King Kong (2005)

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German title King Kong
Original title King Kong
King Kong.svg
Country of production USA , New Zealand
original language English
Publishing year 2005
length Cinema version: 187 Extended version: 200 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 12
Director Peter Jackson
script Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
production Jan Blenkin
Carolynne Cunningham
Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
music James Newton Howard
camera Andrew Lesnie
cut Jamie Selkirk

King Kong is an adventure film by Peter Jackson from the year 2005 and after King Kong from 1976 with Jessica Lange and directed by John Guillermin , the second remake of the movie King Kong and the white woman in 1933. Naomi Watts , Jack Black and Adrien Brody play the main roles. With the help of motion capture technology , Andy Serkis' facial expressions were transferred to the computer-animated King Kong , as was the case with the character Gollum from The Lord of the Rings films. The film was produced by Big Primat Pictures , WingNut Films and Universal Pictures .


The trip

New York during the Great Depression in 1933: The director Carl Denham is not very successful with his films. His financiers no longer want to finance him and sell his film material. The selfish and unscrupulous Denham, who wants to shoot his film at all costs, then steals the film material and flees from the producers with his assistant. However, he is still missing a leading actress as the original actress recently dropped out of the project. Without further ado he goes looking for a suitable woman in the streets of New York. By chance he discovers the stage actress Ann Darrow, who recently lost her engagement at a vaudeville theater and is desperately looking for work. When the completely penniless Ann even tries desperately to steal an apple from a fruit stand, Denham saves her from the predicament and thus starts a conversation with her. Since Denham works with the well-known playwright Jack Driscoll, for whom Ann is fanatical, he has little problem getting her excited about the role in his film. That evening, a cutter called “Venture” is supposed to take the film crew to a distant and unknown island in the Indian Ocean , of whose existence only Denham knows, as he is in possession of an old map. When Denham learns at the port that the producers have called the police and are hot on his heels, he urges Engelhorn, the ship's captain, to cast off quickly.

Driscoll, on the other hand, has only been able to write 15 pages of “script” and hands them over shortly before the Denham departure. He is dismayed by the small extent. However, he manages to deliberately delay Driscoll with a trick so that it does not make it off board in time before departure. So Driscoll involuntarily has to take part in the trip as a passenger and uses the time to continue working on the script with Denham. As the journey progresses, Jack Driscoll and Ann Darrow slowly get closer and eventually fall in love. When Captain Engelhorn receives a radio message shortly before the island that he should head for the nearest port immediately in order to deliver Denham , who is now wanted by an arrest warrant at the instigation of his investors , the journey seems to be over. However, shortly afterwards the ship gets caught in a bank of fog and suddenly rocks appear in front of it. The ship almost crashes on the cliffs and then runs aground.

Skull Island

While the crew is trying to make the ship seaworthy again, Denham and his film crew set off illegally on Skull Island to investigate and film them. There they come across an indigenous village, which is shielded from the rest of the island, which is covered with jungle , by a huge wall and a gorge . There they are shortly afterwards attacked by the native islanders, who are extremely hostile towards the foreigners, and two members of the crew are killed. Only the intervention of Captain Englehorn and his men prevented worse; they can initially drive out the natives with firearms. However, the blonde Ann attracts special attention from the natives. When the crew continued to try to make the aground ship seaworthy the following night, Ann is secretly kidnapped from the ship by the natives. One of them loses his necklace. When Jack finds this, he goes straight to Ann's room, where he finds out that she is no longer there. Jack informs the crew, who are returning to the island to free Ann.

In the native village, Ann is tied to a frame in a ceremony and swiveled from the wall over to the other side of the gorge, where she is to be delivered as a victim to a huge gorilla . "King Kong" then appears from the mighty jungle. At the same moment the armed crew appears, but the help comes too late; Kong releases the screaming Ann from the frame and takes her into the jungle. The first stop is a garbage dump with human bones, adorned with the same sacrificial chains that the savages hung on Ann. Apparently the monkey intended the same fate for them. She tries to escape, but Kong chases after her and doesn't let her escape. However, the resilience of the actress seems to impress the huge monkey.

Meanwhile, the ship's crew set out to save Ann, whom everyone loves. Carl Denham and his people also take their cameras with them to film. In their search, the men made the discovery that the island was populated by all kinds of exotic and prehistoric animals; so there are dinosaur not extinct yet. The men experience their first dangerous situation when they have to flee through a narrow gorge from a herd of panicked brontosaurs , which are attacked by a pack of carnivorous venatosaurs (fictional representatives of the Dromaeosauridae ). Three members of the crew are trampled to death. Denham's cameraman is also killed when the venatosaurs catch him while the group tries to escape from the ravine.

Meanwhile, Ann manages by the tricks learned in vaudeville to arouse Kong's interest in her and thus dissuade him from his apparent intention to kill her. Nevertheless, she seizes the opportunity to flee into the jungle when Kong is distracted by the approaching men who are looking for her (of which Ann has no idea). Kong attacks the crew, who are crossing another gorge on a large tree trunk, and throws them together with the men into the abyss. Meanwhile, Ann is discovered and attacked in the jungle by a trio of giant vastatosaurs (larger representatives of the Tyrannosaurus Rex ). At the last second she is rescued by Kong, who stands protectively in front of her and fights the predatory dinosaurs with all his might. After a long and brutal fight, Kong manages to kill all three vastatosaurs and thereby save Ann's life. She is deeply moved by Kong's concern for her well-being. After Ann realizes that she can hardly survive alone in the dangerous jungle, she voluntarily rejoins Kong.

In the gorge, meanwhile, only four crew members are still alive, including Jack and Denham. There Denham is dismayed to find that his valuable footage was completely destroyed in the fall. Shortly afterwards, the men notice that the gorge is populated by gigantic insects and leeches that react very aggressively and attack them. At the last second, Jack and Denham are rescued by Captain Engelhorn, who has followed them and, with other crew members, kills the threatening multitudes of giant insects with targeted gunfire from the edge of the gorge. After they have helped the others out of the ravine, they want to stop the search for good, as most of them now think Ann is dead. However, Jack does not want to resign himself to this and starts looking for the actress on his own. Denham now comes up with a new plan: He hopes that Jack will attract the monkey. He has the idea of ​​drugging Kong and taking him to New York to exhibit him there as the Eighth Wonder of the World and thereby make a lot of money.

Jack sneaks into Kong's camp on a high rock above the jungle and finally finds his girlfriend in the sleeping gorilla's open right hand. Kong wakes up and tries to prevent Jack from taking Ann with him, but by doing so he scares off a flock of large bats that attack him. When the gorilla is distracted by the bats, Jack and Ann take the opportunity to flee back to the native village together. Kong does what Denham expected - he follows the two. The crew's attempt to stun and capture Kong with the help of chloroform initially seems to fail because the gorilla turns out to be too strong. The survivors then flee in the direction of the anchored boats to escape onto the ship. The angry monkey chases after them. At the boats, Denham manages to throw another bottle of chloroform directly in Kong's face and thereby incapacitate him. Ann is shocked by the monkey's brutal capture.

new York

A few months later in New York: The expedition members have parted ways. Ann Darrow dances in a small theater company, Jack Driscoll writes plays again. A relationship doesn't seem to have emerged. Both have turned their backs on the greedy Carl Denham, who presents King Kong to the paying audience in a Broadway theater. At the premiere he was put in heavy iron chains and put on stage. Around him a ballet imitates the “indigenous sacrificial dance” and tells the adventurous story of his arrest. A blonde actress is presented to him as Ann, which makes Kong very angry when he realizes the deception. When he is irritated by the flashlights of the photographers, he breaks his bonds and moves through the city in search of Ann. On his way he triggers a mass panic and leaves a trail of devastation.

Shortly after he has stopped Jack Driscoll, who tried to lure him away from the crowds in a taxi , Ann shows up, already looking for the monkey, alarmed by the emergency vehicles and sirens. Together with her he flees from the informed army through wintry New York and the two are happy to see them again, which is then disturbed by the military. Kong comes under fire and escapes with Ann. Out of the habit of going to the highest point in his area, he climbs onto the newly built Empire State Building . On the top of the building he and his human girlfriend are at dawn by several biplanes of the US Army Air Corps attacked whose Kong tries to defend himself. He intercepts several aircraft and destroys them, but also suffers serious injuries from the heavy machine gun fire. As he dies, he bids farewell to Ann, who, in tears, hugs the jungle animal that has been abducted from his home for the last time. His body slacks, finds no support on the tower and falls lifeless into the depths.

Jack has now followed his girlfriend to the top of the skyscraper and comforts her. The press roams the streets of New York. Carl Denham also appears one last time and philosophizes that it was not the airplanes but beauty that destroyed the beast.


Finance and marketing

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh received a record fee of at least $ 20 million (plus share of the box office). The film's budget was over $ 207 million and was overshot by $ 32 million. A large part of this had to be paid for by Peter Jackson himself, who, however, has a share in the income and merchandising . The marketing campaign began on June 28, 2005. The first teaser trailer was published on the official website of the Volkswagen auto company . This trailer was first used in cinemas before the movie War of the Worlds .

The world premiere took place on December 5, 2005 in New York, the European premiere on December 7, 2005 in Berlin . The film was released on December 14, 2005. With around 170,000 viewers in Germany on the first two days, the film was not exactly successful. Nevertheless, the film made it to the top of the German and US box office charts after the first week. Overall, King Kong attracted over 2.5 million viewers to the cinemas in Germany. On April 1, Peter Jackson launched the message to simultaneously produce the sequels "King Kong: Son Of Kong" and "King Kong: Into the Wolf's Lair", which turned out to be a gag.

A double DVD King Kong - Production Diaries was already released at the cinema release. It contains a detailed making-of (including the video diaries that were published in advance on the website ""). By January 2007, the film grossed around $ 550 million worldwide. Including DVD sales, it is approximately $ 700 million. The Deluxe Extended Edition of the film has been available in stores since November 2006 . You can watch 13 additional minutes of film on three DVDs.

The video game Peter Jackson's King Kong was released for PC and all current consoles at the same time as the film started . The characters correspond to the actors in the film and carry their original voices. The free TV premiere in Switzerland on SF two was on January 4, 2008 in two-channel sound (German / English). The premiere in Germany on March 23, 2008 on RTL saw 3.83 million viewers (market share 13.7%). It was particularly successful in the group of 14 to 49 year olds: King Kong achieved a 21.8% market share with 2.58 million viewers.


After The Frighteners , Peter Jackson wanted to direct King Kong . Since similar ideas were already in production with Godzilla and various gorilla films, The Lord of the Rings was preferred. The original script from 1995 rated Jackson, Walsh and Boyens as too "indiana-jonesey" (about Indiana-Jones- like ). The focus of the film is now on emotionally exhausting every situation and portraying every detail in a credible way. The gigantic silverback gorilla King Kong himself should neither be humanized nor degraded to a pure movie monster. In months of research, actor Andy Serkis prepared to provide the digitally animated monkey with the typical behaviors of a gorilla by means of motion capturing - including minimal facial expressions.

The jungle and island scenes for Skull Island were supposed to be shot in Thailand , but the destruction caused by the tsunami of the seaquake in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 prevented this.

The scene in which the crew falls into a ravine with insects after an argument with King Kong and is partially eaten there was also in the original King Kong ; however, the so-called "Spider Pit Sequence" was removed after a test demonstration because it disturbed the audience too much. Peter Jackson reconstructed it using the original trick technique from 1933 and added it to the video evaluation of his remake as a bonus video.

The originally intended composer Howard Shore had already composed much of the intended music when he was replaced by James Newton Howard . This decision was given with " different creative views ". Howard had less than two months to compose the music for the film. In the film, composer Howard Shore appears on the scene in the theater as the conductor of the orchestra.

In one scene in the film, Denham goes through the list of possible actresses with his assistant Preston. He also mentions Fay Wray , whereupon his assistant replies that he couldn't get her because she was shooting a film for RKO. Denham replies, “Cooper? Sure thing! ”Fay Wray played Ann Darrow in the original 1933 film, RKO produced the film, and Merian C. Cooper directed the film . The very old Fay Wray was initially in a small supporting role for the final sentence ("It wasn't the planes. Beauty destroyed the beast") in Peter Jackson's remake, but she died in August 2004 shortly before filming began.

Adrien Brody was the only contender for the character of Jack Driscoll since the early planning. As a skilled driver, he did many auto stunts himself.

Apart from the 1933 film adaptation of King Kong , the fictional island of Skull Island already existed in an earlier Peter Jackson film, namely Braindead . There, a Zoologist discovered a so-called rat monkeys , a cross between rat and monkey, the victim is in a bite by its zombie transforms what was the Zoologist ultimately fatal. In the cargo hold of the Venture a wooden box is briefly visible in one scene, on which “Sumatran Rat-Monkey - Beware the bite!” Is to be read (German: Sumatran rat monkey - beware of the bite!) . This is also an indication of braindead .

Peter Jackson made a small appearance in the film: He played a gunner in one of the biplanes that were shooting down King Kong. This cameo is also an allusion to the first film adaptation of Cooper and Schoedsack from 1933. At that time, the two directors were also on the planes.

The character of Jimmy, played by Jamie Bell , also appears in the original King Kong . However, there is a difference: In the original, Jimmy dies while dealing with the insects in the ravine, in Peter Jackson's film he survives. Jimmy also appears in the game for the film.

The name of the character Bruce Baxter pays homage to Bruce Cabot , who originally played Jack Driscoll.


The German language dubbing was done by Interopa Film based on a dialogue book by Andreas Fröhlich , who also directed the dialogue .

role actor Voice actor
Ann Darrow Naomi Watts Claudia Lössl
Carl Denham Jack Black Tobias Master
Jack Driscoll Adrien Brody Jaron Lowenberg
Jimmy Jamie Bell Nicolás Artajo
Captain Englehorn Thomas Kretschmann Thomas Kretschmann
Bruce Baxter Kyle Chandler Erich Rauker
Preston Colin Hanks Julien Haggége
Lumpy Andy Serkis Andreas Fröhlich
Hayes Evan Parke Leon Boden
Choy Lobo Chan Weijian Liu
Herb John Sumner Roland Hemmo
Mike Craig Hall Norman Matt
Harry Mark Hadlow Uli Krohm
Manny Willians Johnson Jochen Schröder
Maude Geraldine Brophy Katarina Tomaschewsky
Taps David Denis Daniel Fehlow
Weston David Pittu Till Hagen
Zelman Pip Mushin Hans-Jürgen Wolf


Oscar 2006

Golden Globe Awards 2006
  • Nominated for Best Director for Peter Jackson
  • Nominated for Best Score for James Newton Howard

Toronto Film Critics Association Award
  • 2005 Special Citation


The Wiesbaden film evaluation agency awarded the film the rating “particularly valuable”. In her explanation she writes: “The best advertising for the cinema: Even after 110 years of film history, there are still films that offer something that has never been seen before. Film as a great spectacle, with a surprising number of sensitive moments. "

The film magazine Manifest comes to the following conclusion: “It is a huge boom, a cinema of loud, but unfortunately anything but sensual attractions. Anyone who can still feel something here has tears in their eyes when they switch on their Playstation . "

Georg Seeßlen writes: “Another interpretation, after all, suggests Jackson aside: Kong's beautiful place of majesty, far above the forest and the sea, is at the same time a place of bones, a place of death. Kong is the last of his kind. More focused on dying than killing. "

Sascha Keilholz writes on “Overall, the latest version is clearly an homage to the classic. Naomi Watts also plays her role visibly based on Fay Wray. But the orientation on the theatricality of the acting of the time forbids Watts to use her skills in psychological play. Other mimic greats such as Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmann cannot add depth to their own roles due to the cinematic concept. This would also run the risk of stealing the show from the actual star of the film: King Kong. "

The lexicon of international films says: “Spectacular remake of the classic fantasy film 'King Kong and the White Woman' from 1933, which closely follows the old script. The latest possibilities of trick technology are used impressively, but at the same time the film feels completely committed to the charm of the original. This restricts your own creative scope, but emphasizes the core of the fable of the tabooed love of a beautiful woman for a monster all the more pointedly. "


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Certificate of Release for King Kong . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , December 2005 (PDF; test number: 104 545 K).
  2. Age rating for King Kong . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Change of composer at King Kong: James Newton Howard replaces Howard Shore ( Memento of the original from August 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , October 16, 2005
  4. King Kong. In: German synchronous file , accessed on December 17, 2017 .
  5. King Kong
  6. King Kong
  7. Seeßlen: Kong, and how he saw the world
  8. ^ King Kong
  9. King Kong. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed August 14, 2018 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used