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King Kong
Script



EXT. LOGGING CAMP/SUMATRAN MOUNTAINS - DAY

MONTAGE SuMATRAN LUMBERJACKS are working at fever pitch, clearing a RAIN FOREST ... SAWS and AXES rip into the TREES ... They CRASH to the ground. A PRIMITIVE SAWMILL works the LOGS in ROUGH-SAWN TIMBERS.

WIDE Several ACRES has been stripped. The FOREMAN watches with satisfaction as the last solitary TREE in this block is attacked by two AXE MEN.

JACK pulls up in his truck.

JACK Hey, great work! You guys have earned yourselves a bonus!

JACK leaps out of the TRUCK as the LAST TREE starts to splinter ... suddenly a TERRIFIED SCREAM comes out of the top most branches of the tree. The FOREMAN looks sick.

FOREMAN (upset) Orangutan ...

The SCREAM continues as the TREE slowly topples to the ground with a THUNDERING CRASH ... SUDDEN SILENCE.

JACK Goddamn monkeys. They piss me off!

JACK strides into a makeshift wooden hut ...

INT. LOGGING OFFICE - DAY

JACK The sooner we clear this rain forest the better.

The OFFICE is functional and tidy.

THE SOUND OF PANIC ... JACK turns as TENKU - a SAW MILL WORKER is carried into the office with a NASTY INJURY to his LEG.

WORKER Tenku hurt pretty bad, boss!

JACK clears the desk with a sweep of his arm ... They lay the TENKIU down. JACK looks at the WOUND ... A NASTY SHARD OF METAL - the size of a DINNER KNIFE - is embedded in his leg. JACK GRINS at TENKU, clearly not wanting to alarm him.

JACK (forced casual) Hey, it's just a splinter.

JACK takes a grip of the METAL SHARD ...

JACK (CONT'D) How's Mrs Tenku? She must be close.

TENKU (gasping) Baby due any day ... ARRGHH!!

JACK suddenly pulls the SHARD OUT. WORKERS close in, wrapping the WOUND in BANDAGES.

JACK Ok boys ... Take him to hospital! Quick now!

TENKU is carried outside as a SAW MILL VEHICLE pulls up.

CLOSE ON A SAFE ... JACK quickly takes a wad of BANKNOTES and slips them into an ENVELOPE.

EXT. LOGGING CAMP/SUMATRAN MOUNTAINS - DAY

TENKU is slid into the BACK SEAT of the CAR. JACK strides out of the OFFICE.

JACK Hey! You wanna be more careful!

JACK leans in, slipping the ENVELOPE into TENKU'S HAND.

JACK (CONT'D) You dropped this in my office.

TENKU gives JACK a GRATEFUL toothless GRIN as the DOOR SLAMS SHUT and the CAR roars away.

AN EERIE ANIMAL ROAR suddenly echoes across the valley. The ENTIRE SITE pauses as WORKER look around, trying to figure out where this FEARFUL SOUND is coming from ...

JACK FROWNS.

EXT. SUMATRAN HIGHLANDS - DAY

ROAR CONTINUES ... over a slow pan across a misty ridge-line ...

EXT. JUNGLE CLEARING - DAY

ROAR CONTINUES... PAR onto CARL DENHAM roaring into a MEGAPHONE! He is sitting in one of TWO VEHICLES, parked just off the road, on the edge of a clearing. Several CREW MEMBERS from the ship are perched on the vehicles, including PEEK and KURT. MR GINTING, and TWO SUMATRAN GUIDES look nervously around, clutching RIFLES.

DENHAM lowers the megaphone looking very satisfied with himself ...

DENHAM

DENHAM The sound of a wounded warthog ... a little trick I picked up from the Tau Tau people of New Guinea! Keep you're eye to the eyepiece, Herb! We won't be waiting long.

HERB has the camera set up in the middle of the clearing, his lens staring into the thick, dark jungle that lies ahead ... he looks alone and vulnerable.

DENHAM throws a huge lump of BLOODY RAW MEAT into the clearing ... it lands at HERB'S feet ... he swallows nervously. DENHAM settles back into his seat, lighting a LARGE CIGAR.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Tell me Mr Ginting - are there any parts of your country where people still wear ... native costume?

MR GINTING Native costume?

DENHAM Y'know ... traditional ceremonies where the woman ... divest themselves of their undergarments.

DENHAM gestures at his chest ... MR GINTiNG is confused.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Hooters, Mr Ginting. There's nothing the public like to see more than native hooters.

PEEK sniggers. MR GINTING frowns.

MR GINTING We are a very modest and deeply religious people, Mr Denham.

DENHAM (grunting) That's too bad.

A NOISE from the jungle - DENHAM suddenly leaps to his feet.

DENHAM (CONT'D) He's close, boys - Roll camera! Roll sound!

HERB rolls camera ... the WHIRRING MOTOR is the only sound in the clearing - even the BIRDS are suddenly quiet ...BRANCHES SNAPPING ... LEAVES SHAKING -SOMETHING is approaching from inside the dense jungle ...

TENSE FACES! DENHAM ... MR GINTING ... KURT ... HERB wipes a bead of sweat from his brow without taking his eye off the eyepiece ... A GASP is heard from the GROUP as the bushes part and out steps the mighty ...

SUMATRAN TIGER! It warily steps into the clearing, regarding HERB with suspicion. He can barely breath as he pans, following the TIGER'S movements.

DENHAM (CONT'D) (loud megaphone) Looking good Herb! Stand by for the roar ... here we go!

DENHAM lowers his MEGAPHONE and throws a large STONE, hitting the TIGER on the back! The TIGER ROARS!

DENHAM (CONT'D) Boy! Were those teeth in focus, Herb?

HERB (choked whisper) Yeah!

The TIGER sniffs the meat ... REJECTS IT ...

MR GINTING (quiet) He doesn't want the meat ...

He SNARLS AT HERB ...

MR GINTING (CONT'D) (panicked) Man Eater!!!

DENHAM A man eater! Fantastic! (megaphone) Making history, Herb

PEEK For Gods sake! Get him outta there!

DENHAM Just a few more seconds ...

The TIGER suddenly springs on HERB! The cameraman SCREAMS as he topples backwards - CAMERA, TRIPOD and TIGER landing on top of him!

For a moment, all ONLOOKERS are frozen in their VEHICLES ... MR GINTING suddenly raises his RIFLE and fires ...

CUT TO

EXT. SUMATRAN DIG - DAY

BANG! BANG! GUNSHOTS echo across the dig site. EVERYBODY stops - looks around ... LORD DARROW races out of a tent.

AT THAT MOMENT ... The TIGER races out of undergrowth, charging STRAIGHT THROUGH THE CAMP!!

LORD DARROW (yelling) Tiger!!!

CHAOS ERUPTS!

BRIEF IMAGES FLEETING GLIMPSES of the TIGER, racing through the camp - leaping tables, crashing through tents ... PEOPLE are running, diving, grabbing RIFLES. ANN pushes a SUMATRAN MAID clear of the TIGER.

VEHICLES suddenly BURST OUT OF THE TREES and career wildly through the camp! The SUMATRAN? RAN GUIDES are SHOOTING at the fleeing TIGER ... HERB - battered and bleeding - is FILMING from one of the bouncing vehicles! DENHAM is balancing in the front seat with a look of EUPHORIA - like a general leading a CAVALRY CHARGE.

The vehicles do MORE DAMAGE than the TIGER! ANCIENT STATUES are BODE OVER, GUY ROPES snag on the cars -RIPPING TENTS OUT OF THE GROUND, LUNCH TABLES are destroyed. PEOPLE that lept away from the TIGER have to LEAP-- FURTHER to avoid the SPEEDING CARS!

BANG! BANG! The TIGER does a HUGE LEAP as BULLETS whizz by ... RICOCHETING OFF THE BUDDHA in the BG!!! Lumps of ROTTEN STONE fly off in clouds of dust.

The TIGER bounds up the bank beside the BUDDHA and DISAPPEARS into the undergrowth.

LORD DARROW runs at the VEHICLES.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) Stop it! You idiots!

ANN races towards her FATHER as the vehicles SLIDE TO A HALT at the foot of the cliff BELOW THE BUDDHA.

ANN (alarmed) Father!

LORD DARROW These are priceless artifacts! They're ruining the site!

DENHAM (quietly to kurt) Who is this limey asshole?

KURT SHRUGS ... LORD DARROW hurries towards the VEHICLES.

LORD DARROW Out! Out! All of you! We have been issued with an exclusive permit -

ANN (interrupting Darrow) Father ... Father!

THE BUDDHA ... Bullet hits have blown lumps of stone away, revealing a creepy BRONZE STATUE - concealed beneath the thin "Buddha" shaped outer layer. Only a small section is revealed, but it is clear that the BRONZE FIGURE is that of an ANIMAL ...

LORD DARROW (mesmerized) What the ...

LORD DARROW rushes up the slope to the STATUE ... He hits the STONE VENEER with his stick - once, twice, on the THIRD BLOW, the remainder of the "Buddha" shell suddenly CRUMBLES AWAY and falls in a heap on the ground!

Exposed for the first time in nearly 800 years is the STATUE OF A FRIGHTENING ANIMAL ... an APE-LIKE creature -FACE SNARLING with fearsome RAGE ... bristled fur ... taloned hands. It sits atop a pile of REAL HUMAN SKULLS, integrated into the bronze work. At the base of the statue - PANELS OF HIEROGLYPHIC-TYPE INSCRIPTION. An ancient piece of frightening art ... it sends the GROUP into STUNNED SILENCE.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) God Lord ... I don't believe it.

LOW ANGLE ... LORD DARROW turns to face the GROUP, the STATUE filling the frame behind him. The old man's eyes blaze with obsessive intensity.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) (creepy) Behold ... the Beast God ... KONG!

MR GINTING backs away, TREBLING.

MR GINTING (terrified) Kong.

LORD DARROW (creepy) Worshipped by a savage race ... "Talak e a Kong" The Cult of the Beast God - until now a myth ... a superstition.

The SUMATRANS are all backing away. The EUROPEANS stare at the STATUE - KURT moves closer, studying the HIEROGLYPHICS on a panel that seems to contain a CRUDE MAP. The ATMOSPHERE is mesmerizing. SILENCE ...

DENHAM (loudly) That was great your Lordship! Now, if you wouldn't mind - just repeat that and we'll get it from another angle. Exact same words please!

HERB has been filming LORD DARROW!

LORD DARROW No photography!!! Turn that thing off!

DENHAM climbs out of his VEHICLE ...

DENHAM Hi - Carl Denham. I'm A big admirer of your work, sir. I've loved all your discoveries. I really want to work closely with you on this incredible find. It'll be good for you and good for me.

ANN Look Mr Denham - you're not welcome here. Just pack up your cameras and go.

DENHAM'S face CLOUDS WITH ANGER.

DENHAM I don't take orders from women in trousers. Herb! Get a close-up of the big monkey.

HERB carries the TRIPOD and CAMERA towards the STATUE.

DOUGLAS suddenly rushes forward, pushing HERB away ... In a split second - KURT punches DOUGLAS to the ground, knocking him out!

A GUN COCKS ... ANN has snatched a RIFLE from the CAR. She aims it at KURT ... he backs away.

ANN (softly) Have you got a hearing problem? Get out.

DENHAM'S GROUP climb into their vehicles.

DENHAM You just made a big mistake, lady. This is a public place - I know my rights! Charles Lindburg's lawyer's a personal friend of mine. I'm gonna put you people in litigation hell for the next five years!

CUT TO

INT. VENTURE - DUSK


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Drehbuch
"King Kong"
Screenplay by
Fran Walsh & Peter Jackson
From an idea conceived by
Edgar Wallace & Merian C. Cooper
1st Draft
1996
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