“King Kong,” the long-gestating stage musical that stars a giant animatronic puppet in the title role, will finally arrive on Broadway next year, with a largely new creative team that includes playwright Jack Thorne, who co-wrote the Broadway-bound London smash “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
The show, which will be staged on Broadway by buzzy London director-choreographer Drew McOnie (“In the Heights,” “Strictly Ballroom“), had initially been slated for New York in 2014, but that run was delayed after a 2013 bow in Melbourne that earned a mixed response. Produced by Australian spectacle specialists Global Creatures and Broadway regular Roy Furman (“Hello, Dolly!,” “The Color Purple,” “An American in Paris”), “King Kong” is now on track to move into the Broadway Theater in fall 2018.
The retooled musical — which previously had creatives attached ranging from Marsha Norman to Craig Lucas to Jason Robert Brown — has a score written by composer-producer Marius de Vries (“La La Land,” “Moulin Rouge”) with songs by Eddie Perfect, the Australian performer who wrote the music for the “Strictly Ballroom” musical and is also at work on the developing musical adaptation of “Beetlejuice.” (The previous version of “King Kong”) incorporated tunes by Sarah McLachlan and Massive Attack’s 3D, among others.)
No casting for the Broadway incarnation of “King Kong” has been set, other than the massive, technologically enhanced puppet designed by Sonny Tilders. Global Creatures previously created goliaths for arena shows “Walking With Dinosaurs” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” and also produced the “Strictly Ballroom” musical.
The Broadway Theater is currently home to the Tony-nominated revival of “Miss Saigon,” which is scheduled to finish its run there at the end of this year. An exact start date in fall 2018 for “King Kong” hasn’t yet been set.