Global Creatures preps King Kong tuner

Musical to feature score by Marius de Vries

Global Creatures, the team behind the successful arena adaptation of the BBC’s “Walking With Dinosaurs” series, announced that its King Kong musical will bow in Melbourne’s Regent Theater in 2013.

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.

Popular on Variety

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,”

More Legit

  • Revenge Song

    Vampire Cowboys' 'Revenge Song': L.A. Theater Review

    There’s highbrow, there’s lowbrow, and then there’s however you might classify Vampire Cowboys, the anarchic New York City theater company whose diverse productions . It’s radical, “good taste”-flouting counter-programming for the vast swaths of the population left unserved by high-dollar, stiff-collar theater options. Vampire Cowboys’ raucous new show, “Revenge Song,” is unlike anything else that’s [...]

  • THE VISIT review

    'The Visit': Theater Review

    Director Jeremy Herrin’s extraordinary take on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 play “The Visit” is less of a production and more of a show. A wordy one, to be sure, which is no surprise since it’s an adaptation by Tony Kushner that, including two intermissions, comes in at three-and-a-half hours. It’s never going to be described as [...]

  • Freestyle Love Supreme review

    'We Are Freestyle Love Supreme': Film Review

    For any Lin-Manuel Miranda fans whose hearts sank almost as quickly as they rose upon hearing that, yes, there’s a “Hamilton” movie, and no, it won’t be out for another 20 months, succor may be on the way in the form of a probably faster-arriving movie that features Miranda in almost as big a role, [...]

  • Unmasked review

    Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Unmasked': Theater Review

    It takes guts to admit you were wrong — especially when you have been so right, so often. Take composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose successes with  “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and “School of Rock” have made him a musical-theater uber-Lord. Early on during [...]

  • Aaron Loeb

    James Ward Byrkit to Direct Aaron Loeb's Off-Broadway Adaptation 'Ideation' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Aaron Loeb’s darkly comic one-act play “Ideation” will be turned into a movie, Variety has learned. The Off-Broadway production centers on a group of corporate consultants who work together on a mysterious and ethically ambiguous project for the government. It premiered in 2016, and went on to become a New York Times Critic’s Pick during [...]

  • Leopoldstadt review

    Tom Stoppard's 'Leopoldstat': Theater Review

    “Leopoldstadt,” the most slow-burn and personal work of 82-year-old Tom Stoppard’s long stage and screen career, is an intimate epic. It springs to astonishing dramatic life in a now bare, but once glorious apartment off Vienna’s Ringstrasse in 1955. The only problem is, for all the visceral emotional intensity of that scene, it forms less [...]

  • Duncan Sheik

    Listen: Duncan Sheik Created a Monster

    The singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik burst onto the musical theater scene with his raucous rock score for “Spring Awakening,” which swept the Tonys back in 2007, and since then, he’s worked steadily on stage — but a lot of his newer projects, including the current “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” have a much quieter [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content