Looks like Disney wants to play with the giant gorilla action figure a bit. Disney Branded Television, partnering with James Wan’s Atomic Monster, is in the very early stages of developing a live-action King Kong (working title) TV series for Disney+ that will act as an origin story for the massive ape.
The show will be an action-adventure serial series that returns to Skull Island and focuses on Kong’s origin and the mysticism that surrounds his home. Paper Girls creator Stephany Folsom is writing the series now and basing her efforts on the original novels by Merian C. Cooper and Joe DeVito’s more recent novels. Just what that means exactly isn’t too clear, but it’ll probably be a little less racist than the original film but more akin to it than the current movie’s take on the giant beast, which pits him less as a misunderstood monster and instead as a good kaiju helping to defend the world from evil kaiju alongside his pal Godzilla.
Now, you’re probably wondering just where this Disney+ King Kong TV show will fit into Warner Bros. / Legendary’s Monsterverse, and it appears like it won’t at all. The Monsterverse is exploring TV with Netflix’s upcoming anime, Skull Island, and the Apple TV+ Godzilla series, but this appears to be completely separate. The rights to Kong are all over the place, and it means that Disney can make a King Kong show alongside WB, no matter how confusing that becomes to everyone. As long as their show doesn’t do certain things that might step on WB’s rights, than it should all be good… except for the inevitable confusion this will cause for viewers.
It’s odd that Disney thinks there’s a demand for more King Kong, but I suppose a known IP is better than no IP at all, even if he can’t duke it out with other giant monsters. It will be interesting to see if the show can bring something different to the story or if they’ll just settle for people running around while Kong fights a claymation T. rex.