Movies · TV

Do We Really Need a Live-Action ‘King Kong’ TV Series?

By  · Published on April 20th, 2017

‘King Kong Skull Island’ will be a diverse, female-led series for the small screen.

Kong is big, both in terms of size as well as success, with this year’s Kong: Skull Island having grossed over half a billion dollars. But now, the giant ape-like monster is set to appear on the small screen. Mars Vista Entertainment and IM Global Television are working together to bring the first live-action TV series on Kong. The series will be based on a combination of Merian C. Cooper’s 1933 King Kong and Devito Artworks’ Skull Island, and will imaginatively be called King Kong Skull Island.

The originality doesn’t end with the show’s title, either, since King Kong Skull Island is the first live-action television programme in the Kong Universe. While there have already been three animated TV series on the same topic, the show creates a purpose for itself in that the Kong live-action TV series hasn’t been done before. With three animation films, and over eight features (including 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong), it begs the question: Do we really need another story about King Kong?

For MarVista CEO Fernando Szew, we do. According to Szew, the show’s writers Jonathan Penner and Stacy Title have “taken a world that has enraptured audiences in all its many forms over the years and given it a contemporary, female-focused spin.” The show, as Deadline notes, is also supposedly going to offer a multicultural cast, and will explore the origins of Skull Island.

While it’s great that King Kong Skull Island will supposedly have a diverse cast with a woman at the centre, these seem to be the only redeeming factors as to why anyone would want another reiteration of Kong. Rather than creating a new and interesting world for its characters, it feels as if King Kong Skull Island is simply using its “female-led, multicultural ensemble” as an excuse to potentially make more money out of the Kong image after having seen the high profit of this year’s film.

And anyway, after over eight features, three animated TV series, a short film, and eighty-four years since the 1933 King Kong, the first still remains the best.

Freelance writer based in the UK.