New King Kong Series Is Being Produced For Disney+.
It has been announced via Deadline that a new live-action King Kong series is being produced for Disney+. This series has no connections to Legendary’s Monsterverse incarnation of Kong (who is getting a Netflix exclusive anime series) but is instead taking influence from the original King Kong novel written by Merian C. Cooper, who was the co-director of the original 1933 King Kong, and newer King Kong novels from writer Joe Devito.
Paper Girls scribe Stephany Folsom is writing this King Kong series with James Wan‘s company Atomic Monster handling the production of the series (Wan himself will be an executive producer on the series alongside Folsom). According to Deadline’s announcement, the King Kong series will be serialized and focus on the origin and mythologies surrounding both Kong and Skull Island.
This is certainly an exciting development for King Kong as an IP has an infamously dubious copyright status as no one can truly figure out who exactly owns Kong (which will be reaching its 90th anniversary this year). What seems to be the route, Disney, Folsom, and Wan are taking to bypass the legal mumbo jumbo is basing this version of Kong on the now public domain novel and the works of Joe Devito’s massive expansion of the source material.
Devito’s works have been a collaboration with the Cooper Estate and they are even working on a new series of novelizations that will form the basis of this King Kong series. While a cynical point of view could see this as Disney wanting to exploit the legal mess of Kong’s copyrights to build on the zeitgeist of the Monsterverse (which has several upcoming projects in the works), considering that the character is almost 90 years old and is one foot to being in the public domain, why not have multiple Kong projects happing?
How many works based on already public domain stories get made all the time based on Dracula and Frankenstein? It’s almost constant. Plus Toho is guilty of having both the Monsterverse and their own Godzilla media being produced side by side. Sure some may be confused at first but this could open our eyes to how great true public domain IPs can be utilized (especially if that means Disney will have to play by its rules in the future).
Disney has yet to announce an official title or date for this King Kong series, but we expect more announcements shortly.