, "It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."


  • Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow
  • Jack Black as Carl Denham
  • Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll
  • Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Englehorn
  • Colin Hanks as Preston
  • Jamie Bell as Jimmy
  • Evan Parke as Ben Hayes
  • Lobo Chan as Choy
  • Kyle Chandler as Bruce Baxter
  • Andy Serkis as Kong (motion capture) and Lumpy
  • John Sumner as Herb
  • Craig Hall as Mike



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


The marketing campaign for King Kong started in full swing on June 27, 2005, when the teaser trailer made its debut, first online at the official Volkswagen website at 8:45 p.m. EST, then 8:55 p.m. EST across media outlets owned by NBC Universal (the parent of Universal Studios), including NBC, Bravo!, CNBC and MSNBC. That trailer appeared in theatres attached to War of the Worlds, which opened on June 29.

Jackson also regularly published a series of 'Production Diaries', which chronicled the making of the film. The diaries started shortly after the DVD release of The Return of the King as a way to give Jackson's The Lord of the Rings fans a glimpse of his next project. These diaries are edited into broadband-friendly instalments of three or four minutes each. They consist of features that would normally be seen in a making-of documentary: a tour of the set, a roving camera introducing key players behind the scene, a peek inside the sound booth during last-minute dubbing, or Andy Serkis doing his ape movements in a motion capture studio. The production diaries were released on DVD on December 13, 2005, one day before the U.S. release of the film. This was one of the first occasions in which material that would normally be considered supplementary to the DVD release of a film, was not only released separately, but done so in a prestige format; the Production Diaries came packaged in a box with a set of prints and a replica 1930s-era clipboard.It is also the first time such material was published prior to the release of the film.


A novelization of the movie and a prequel entitled King Kong: The Island of the Skull was also written. A multi-platform video game entitled Peter Jackson's King Kong was released, which featured an alternate ending. There was a hardback book entitled The World of Kong, featuring artwork from Weta Workshop to describe the fictional bestiary in the film. A number of spin-offs from the remake's franchise include books, novels, comics and video games.


Main article: King Kong (2005 film)/Gallery.


King Kong Trailer
King Kong Second Trailer

Video Releases

Universal DVD (2006)

  • Region: Various
  • Discs: 1 or 2
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Special Features: Post Production Featurettes (150 minutes), Skull Island: A Natural History documentary (15 minutes), Kong's New York (28 minutes), behind the scenes footage of the Volkswagen tie-in ad (3 minutes)
  • Notes: The single-disc version only has the behind-the-scenes Volkswagen footage as a special feature.

Universal DVD (2006) [200-Minute Extended Cut]

  • Region: Various
  • Discs: 3
  • Audio: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, 16 deleted/extended scenes (40 minutes), blooper reel, Production Diary #59 (8 minutes), A Night In Vaudeville featurette (on the casting and filming of the vaudeville scenes), King Kong Homage featurette (guide to references in the film), Pre-Visualization Animatics featurette, "The Present" short film (made for Peter Jackson's birthday and starring most of the film's main cast), trailers, Weta Collectables featurette, scripts for the 1996 and 2005 versions of the film (for PC viewing), Recreating the Eighth Wonder (3-hour documentary on the making of the film), Conceptual Design Video Galleries (41 minutes)

Universal Blu-ray (2009)

  • Region: Various
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, picture-in-picture cast and crew interviews, concept art galleries
  • Notes: Includes both the theatrical and extended cuts. All special features can only be accessed while playing the extended cut. Some versions are packaged with a DVD and digital copy of the film.

Universal Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD (2017) [Ultimate Edition]

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 3
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Special Features: Pending
  • Notes: Includes both the theatrical and extended cuts.


  • Director Peter Jackson originally wanted actress Fay Wray, who played Ann Darrow in the original 1933 King Kong, to make a cameo at the end of the film and deliver the iconic line "It was beauty killed the beast." However, Wray passed away before filming, and the line was delivered by the character of Carl Denham instead, as in the original film. According to Victoria Riskin, Wray's daughter, her mother had already previously declined to appear as she wanted to keep the original film and the 2005 remake separate.[2]
  • The scene where Denham and Preston are discussing possible replacements for the actress who dropped out of their film references both Fay Wray and King Kong creator/director/producer Merian C. Cooper.
Preston:You'll never get [Mae West] into a size four. You gotta get a girl that'll fit into Maureen's costumes.
Denham: Fay's a size four.
Preston: Yes, she is, but she's doing a picture with RKO.
Denham: (darkly) Cooper, huh? I might have known.

Since the film King Kong would not exist in this universe, Preston could be talking about The Most Dangerous Game, a 1932 film produced by Cooper and starring Wray. To add further layers to the references, sets from The Most Dangerous Game were reused in King Kong, Denham's original character is widely accepted to have been based on Cooper himself, and Max Steiner's three-note Kong motif from the original film plays on the soundtrack.

  • A cage in the Venture's cargo hold is labelled "Sumatran Rat Monkey, beware the bite." This is a reference to a creature from Peter Jackson's 1992 film Dead Alive which hails from Skull Island and causes a zombie outbreak through its bite.
  • At the time of its release, King Kong set a record for number of visual effects shots, with around 2,400.
  • Pocket Star released a prequel novel by Matt Costello, King Kong: The Island of the Skull, three months before the film. The novelization of the film itself was written by Christopher Golden.
  • Both director Peter Jackson and veteran special effects technician Rick Baker make cameos as a gunner and pilot respectively of one of the fighter planes that attacks King Kong at the end of the film, their plane in paticular being the one that kills the great ape. Jackson said that the reason Baker wanted to be in the film was because Baker thought it would be appropriate to be the pilot who finally shoots down Kong given his experience portraying Kong in the 1976 film. Director Frank Darabont, who would later serve as a script doctor for Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, also cameos as another plane gunner.[3][4] Jackson's role is a reference to directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack having played a fighter pilot and gunner, respectively, during the climax of the original 1933 film.
  • The dialogue in Denham's movie, as acted out by Ann and Bruce aboard the Venture, is taken verbatim from a conversation between Ann and Jack in the original King Kong.
  • During Kong's Broadway debut, the costumes worn by the actors portraying Skull Islanders are identical to those worn by the actual Skull Islanders in the original King Kong. In addition, the music that plays during this scene is taken from Max Steiner's score for the original film.
  • In 2010, one of the dinosaur miniatures created for the film was auctioned off at the Shanghai International Film Prototype Exhibition charity auction. Famous film Hong Kong film actor Jackie Chan won the bid for the dinosaur with his bid being reportedly ¥500,000 ($100,000).[5]

External Links


This is a list of references for King Kong (2005 film). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 King Kong (2005) - Box Office Mojo
  2. Keck, William. (First posted December 18, 2005, Updated December 19, 2005) Keeping the big ape film in the family. USA Today.
  3. Wloszczyna, Susan. (Posted December 15, 2005, Updated December 16, 2005) 'King Kong' abounds with fun facts for fanboys. USATODAY
  4. Fordham, Joe. (January 2006) Return of the King. Cinefex, 104, p. 123
  5. (August 11, 2010) Hong Kong Festival 2010: opens tomorrow, selling well. screennz.

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3 months ago
Score 1

Kong:Skull island surpasses this film at $552,346,181



3 months ago
Score 1
Has anyone been to the universal ride adaptation (Skull island reigh of Kong) of this?

The King of the Monsters

5 months ago
Score 0
A solid remake. Doesn't quite live up to the magic of the original in my opinion, but remakes rarely do. It's clear Jackson had a lot of affection and respect for the source material, and this movie is a fantastic tribute to one of the most revolutionary films of all time. I agree with a lot of people that the film gets a bit bloated at times, but nonetheless it is a truly epic and well-made film.


11 months ago
Score 0
I just watched this for the first time today. It's a wonderful remake and I can't believe it took me so long to stop being lazy and watch it. The stuff on the boat was a bit too long though. Should have been shortened.