“King Kong — Live on Stage” will feature a score by composer Marius de Vries (“Romeo + Juliet”) as well as standards from the 1930s.
Tuner has been approved by the estate of original “King Kong” producer Merian C. Cooper, though Global Creatures producer Carmen Pavlovic said they discovered they didn’t need permission.
“The history of the rights of ‘King Kong’ has a checkered past and lots of court cases, so getting to the bottom of who owns what from Universal, RKO and the Cooper estate was a bit of a journey for us,” Pavlovic said. “We took about 12 months sorting it all out and, in the end, interestingly, the 1932 novel is in the public domain.”
But she was keen to get the Coopers’ approval.”We approached the Cooper estate because, regardless of the rights, we wanted their blessing,” she said.
Using skills learned in “Dinosaurs,” the Global Creatures team is pushing the boundaries of its animatronic characters. Kong will have to interact, show emotion and “beat his chest without putting a hole in it,” said Pavlovic.
She hopes that a successful run in Melbourne will convince investors to take the show to Broadway.
“That is our hope, and our intention, because New York is the literal and spiritual home of King Kong,”