Hello, everyone. It's me, Ograndebatata. Does anyone still remember me? After some time of absence, I have started writing another fanfic. This time, however, it is not a Lion King fanfic, but a King Kong fanfic. Well, sorry to all of you who are waiting eagerly for the sequel to Shadows of the Past - if there happens to be someone waiting for a sequel to that story - but I'm sorry, I'm not exactly in the mood to write that kind of fanfic, and unfortunately, writers doing forced work may end up working badly, and that's something I don't want.
Anyway, I've decided to try out my hand at a King Kong fanfic. Before you go on further, I'd like to warn you about one thing. This fanfic is quite unusual, in the way that it is my own remake of King Kong. I know, Peter Jackson already did a fabulous work at remaking King Kong, he gained a lot of money, and it's almost certain that nobody's gonna be able to do better. But anyway... I guess that, as perfect as Peter Jackson's King Kong was, there are always things that we'd enjoy more if we portrayed them differently. And so, I give you my remake of King Kong. Yes, I have quite a tendency for remakes, like probably anyone who might have read Shadows of the Past judges... but I promise, this one is going to be more different of King Kong than Shadows of the Past is from The Lion King.
Well, now giving credit where credit is due, I do not own, I never owned, and I almost certainly will never own King Kong or any other of it's amazing characters. Most of the characters present so far in the fanfic are, created by Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace, and Ernest B. Schoedsack, or, coming to those present only in the 2005 remake, by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. So far, only Arthur Denham, Edith Denham, Harold, Margaret, and Alexandra May belong to me. I'm not trying to make any money out of this, and I admit, I don't have any permission to use them, but I am simply writing for my own amusement. And maybe also to yours, but...
Having said that, I'm not Merian C. Cooper - the man who started it all - and I'm also not Peter Jackson - the man who made what was already good even better. I'm simply a fanfic writer, hopefully an acceptable one, but I'll let you be my judges on that.
Anyway, to have a general idea of this fanfic, it is very advisable for you to have seen the original 1933 King Kong, and the 2005 remake by Peter Jackson. It is also advisable, but not necessary, to have read the 1996 draft for Peter Jackson's version, as this fanfic features some elements of it. You don't lose anything if you haven't seen the 1976 version. I haven't, and from the little I know, that one is not very good at all.
Well, just to end this, just some initial thank yous.
To Merian C. Cooper, for having created the masterpiece that King Kong is.
To Peter Jackson, who improved the original, at least in my opinion.
To the fanfic author TakaPL, thanks to who I started writing fanfics.
Also to the fanfic author RebeccaAnn, for all of her support, for her helpful advises, and her equally helpful indications.
And also to the fanfic authors marinawings, Pup of Power, and wolfangel26, for all of their support.
I know, this is a very long piece of credits, but I just had to say it. I think it is only fair if I give credit where credit is due. Anyway, now that this is over, let's begin.
Chapter 1 – A producer's problems
New York, September 25th, 1933
Life was hard in New York City. In the four years since the economic crisis had begun, things had gone from bad to worse. The once beautiful parks and streets of the city were flooded with the refuse of the thousands of people living in cardboard boxes and makeshift dwellings. As winter approached, many were forced to rely on steaming vents to keeps from freezing. The lucky ones found hot food at soup kitchens. Those not so lucky had to dig for their food in trash cans. Not everyone, however, found themselves in such dire circumstances. Those fortunate enough to have jobs and plenty to eat were always hurrying through the crowded streets hoping as they did so, they would not see the disaster all around them.
Film director Carl Denham was facing what he hoped would not become a disaster . He was sitting inside a screening room showing the footage of his next film to the board of investors of who were financing his next film: Zelman and Associates. Carl had spent the last two months filming, and he honestly hoped that the result of his hard work would be good. More than anything, he wanted this film to be successful. Carl's heart was beating so loudly that he was sure the producers would hear it. If they hadn't died of boredom, that is.
Carl's nervous gaze darted from one producer to the other. Poehler seemed more interested in the cigarette he was smoking than the film he was watching. Zelman was busy scratching what must be one persistent itch, and Farragher was yawning-actually yawning. Carl was getting the idea that this film was going down the same path as his others had. He could not let that happen.
His hands slowly curled into fists. He could not, would not see the effort he had made over the previous two months go to waste. And it would not. Carl had an emergency plan, and it looked more and more likely that he would need it.
After what seemed like hours of flickering silence, Zelman stood. "How much is missing?"
"Five reels." replied an assistant.
"Lights on." Said Zelman.
The movie cut off and the lights came up. Poehler woke with a start and rubbed his dark moustache as he sat up straighter in his chair. Farragher leaned forward in his chair and jabbed a rigid finger toward Carl.
"This is what we get for our forty-thousand dollars? Another one of your 'safari' pictures? How many will you make before you get it, Denham?"
"Some people never learn…" the assistant muttered under his breath.
"You said that there would be romance scenes with Bruce Baxter and Alexandra May." accused Poehler.
One of the main reasons Zelman and Associates had agreed to finance the movie in the first place was because Denham had promised the critically acclaimed film couple of Bruce Baxter and Alexandra May. The pair was nowhere to be seen. Everything so far was just a bunch of animal footage.
"I know I did. Alexandra said she had some problems. Don't ask me what, she wasn't clear. But she only finished with those compromises a few days ago." Carl said.
"This is not a matter of principle. It's a matter of money." Farragher replied.
Barely holding in his anger, Zelman broke in. "Carl! You have been in production for over two months!"
Carl extended his hands in a placating gesture. "Trust me, Bruce and Alexandra will steam up the screen when we start filming on the ship."
As soon as Denham ended his sentence, he knew he had said the magic words. Every pair of eyes was focused on him. He finally had their attention. They were ready to listen, and he was more than ready to explain. Carl walked to the front of the screening room eager to reveal his latest secret. Carl had found the perfect place to shoot his film. His film, the one he had always wanted to make. He would have to begin all over, but Carl was sure it would pay off in the end.
Zelman looked suspicious. "What ship?"
"Simple." replied Carl. He turned around to face the other men. "The ship will be taking us to the new filming location."
"You're not supposed to be going to any filming location. You're supposed to shoot on the back lot!" Zelman said.
"That was on the previous script. But gentlemen," Carl paused for effect, "the script has been rewritten. Life intervened… I have discovered the perfect location to shoot the perfect film."
Carl pulled a piece of paper, turned yellow by time, from his shirt pocket.
"I've come into possession of a map. The only existing record of an uncharted island. A place thought to exist only in myth… until now.
Zelman lifted up his hands. "Whoa, Carl, slow down…"
"Is he asking for more money?" Poehler interjected.
"He's asking us to finance a stupidity." said Farragher.
Carl grunted. He could see that his words were not having the impact that he hoped for. He couldn't understand why. Carl could, afterall, recall perfectly the excitement he had felt the night when he had heard the story from that Norwegian captain. When he first heard the name of the place, he had felt a cold shiver run up his spine… and yet, he was sure that his film was meant to be made there.
He remembered a day during the production of his last film when he had gone to the docks to have a drink at the local bar. That day, he had met a Norwegian skipper of a barque. The Norwegian had told Carl a story about a castaway that the captain and his crew had picked up out of the water seven years before. The castaway had claimed to have been on an island that had the remains of an ancient extinct civilization. An island that was also filled with creatures beyond human imagination.
The castaway had unfortunately died soon after he told his story, but the information that he given was enough for the Norwegian captain to get a good idea of the island's location. The captain had made a map, and after quite a bit of haggling and $150 dollars, that map was now in Carl's hands. He didn't care about the money. He was certain he would recover his investment a thousand times over if only he could get to that island and make his film.
Zelman was interested, but times were tough. Money didn't grow on trees. He looked over at his two associates. Farragher looked angry; Poehler looked as if he thought the whole idea the stupidest thing he had ever heard.
"Rubbish." said Poehler. Then his expression seemed to brighten. "Unless there are boobies…"
"Huh?" said Carl. He was completely unable to understand the reaction of the movie producers. Hadn't he told them almost the exact same story the Norwegian captain had? The captain's words had been enough to peak Carl's interest.
"Haven't you learned that people only go to that kind of film if there are some nice hot naked native women?" said Poehler. "So, unless the film you'll be shooting has something like that…"
Carl had reached his limit of what he could take from these ignoramouses.
"What are you, idiots? Was DeMille asked if he'd waste time on shooting nude native girls? No, he was respected! He showed class, or at least education! Maybe you should buy a dictionary to know what that word means, ya lowlife!"
Carl breathed heavily and clenched his fists. He knew that the possibility of them killing his film outright had just skyrocketed, but much to his surprise, the producers looked as if they were actually considering what Carl had told them. Finally, Zelman stood up and gestured toward the closed door.
"Carl, please go outside for a moment."
Carl nodded curtly. He turned and left the room without any argument. He knew they were about to make their final decision, and he wanted to leave them to it. But it didn't really matter what they decided, now did it? He would not let anyone kill this film. His film. Carl knew he was willing to make it. At any price.
As Carl walked out of the screening room, he saw his assistant, Preston, perched on the edge of the dingy brown sofa in the foyer. Carl's eyes slid past Preston to the glass of water on a table that was next to the sofa.
"Give me that." said Carl. He pointed to the glass of water.
"It's just water, Mr. Denham, you won't like it." said Preston.
Preston stood up, retrieved the glass of water, and then handed it to Carl. Carl grabbed it and immediately dumped the contents into a nearby plant.
"I didn't say I wanted to drink it." said Carl.
He shook out the last drops of water, and then placed the glass against the door. He leaned in, pressing his ear against the glass. It was a trick that he had learned as a kid from his big brother, Harold. It was a good way of listening to what was happening to the other side of a door.
And Carl didn't like what he heard. Not at all.
Carl could tell by the first thing out of Farragher's mouth what the final decision would be. He was tired of critics. The world was full of them. Carl knew his film would be great, and just because they were too stupid to see that, well, to hell with them. He grabbed his hat and coat, and with a plan already forming in his mind, he whisked out of the front door with a confused Preston trailing behind.
The sights and sounds of the busy New York street washed over Carl. He made a bee-line for the street.
"Taxi!" Carl shouted.
Moments later, a beat up yellow Franklin taxi screeched to halt at the curb.
"Shut up and get into the damn taxi." Ordered Carl. He yanked open the car door and pulled Preston in after him.
The taxi lurched to a start and pulled out into traffic. Carl knew exactly what was going to happen when Zelman and Associates figured out that he had given them the slip. Carl knew he had a small window time to get himself and his film crew on to the ship.
"Preston, tell the cast and crew to get on that ship. They have one hour."
"But Mr. Denham, what about visas, foreign currency…"
Carl made a sharp cutting motion with his hand. "No time for that. Tell them that the studio pressed us to an early departue, and if they want to be in this film, then they had better be on that ship in an hour! And call Jack! Tell him I need that damned screenplay!"
The taxi stopped with a lurch. Carl banged open the door and got out. He turned to Preston, ignoring to look of bewilderment on his face.
"Defeat is always momentary!"
Carl slammed the door and slapped the top of the taxi. It quickly pulled back out into traffic, leaving Carl standing out in front of a brownstone apartment building. He had one last thing to do before he could leave.
"Go in, get your suitcase, and then get the hell out of there." Carl lectured himself. Carl glanced at his wristwatch as he pulled open the door. He did not have time for anything more. No drama and no arguments. If luck he was lucky, he wouldn't be there at all.
Carl decided to take the stairs. It would give him time to marshal his spiralling thoughts. He was dancing on Occam's Razor. Carl needed to be precise; there was no time for wasted thought or action. He believed fully in the success of his film. He knew in his bones that if he could only get it made, that it would great. More than great, the greatest film ever made. And then finally, he would get the recognition that he deserved, and so desperately needed.
But, as Carl finally arrived to the apartment and turned the key on the lock, he realized that fortune was not on his side. The voice he least wanted to hear called out:
"Who is it?"
Carl didn't waste precious time in answering. He entered the apartment and pushed the door closed, without looking at the one who had spoken.
"Oh, it's you…" Carl heard his father, Arthur Denham, say from the living room as he passed through it.
Carl refused to let his father steal any precious time away from him. The only stop that he made was one to give his mother Edith a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"You could at least have the decency to answer when you're addressed." said Arthur Denham. He got up from the sofa and threw the newspaper into it.
"I'm in a hurry." said Carl. He threw the door to his closet open and took out clothes randomly and put them on an open suitcase. The only set of clothes that had been purposefully chosen for the voyage was what he called his "lucky suit" that he always took when he produced some picture on tropical climates – like Skull Island should be, given it's location and the description made by the Norwegian captain.
Edith entered her son's room. "Carl, what did Mr. Zelman and his associates say?"
"Nothing good, most likely." muttered Arthur. He took a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it.
Carl stopped his frenzied packing of clothes, narrowing his dark-brown eyes. He emitted a sound simmilar to the growl of an angry lion. For Edith, that was enough to serve as a confirmation of Arthur's words.
"Don't worry, Carl." said Edith. "I'm sure that…"
"As for me, I'm sure that you should give up that idea of trying to make films." interrupted Arthur.
Carl stopped in the middle of placing a dark-blue vest in the suitcase.
"What I do is create art." said Carl. "If you aren't clever enough to understand that, then maybe you should take an art course."
"You're supposed to work for a living!" insisted Arthur. "That's what a real man does! I've spent forty years running a store…"
"And so what if I don't wanna follow your example and spend the rest of my life on that shop of yours?" asked Carl. "I want more than to just sell apples and cigarettes for a living!"
"You're just taking money that men like Mr. Zelman work hard for!" said Arthur. "And what you do with it?"
"I create art!" said Carl, throwing the vest to the suitcase with a rough gesture.
"You've already said that." said Arthur. "But if you made proper art, people would enjoy it, instead of falling asleep as they watched it. Look at Harold and Margaret. They manage to have stable lives. They are married and have children. You only dedicate yourself to your movies, and they are not even worth while! You don't even have decency to live in your own house."
"Stop that!" said Edith. "If Carl likes doing his films, that's the important part."
"No." said Arthur, pointing rigidly to his youngest son. "The important part is what he makes out of it. We never taught our son to spend money that others gained in something that nobody appreciates."
Carl grabbed the suitcase in his left hand, and walked to his mother. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and a quick hug with his free arm.
"Goodbye, mom." said Carl.
"Goodbye, Carl." said Edith. She gave her son a tight hug.
Carl broke out of it abruptly, and walked to the door without turning back to look at his father.
Clenched fists on his hips, Arthur took a step towards his son. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to make the greatest picture in the world." said Carl, opening the door, and turning to his father. "It will be something that nobody's ever seen or heard of. It will be greatest thing you'll ever not see."
He walked out.
Well, what did you think? I know, for the beginning, it isn't very different from Peter Jackson's version, other than the ending part with Carl and his parents. But believe me, there are going to be more differences as time passes. Have one thing in attention. I don't care at all with constructive criticism, but please, don't come with insults. Now, please, review!