With less than nine weeks to go before the release of "King Kong," its director, Peter Jackson, has scrapped the musical score and said goodbye to the composer, Howard Shore, according to Kong is King.net.
Howard Shore has scored many critically acclaimed movies, including David Cronenberg's "The Fly," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Se7en" and "The Aviator." His work over the last few years, however, has been dominated by Jacksons mega-hit "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, for which he won multiple Golden Globes, Grammies and Oscars. The two appear to have had a good working relationship, and Jackson commended Shore following his departure from "King Kong."
"I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurable contributions to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy," Jackson said in a statement. "During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of 'King Kong.' Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film. I'm looking forward to working with James Newton Howard, a composer whose work I've long admired, and I thank Howard Shore, whose talent is surpassed only by his graciousness."
Shore's replacement was a successful popular musician before becoming a composer of movie soundracks in the 1980s. James Newton Howard has since worked on scores for many hit films including "The Fugitive," "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "Signs," and "Batman Begins." Howard has two months to completely re-write the score for "King Kong," but he is no stranger to such pressure. In an interview on his unofficial website, James Newton Howard.com, he says that in 1995 he was given only five weeks to write the music for Wolfgang Peterson's "Outbreak" and only six weeks to score "Waterworld," which he took over from Mark Isham.
Howard Shore's departure will also mean that the music of "King Kong" will no longer be played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra had completed a week's worth of recording, said chief executive Peter Wells on New Zealand's news website, Stuff. Their schedule would not permit them to start over, though.
"We enjoyed doing it and we were looking forward to being part of this big New Zealand-made movie but that obviously wasn't going to happen this time, so I hope there'll be another occasion when something similar comes up," Wells said.
In other "King Kong" news, Universal announced recently that they will take the unprecedented step of pre-empting Jackson's film by one day with the release of his Production Diaries on DVD. The limited edition two-disc set will include 54 video diaries that have previously appeared on Kong is King.net. That site has now been asked by Universal to remove them. In addition to the diaries, the set includes a book featuring concept art for the film, according to SciFi.com.
"King Kong: Peter Jackson's Production Diaries" will be released on DVD on Dec. 13. Jackson's remake of "King Kong" will be released worldwide in theatres on Dec. 14.
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