Comic Kong!

Peter Jackson’s great ape stuns the crowds at the San Diego Comic-Con, the business’ biggest genre fest...

ToGRRRRRAAAAAAAAARRR! Blood, fur and foliage spray the air, as King Kong crashes through the jungle locked in furious combat with two gigantic, thrashing Tyrannosaurus rexes. Naomi Watts’ Ann Darrow tries to scramble away from the carnage but one T-rex rockets past the ape, its slavering jaws snapping just out of range. Twisting his body with astonishing speed, Kong hauls it back into the fray, tearing flesh, thundering in hammer-blows, ripping limbs, snatching Ann from the midst of the chaos, then… they’re gone. All four – Kong, Ann, the two giant dinos – spinning, writhing, plummeting off the edge and down into a yawning ravine…

Now you can breathe. That was just a fist-in-mouth taste of the stunning footage of the eight-minute Kong-versus-T-rex smackdown that Total Film caught during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Even though, as Peter Jackson confirmed via video-link, there are still some 1,000 effects shots left to finalise before the film hits cinemas on 14 December, the year’s most anticipated blockbuster is looking shockingly good. “I actually started making a version when I was 12 years old,” explained Jacko in his cheeky message. “I filmed it on Super-8 with a stop-motion King Kong and a cardboard Empire State Building and was planning to remake it. Unfortunately, no shots from my original remake will make it into this version…”

Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts and Jack Black are there to “represent” as Black put it, but the rotund funnyman immediately found himself fighting off lobotomised fan-boys wanting to know if his Tenacious D cohort Kyle Gass would be in the film. “Yeah, he’s in it,” quipped an exasperated Black. “Absolutely. He’s playing Son Of Kong.” Total Film sat down with the three stars for a more private chinwag later and they were glad of the chance to get serious about Kong and its creators. “You know what was great?” enthused Black. “I got to watch Pete, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens at work. They wrote it all together and they never stopped writing. Every scene would get tweaked or rewritten a day or two before we shot it and it would come into focus and make the whole movie better.” Watts agreed, although she revealed that shooting with CG isn’t always plain sailing. “There were days where there were a lot of men dressed in Lycra suits throwing me around a lot,” she laughed. “But Pete showed me animatics, which helped me imagine it all.”

Brody laughs.“It’s hard to run around the jungle in dress shoes and look cool, as well as trying to look afraid at the same time. The whole creative team behind this was wonderful.”

Four months and counting... Get ready to go ape.

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