The iconic giant movie ape is diversifying his resume

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Credit: Global Creatures

Theatergoers, get ready to start thumping your chests: A musical titled King Kong will arrive on Broadway in the fall of 2018, at the Broadway Theatre.

The show is written by Jack Thorne, who has considerable experience working with cinematic material for the stage; he has written both Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, also slated for a 2018 Broadway debut, as well as the critically acclaimed stage version of the modern horror classic Let the Right One In.

Directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie (Strictly Ballroom The Musical), King Kong will be scored and composed by Grammy nominee Marius de Vries, who also has ties to the world of movies (he worked on La La Land, Moulin Rouge, and Romeo + Juliet). Eddie Perfect (Beetlejuice, Strictly Ballroom The Musical) will write songs. Kong himself will be designed by Sonny Tilders, using animatronics and puppetry.

“King Kong is a quintessential New York story, and I’m proud to be involved in this historic production,” the show’s producer Roy Furman said in a statement. “Our team is creating a theatrical experience that we hope will astound audiences while delighting them with its heartfelt storytelling.”

Based on the novel of the original 1933 screenplay, the stage show of King Kong is said to be a contemporary take on the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. The gorilla story famously ends in New York City atop the Empire State Building.

Casting, additional members of the creative team, and ticketing details for the show are yet to be determined.

Anyone doubting the potential of King Kong’s success on the Great White Way might remember another cinematic staple that bowed on Broadway — Titanic: The Musical. The show premiered to much derision and dismissal 20 years ago in 1997, with turbulent preview performances and amid the frenzy leading up to James Cameron’s film Titanic, released later that year. However, the musical went on to win the Tony for Best Musical.

The King Kong Broadway production comes after the success of Kong: Skull Island in theaters. A Kong vs. Godzilla movie is also in the works.