Director Peter Jackson, the man who turned "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy into a movie empire, will receive an A-list payday to direct a remake of "King Kong." Variety says Jackson will take home $20 million to bring "Kong" back to the screen, putting him in the same tax bracket as big-ticket stars like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford.
For the new "Kong," Variety says Jackson will use many of the New Zealand-based studios employed for the "Lord of the Rings" films. Seeing as the first two "Rings" flicks have made nearly $2 billion combined, you can't blame Jackson for wanting to till the same obviously-fertile soil.
Universal plans to release "King Kong" around Christmas 2005.--Mac Slocum