King Kong & DVD Extras of the Future Past

Peter Jackson, flush with Lord of the Rings cash, in either a shrewd marketing move for his new movie or a nice homage to an influential movie, filmed two lost scenes from 1933's King Kong. The scenes were cut by the studio after they were deemed too shocking and violent by test audiences. Jackson's recreated scenes will be extras on the special edition King Kong re-release next Tuesday, Nov 22nd.

Stop reading now if you're troubled by claymation violence.

In the first cut scene, a group of men is unable to flee from Kong because there is a dinosaur (!) threatening them on the other end of the lodge bridge -

Jackson owns the model from that dinosaur (which was also used for a brief scene in Son of Kong, the sequel), but its deterioration is so bad that it isn't suitable for filming. To recreate the stop-motion animation for the re-shoot as accurately as possible without harming the original model, Jackson and his crew took x-rays to find out its skeletal structure. Inside the original 1933 model, they found a set of expandable bags that were intended to be connected to a bellows so that the dinosaur could breathe.

The second cut and lost scene happened immediately after the OMG IT'S A DINOSAUR one above - the intrepid jungle-goers are shaken from the bridge by King Kong and are killed and eaten by various creepy-crawlies in the valley below. The shot below, published in the late 1960's in a pulp magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland, is one of the only stills in existence -

Jackson's crew recreated claymation monsters from the stills, pre-production sketches, and script notes -

These are shots from the reproduced scene, with members of the animation crew standing playing the monster snacks -

Apparently there are some legal issues with the film version of The Hobbit, so Jackson's next project is a WWI zombie movie. Props to SA for the photos and information.


Mister Vertigo said...

That my friend, is very very cool. Using original props and technology to "finish" deleted scenes from a classic movie. Very cool indeed. Even if it is just a marketing ploy!

towwas said...

I heart Peter Jackson.

Sophist said...

Dude I read that Andy Serkis, who played Gollum (right?) was the model for King Kong. When I first heard about the project, it sounded just silly, but after I saw the trailer, I figured it will be silly and super duper entertaining!