'King Kong' Show in the Works at Disney+

Disney+ is reportedly developing a King Kong show, which will confuse anyone paying attention to the giant gorilla's latest escapades. The project is in the very early stages at Disney Branded Television, reports Deadline. Aquaman filmmaker James Wan's Atomic Monster is the studio behind the project.

The King Kong series will be the first to feature the giant ape. It is described as a serialized action-adventure drama that brings the monster into the 21st Century and is set at Skull Island. The story, written by Stephany Folsom (Paper Girls) is based on the new King Kong books by Joe DeVito, which were approved by the Merian C. Cooper Estate. Folsom is an executive producer alongside Wan, Michael Clear, and Rob Hackett of Atomic Monster; and Dannie Festa and Marc Manus of World Builder Entertainment.

King Kong debuted in the iconic 1933 film, directed by Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures but is now owned by Warner Bros. The first modern remake was the 1976 film released by Paramount after producer Dino De Laurentiis acquired the film rights from the remains of RKO. Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong was produced at Universal Pictures.

The latest movies featuring Kong were produced by Legendary in partnership with Warner Bros. The titles all drop "King" from the gorilla's name. Legendary's first film was Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Kong later appeared in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), and the Netflix animated series Skull Island.

In 1996, the Cooper estate hired DeVitoto to write new books with the Kong character. DeVito worked with co-writers to craft several books, including a new novelization of the 1933 film called Merian C. Cooper's King Kong. There have also been crossover novels with other fictional characters from the early 20th Century, including Doc Savage and Tarzan. These books, alongside Cooper's original King Kong novelization, are the basis for the Disney+ series.

If the Disney+ series reaches the streamer, it will be the first live-action Kong series. Several years ago, MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television developed King Kong Skull Island with a different creative team, but it was never finished. The MarVista series was also based on the DeVito books.