Since his initial creation in 1933, King Kong has been remade and rebooted in just about every way imaginable. Now, just after his latest big screen feature Kong: Skull Island, which is part of Universal's gestating movie monster universe, King Kong is heading to television in a huge way. Prepare to follow the adventures of the world's most massive monkey in the live-action TV series King Kong Skull Island.
Despite its similar name, King Kong Skull Island does not have any connection to Kong: Skull Island in terms of a shared universe and production companies. Instead, the new project will be rooted within the works of creator Merian C. Cooper and DeVito Artworks Skull Island' from Joe DeVito. Essentially, it means the series is going to be taking things way back to the original King Kong film and telling that version of the mythos, versus the recent film, which is essentially a reboot. While the King of the Apes used will be a throwback, Deadline says the show will be serialized, with a contemporary setting, a female lead and a multicultural cast. The new series is being written by Jonathan Penner and Stacy Title.
Judging from the source material it appears the series will focus a lot on the people of Skull Island, but when? In 1992, author Joe DeVito worked with the family of Merian C. Cooper to retell the original story of Cooper's King Kong. Since then, DeVito has released other works that with the official Cooper estate stamp of canon approval. These books encompass the life of King Kong prior to his capture, and even events following the death and mysterious disappearance of Kong just hours after his Manhattan incident. That said, King Kong Skull Island is described as contemporary, so perhaps this new story will draw from DeVito's ideas while still offering a modern background.
Joe DeVito made news last year for suing Legendary and Warner Bros., claiming they used his initial television pitch for King Kong Skull Island to jumpstart the concept for what turned into Kong: Skull Island. DeVito pitched the project to both companies in 2014, and Warner actually got on board and came to an agreement, but the project was dropped shortly after Legendary's project was announced. It appears as though DeVito will finally get to see a series based on his works brought to life, although MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television have yet to attach a network to the project.
With the cinematic King Kong slated to have a big battle against Godzilla in 2020, it will be interesting to see if there's any legal pushback between Joe DeVito and Legendary as this TV series begins development. It will also be interesting to see how the works of DeVito's classic movie monster differ from the one(s) we're all currently familiar with. We'll be sure to provide all the details regarding King Kong Skull Island as they unfold if you promise to bring the popcorn! Be sure to keep up with all of your favorite shows, monster related or otherwise, with our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule.