Variety reports that Spirit Pictures is looking to breathe new life into King Kong and a project initially developed by effects legend Ray Harryhausen.
Producers at the company have picked up the rights to the book “Kong: King of Skull Island,” a prequel to the well-known tale of the big ape.
Written by Joe DeVito and Brad Strickland, the book focuses on the backstory of Skull Island and how the giant gorilla became king there. It introduces other giant gorillas and dinosaurs only hinted at in the previous films.
The plan is to produce the film using motion-capture technology such as Robert Zemeckis used to make The Polar Express, Beowulf and the upcoming Disney’s A Christmas Carol.
Spirit also is developing War Eagles a project original King Kong co-director Merian C. Cooper and Harryhausen had developed together and were nearly set to produce before the outbreak of WWII. The period actioner is set in 1939 and revolves around an ace fighter-pilot who tests a new jet and winds up crash-landing in the arctic, where he encounters a lost civilization that’s been thriving there for centuries.
Andy Briggs is working on the scripts for both films.