'King Kong' Musical to Bow on Broadway in Fall 2018

The Olivier-winning playwright of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' is penning the book of the long-gestating stage show.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
'Kong: Skull Island'

Broadway is readying for a monster of a musical.

The long-gestating stage adaptation of King Kong will roar in the Broadway Theatre in fall 2018, producers Global Creatures and Roy Furman announced Wednesday.

The titular ape is manifested through a combination of animatronics and puppetry developed by creature designer Sonny Tilders, as similarly executed in the Walking With Dinosaurs and How to Train Your Dragon arena shows. The stage show is based on the novel of the original 1933 screenplay by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace, and is described as "a contemporary take on the classic tale of beauty and the beast." It is authorized by the Merian C. Cooper Estate.

The show's book is written by Jack Thorne, who won the Olivier Award for Best Play for penning the West End hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, due on Broadway next spring.He also wrote the critically acclaimed play Let the Right One In. The score is composed by Marius de Vries (a contributor to the films La La Land, Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet) with songs by Eddie Perfect, composer and lyricist of the Broadway-bound Beetlejuice and Strictly Ballroom The Musical.

Drew McOnie, an Olivier winner for the London production of In the Heights who also helmed Jesus Christ Superstar and Strictly Ballroom The Musical, is directing and choreographing the show. The production will open at the Shubert venue after the current limited engagement of Miss Saigon.

This musical adaptation of King Kong has been in the works for years, with book writers Marsha Norman and Craig Lucas, as well as songwriter Jason Robert Brown. It first debuted to mixed reviews in 2013 at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, under director Daniel Kramer and choreographer John O’Connell.

The Broadway design team also includes Peter England (set design), Roger Kirk (costume design), Peter Mumford (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design) and Gavin Robins (aerial and King Kong movement director). Casting, additional members of the creative team and ticketing details will be announced at a later date.

The musical will debut ahead of the next film from Legendary and Warner Bros., titled Godzilla vs. Kong, which continues to build out their monster universe centered on the classic silver screen creatures. Earlier this year, Kong: Skull Island, starring Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston, grossed $564 million worldwide.

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