10:07am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'King Kong Skull Island' TV Series in the Works
King Kong is coming to television.
MarVista Entertainment and IM Global are teaming to adapt DeVito ArtWorks' Skull Island and Merian C. Cooper's King Kong. King Kong Skull Island will be a serialized, contemporary continuation of the classic franchise.
The project, which has yet to be taken out to networks, will boast a female lead with a multicultural ensemble that will explore both the wonders and horrors of Skull Island and its origins.
Oscar nominees Jonathan Penner and Stacy Title (The Bye Bye Man) will write the script and exec produce. Dannie Festa (Trolls) of World Builder Entertainment will exec produce. The series is backed by the estate of King Kong's creator, a key element when rebooting any franchise.
"Jonathan and Stacy have taken a world that has enraptured audiences in all its many forms over the years and given it a contemporary, female-focused spin,” said MarVista CEO Fernando Szew. "It is with great anticipation that we partner with IM Global Television to bring this exciting new vision directly into viewers' homes.”
The drama marks the latest project to come out of independent studio IM Global, a joint venture between Chinese digital giant Tencent and Tang Media Partners.
“There's clearly a deep and abiding interest in this timeless story. We love Stacy and Jonathan's approach to this adaptation and look forward to partnering with MarVista as we bring this gripping tale of survival and adventure to life for a new generation of Kong fans," said IM Global Television president Mark Stern.
Added Festa: "It's been a privilege to work with Joe DeVito and his truly unique, never-before-seen Kong universe. We feel confident that it will be hugely appealing to fans all over the world."
King Kong Skull Island marks the first live-action TV series in the franchise. The feature film of the same name, released earlier this year, was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Tencent. The film, released in March, has grossed more than $552 million worldwide.
Reboots remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through an increasingly competitive scripted landscape with 450-plus originals.