>>-/ King-Kong

-/ King-Kong

: -/ King-Kong.

-/ King-Kong

EXT. SKIES OVER FRANCE 1917 - DAY

CAMERA drifts towards a large puffy cloud floating 6000ft above the French countryside ...

... a roar of engines - sounding like angry buzzing bees - and three ... six ... NINE SOPWITH CAMEL FIGHTER PLANES emerge from the cloud, flying in tight formation. These are frail looking, but deadly single seat BIPLANES, each armed with twin Vickers machine guns. The height of 1917 aircraft design, built for the sole purpose of blasting German planes out of the skies.

SUPER "FRANCE 1917"

JACK DRISCOLL and his buddy, MATT HAMON are flying two of the CAMELS at the rear of the formation. An UPTIGHT BRIT - McKECKNIE, is flying along side them. He's as JUMPY AS HELL, scanning the skies for enemy planes.

MATT looks around furtively. None of the other pilots are looking in their direction. With practiced skill, MATT reaches down for something in his tiny cockpit ... HE STANDS UP, wedging the control column between his knees and turns back towards JACK'S Camel ... a BASEBALL IN HIS HAND!! With equal proficiency, JACK jams his control column between his knees and stands, brandishing a BASEBALL BAT! Both pranksters have to fight against the fierce slipstream as MATT THROWS THE BALL.I across fifty feet of sky towards JACK! He prepares to swing, but the ball FALLS SHORT, getting MINCED in JACK'S propeller! A quick look around to make sure no one is looking, and MATT reaches down again, grabbing ANOTHER BASEBALL out of the bag of balls he carries in his cockpit!

MATT PITCHES it back towards JACK ... he swings and smashes the ball into the side of McKECKNIE'S PLANE! He LEAPS WITH FRIGHT, his CAMEL wobbling in the sky as he frantically spins around, thinking he's been hit by enemy fire!

JACK and MATT sit in their cockpits, innocently looking the other way!

Sudden MACHINE GUN FIRE ... The SQUADRON LEADER has fired his guns to attract the attention of all his pilots. He gestures down ...

JACK looks down ... 3 large GERMAN BOMBERS, escorted by 6 sleek ALBATROSS fighters are heading towards Allied lines, about 1000 feet below.

With a wave of the SQUADRON LEADERS arm, the NINE CAMELS peel away towards the GERMAN PLANES. The fun is over for JACK and MATT as they grimly steer their planes into the steep dive ...

WOOD CREAKS, WIRE WHISTLES as the CAMELS shudder against the wind resistance. Wings sometimes crumple like matchwood in dives as steep as this. JACK squints as he lines up an ALBATROSS in his gun-sights. The Germans have not spotted the FAST APPROACHING CAMELS ...

The Camel Pilots OPEN FIRE virtually simultaneously - 18 MACHINE GUNS send yellow TRACER BULLETS ripping into the German planes. Within seconds, 3 ALBATROS are destroyed! One spins away in flames, another literally collapses under a hail of bullets and the third collides with one of the BOMBERS, causing both planes to tumble out of the sky.

It's a turkey shoot as the CAMELS fly through the German formation, turning sharply to attack again before the enemy pilots can recover.

McKECKNIE blasts at the NOSE GUNNER of a German BOMBER, pumping so many bullets into his plane, the NOSE SECTION DISINTEGRATES and the GERMAN FALLS OUT ... This is in the days before parachutes ...

CLUNK!!! The GERMAN GUNNER LANDS ON JACK'S WING!!! He desperately hangs on, spread eagled, FINGERS GRIPPING the wing edges ... JACK stares at him, amazed ...

This is one of those defining moments in life ... With a flick of his CONTROL STICK, JACK could send this guy sailing into space. It is a moment he will remember till the end of his days ... JACK makes EYE CONTACT - the GERMAN is terrified, helpless ...

JACK reaches out to him.

JACK (yelling above noise) Here!

JACK struggles to keep his plane flying as smooth as possible - all around the swirling DOGFIGHT continues. The German REACHES OUT for JACK'S HAND ...

BAM! BAM! BAM! A SUDDEN BURST OF GUNFIRE hits the GERMAN. He looks at JACK with a kind of confused SORROW ... and ROLLS OFF THE WING.

JACK (shocked) NO!!

ANOTHER CAMEL is flying just a few feet off JACK'S TAIL . .. It dives away.

TRACER FIRE rips into JACK'S PLANE ... He SPINS AROUND, confronted with a TERRIFYING SIGHT!

The 24 gaudily painted FOKKER TRI-PLANES of VON RICHTOFEN'S FLYING CIRCUS are diving down towards them. The hunters have just become THE HUNTED! Before JACK can react, the TRI-PLANES swoop into the dogfight ...

The sky is suddenly filled with nearly 50 planes wheeling around in a desperate life and death struggle. From a distance they look like a swarm of angry bees against a spectacular backdrop of cumulous cloud rising in towering columns.

Close in, it's stomach churning, noisy and violent as terrified pilots throw their planes around the sky in a desperate attempt to blast bullets into each other. You may have seen movie dogfights before, but you haven't seen one like this!

JACK wrenches the control stick, sending his Camel through a series of TIGHT TURNS, wincing as BOILING CASTOR OIL from the rotary engine SLAPS INTO HIS FACE there are so many planes that collision is as threatening as the deadly TRACER FIRE that zips in all directions.

MATT fires at a TRI-PLANE, the blast of his guns causing his plane to tremble violently. The TRI-PLANE'S TOP WING breaks away, sending the German into a fatal spin.

JACK STARES IN HORROR McKECKNIE'S CAMEL is ON FIRE - and flying STRAIGHT TOWARDS HIM! He frantically tries to steer his plane away, but ...

CRRUMMPP! JACK'S plane clips McKECKNIE'S and goes into an immediate spin. JACK tries to regain control ... his right hand wing tip is in tatters.

MATT sees his buddy going down and dives after him, blasting at a COUPLE OF TRIPLANES that are closing in on the crippled CAMEL.

JACK uses all his strength to haul the control stick back and pull out of the dive. He is dangerously close to the ground - the shell torn landscape of NO MA/s LAND. MATT levels out along side as JACK loses his last few feet of height and smashes into the ground. His undercarriage breaks away and the CAMEL slides to a stop in the mud.

EXT. NO MAN'S LAND - DAY

JACK leans back in the cockpit, his nose bloody from the crash, but otherwise unharmed ...

BANG] BANG! BANG! Machine gun bullets suddenly rip into his plane - GERMAN SOLDIERS are firing at him from the trenches! The Camel BURSTS INTO FLAME as bullets puncture the gas tank.

JACK quickly rolls out of the cockpit and crawls away just as MATT roars low overhead, STRAFING the MACHINE GUN NEST with a withering stream of tracer fire.

JACK'S plane EXPLODES ... he slides safely into a muddy SHELL HOLE, pulling his SERVICE REVOLVER out of the holster. JACK rips his FLYING HELMET & GOGGLES off ... we see that he is just a 17 YEAR OLD KID.

From out of the THICK BLACK PLUME OF SMOKE from the burning plane, MATT'S SOPWITH CAMEL suddenly appears, gliding very low ... he's attempting to land!

MATT carefully guides the plane between shell holes and almost gets away with the landing ... just as the plane slows to a stop, it hits a coil of BARBED WIRE and FLIPS ON IT'S BACK! MATT releases his seat-blet, falls to the ground and pulls off his FLYING HELMET ... MATT is about 20 years old.

MATT (yelling) JACK!

MATT races towards the BURRING WRECKAGE ... GUNFIRE from the German trenches kicks the mud up around his feet and he dives forward into a large SHELLHOLE.

JACK Matt!

MATT'S only a few yards away from JACK, but they have to stay in their respective shellholes as a ground shaking volley of ARTILLERY FIRE THUNDERS around them.

JACK (CONT'D) (yelling) What the hell are you doing?

MATT (yelling) Saving your lousy ass!

JACK (yelling) You're not saving anybody! You're in the shit like me!

MATT and JACK start CHUCKLING.

MATT hears a LOW NOISE, turns around and SCREAMS ...

LOW ANGLE POV A burly GERMAN SOLDIER rams his BAYONET towards CAMERA.

CLOSE ON MATT'S FACE ... he gasps in shock as he is stabbed in the stomach.

JACK (CONT'D) (shocked yell) MATT???

JACK staggers over the top of the shellhole, confronting the THREE GERMAN SOLDIERS who have descended on MATT. He FIRES HIS REVOLVER at them ... killing each SOLDIER.

IMAGE SLOWS DOWN - TURNS into grainy BLACK AND WHITE JACK sinks to his knees, SOBBING WITH GRIEF.

CAMERA RISES INTO THE SKY ...

DISSOLVE TO

EXT. SUMATRAN DIG - DAY

CLOSE ON A grotesque face ... eyes bulging, tongue wedged between teeth.

PULL OUT from the bizarre STONE CARVING of a man riding a buffalo as the side of a WOODEN PACKING CASE swings shut, sealing the ancient figure into a tea chest marked "BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON". A couple of SUMATRAN LABORERS hammer nails into the chest ... CRANE UP to reveal an extensive ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION underway in the foothills of the Bukit Seguntang mountains near Palembang.

SUPER BRITISH MUSEUM ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG

SUPER SUMATRA 1933

The dig is nestled in a lush, humid valley. A spectacular WATERFALL thunders into a river that bisects the camp - a GROUP OF TENTS, with a UNION JACK fluttering from a makeshift flagpole. 8 BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGISTS are spread around, huddling over shell pits and primitive stone monuments - painstakingly freeing the remains of a 12th century HINDU SHRINE from the grip of the Sumatran jungle.

The most spectacular MONUMENT is a huge loft STONE BUDDHA, set into a shallow cave below a rocky cliff. It sits serenely, casting an impassive gaze over the entire site.

Numerous SAMUTRAN LABOUR'S move about, carrying buckets of dirt away from individual dig sites, CLOSE ON A YOUNG WOMAN'S HANDS excitedly scraping mud from a buried artifact she has just discovered - a small BRONZE STATUE of a warrior in a FIERCE WAR MASK ...Pitted with age, one arm broken off, it carries a SPEAR made from IVORY.

ANN DARROW is an attractive young English woman in her early twenties. She wears baggy khaki trousers and a cotton shirt, her blonde hair tied back in a pony tail. She issues orders to MENTAWEI - a SUMATRAN LABORER.

ANN Mentawei! Fetch some warm soapy water.

MENTAWEI Yes, Miss Darrow!

MENTAWEI races away. ANN marvels at her find as she gently frees it from the mud ... A SHADOW looms over her, and she quickly stands up, her confidence suddenly draining ...

LORD LINWOOD DARROW is in his late seventies, but still cuts a dashing figure. His only apparent concession to age - a stout WALKING STICK.

LORD DARROW What have you got there?

ANN (nervous) A Neolithic bronze ... Reminiscent of the Nias Island cultures ... It ' s very curious. Defiantly Pagan. The use of ivory for the spear is quite unique ... What do you think?

LORD DARROW I think you're trying to run before you can walk, Ann.

ANN'S FACE drops ... LORD DARROW takes the STATUE and gently leads her away from the site.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) You're here merely to observe. Leave the digging to people who know what they're doing, my dear.

They approach an elaborate STONE PILLAR, carved. Intricately

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) Now look at this fine example of early Hindu art ... I don't recall any sketches of this passing across my desk ...

ANN I photographed it extensively, father.

LORD DARROW Photography teaches you nothing, Ann! Click! One second and you've seen all you're going to see. I want you sitting here with your paper and pencils ... I want to see every chisel mark reproduced with painstaking accuracy. Understand the carving and you will understand the people! That Ann, is the key to archaeology.

LORD DARROW walks away, leaving ANN scowling at the statue.

CUT TO

CLOSE ON ANN'S discovery viewed through a MAGNIFYING GLASS ... WALTER DOUGLAS, a BRITISH archaeologist, slowly scans the small figure. LORD DARROW stands beside him, a PERPLEXED FROWN on his face.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) It makes no sense, Dougie ... Pagan artifacts below a Hindu site.

DOUGLAS It's like all the others ... it's human bone.

DOUGLAS carefully places the STATUE on a linen covered table ... MARY OTHER SMALL ARTIFACTS - clearly the work of the same culture - cover the table. All are BRONZE, and all have BONE accessories.

DOUGLAS (CONT'D) My guess is it's sacrificial. Some sort of offering.

LORD DARROW An unknown culture ... A barbaric race with no regard for human life.

CUT TO

EXT. PALEMBANG HARBOR - DAY

PALEMBANG DOCKS - a crowded series of wharves where NATIVE OUTRIGGERS and FISHING BOATS compete for space with rusting COASTAL TRADERS ...

Amongst the junk that litters the harbor - an old AVRO SEAPLANE ... beached on the muddy banks, canvas ripped, wings broken.

A LARGE Tramp STEAMER - "THE VENTURE", glides towards the DOCK, blasting it's horn at the crowd of NATIVE BOATS crossing it's path.

EXT. VENTURE DECK - DAY

POV from "THE VENTURE" of PALEMBANG HARBOR. PULL BACK to reveal a CAMERA CREW shooting the sight from the bow of the ship. The CAMERAMAN is HERB COOPER - middle aged, steadfastly loyal, walks with a pronounced LIMP. The SOUND RECORDIST is RANDELL PEEK - unpleasant, ratty faced, potential trouble maker. Their EQUIPMENT BOXES are STENCILED with "CARL DENHAM PICTURES".

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN, a dry, old school SKIPPER steers the ship in.

PEEK switches his TAPE RECORDER off ... removes his HEADPHONES.

PEEK Another God-forsaken Chinese rat-hole.

KURT VOSS is wandering past, reading an INDONESIAN/ENGLISH TRANSLATION BOOK. KURT is an IMMENSELY STRONG ship's MATE ... BRUTISH LOOKING and basically SLOW WITTED, the kind of guy who moves his lips when he reads ... he has a love of classical music.

KURT "Hai sahabatku yang baik" ... That means "Hello, my good friend".

PEEK flips his MIDDLE FINGER at KURT.

PEEK That means "Piss off".

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN yells from the BRIDGE.

ENGLEHORN (yelling) Secure the moorings!

CUT TO

EXT. PALEMBANG DOCKS - DAY

A group of TEN SUMATRAN OFFICIALS are waiting nervously on the docks as the GANGPLANK is secured. PEEK is the first off, followed by HERB, staggering under the weight of the camera and tripod.

MR SELAMAT GINTING, the local DISTRICT COMMISSIONER, steps forward, thrusting a GARLAND FLOWERS around PEEK'S neck ... A TIN-POT BAND strikes up an Out OF TUNE version of "DIXIE".

MR GINTING (carefully practiced) We welcome you, Mr Denham! We celebrate the bonding of our cultures ... the peoples of Sumatra unite in friendship with the peoples of Hollywoodland!

PEEK hands the GARLAND back.

PEEK Save it buddy - you've got the wrong guy -

DENHAM (O.S.) Roll camera, roll sound! I'm coming ashore!

DENHAM is a showman, a larger than life character - part Orson Welles, part John Huston - a man in love with his own legend. He has reputation for traveling to the most dangerous corners of the world, producing exotic documentaries. These thrilled audiences in the days before TV with their images of elephant stampedes and lions hunting. DENHAM is overweight, has no taste in wardrobe and sweats profusely.

MR GINTING puts the GARLAND over DENHAM'S head.

MR GINTING We welcome you, Mr Denham! We celebrate the bonding -

DENHAM pumps MR GINTING'S HAND enthusiastically, steering around to face the CAMERA

DENHAM (interrupts) Hi, Carl Denham ... How's going. Wonderful to be here...

DENHAM moves off down the line of OFFICIALS, shaking hands, not pausing for their names, and always playing the camera...

DENHAM (CONT'D) Pleased to meet you ... Hi, bow's it going? Pleased to meet you! Hi, Carl Denham ... How's it going?

MR GINTING We offer ourselves at your service, Mr Denham!

DENHAM And I appreciate that so much, I really do - a sentiment that will be shared by audiences across America when they view my latest documentary sensation "Indonesia ...Hell Hole of the World". Ernie Hemmingway's agreed to write the narration. We're going out through Universal ... Laemmale's promised me fifteen hundred screens.

MR GINTING nods politely ...

SOUND OF LOUD TRUCK HORN ... A TRUCK, fully laden with SAWN LOGS is trying to drive onto the WHARF. "Dixie" falls apart as the BAND grab their instruments and SCATTER.

The TRUCK reaches the DENHAM and the RECEPTION GROUP ...

JACK DRISCOLL leans out of the CAB.

JACK You guys are gonna have to move!

JACK is now in his early thirties ... He has not lost his boyish looks, but years of tropical sun has darkened his skin.

The OFFICIALS look FLUSTERED ... JACK leaps out of the cab ... STRIDES OVER. He gestures towards a CARGO BARGE moored next to the "VENTURE".

JACK (CONT'D) If I don't get my cargo on this ship, I'll miss the sailing.

HERB'S VIEWFINDER POV ... JACK walks into shot.

DENHAM (annoyed) Hey buddy! I don't know who you think you are, but you just walked into a Carl Denham Picture! Take a hike!

JACK sees the camera pointing at him.

JACK What the hell is going on?

MR GINTING (Insincere) It's Hollywood!

JACK Yeah? Well, see that?

He points at his heavily laden truck ...

JACK (CONT'D) That's "Jack's Wood" - and it's going on that boat!

JACK jumps back into the CAB, and drives straight at the OFFICIALS, sending the reception into CHAOS ... HERB has to quickly pull the CAMERA and TRIPOD away - DENHAM looks FURIOUS! MR GINTING hurries over - looking SICK with FEAR and EMBARRASSMENT.

MR GINTING (distraught) I so sorry! I so sorry!

DENHAM spins around ... his mood so black, he looks as if he might hit MR GINTING ... He suddenly breaks into a CHARMING SMILE!

DENHAM It is I who has to apologize, sir. It's people like him who give Americans a bad name.

MR GINTING almost sobs with relief.

MR GINTING You are most kind. We will be proud to assist you!

DENHAM Exotic lands, primitive people, dangerous animals ... That's what the public expect from a Carl Denham picture! Lead us into the mountains, Sir!

MR GINTING The mountains?

DENHAM puts an arm around MR GINTING'S shoulder.

DENHAM Shut your eyes - let me paint a picture in your mind ...

MR GINTING squeezes his eyes shut.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Our cameras are focused on the deepest Sumatran jungle. Steam rises from the verdant foliage... Suddenly a jackdaw screams! Why? ... Because the Beast is moving through the trees! Eyes blazing, insisors dripping, the Beast knows no fear - for he is the most powerful creature to walk the land! (lowers voice ominously) You know what I'm talking about don't you, Mr Ginting?

MR GINTING nods FEARFULLY.

EXT. LOGGING CAMP/SUMATRAN MOUNTAINS - DAY

MONTAGE SuMATRAN LUMBERJACKS are working at fever pitch, clearing a RAIN FOREST ... SAWS and AXES rip into the TREES ... They CRASH to the ground. A PRIMITIVE SAWMILL works the LOGS in ROUGH-SAWN TIMBERS.

WIDE Several ACRES has been stripped. The FOREMAN watches with satisfaction as the last solitary TREE in this block is attacked by two AXE MEN.

JACK pulls up in his truck.

JACK Hey, great work! You guys have earned yourselves a bonus!

JACK leaps out of the TRUCK as the LAST TREE starts to splinter ... suddenly a TERRIFIED SCREAM comes out of the top most branches of the tree. The FOREMAN looks sick.

FOREMAN (upset) Orangutan ...

The SCREAM continues as the TREE slowly topples to the ground with a THUNDERING CRASH ... SUDDEN SILENCE.

JACK Goddamn monkeys. They piss me off!

JACK strides into a makeshift wooden hut ...

INT. LOGGING OFFICE - DAY

JACK The sooner we clear this rain forest the better.

The OFFICE is functional and tidy.

THE SOUND OF PANIC ... JACK turns as TENKU - a SAW MILL WORKER is carried into the office with a NASTY INJURY to his LEG.

WORKER Tenku hurt pretty bad, boss!

JACK clears the desk with a sweep of his arm ... They lay the TENKIU down. JACK looks at the WOUND ... A NASTY SHARD OF METAL - the size of a DINNER KNIFE - is embedded in his leg. JACK GRINS at TENKU, clearly not wanting to alarm him.

JACK (forced casual) Hey, it's just a splinter.

JACK takes a grip of the METAL SHARD ...

JACK (CONT'D) How's Mrs Tenku? She must be close.

TENKU (gasping) Baby due any day ... ARRGHH!!

JACK suddenly pulls the SHARD OUT. WORKERS close in, wrapping the WOUND in BANDAGES.

JACK Ok boys ... Take him to hospital! Quick now!

TENKU is carried outside as a SAW MILL VEHICLE pulls up.

CLOSE ON A SAFE ... JACK quickly takes a wad of BANKNOTES and slips them into an ENVELOPE.

EXT. LOGGING CAMP/SUMATRAN MOUNTAINS - DAY

TENKU is slid into the BACK SEAT of the CAR. JACK strides out of the OFFICE.

JACK Hey! You wanna be more careful!

JACK leans in, slipping the ENVELOPE into TENKU'S HAND.

JACK (CONT'D) You dropped this in my office.

TENKU gives JACK a GRATEFUL toothless GRIN as the DOOR SLAMS SHUT and the CAR roars away.

AN EERIE ANIMAL ROAR suddenly echoes across the valley. The ENTIRE SITE pauses as WORKER look around, trying to figure out where this FEARFUL SOUND is coming from ...

JACK FROWNS.

EXT. SUMATRAN HIGHLANDS - DAY

ROAR CONTINUES ... over a slow pan across a misty ridge-line ...

EXT. JUNGLE CLEARING - DAY

ROAR CONTINUES... PAR onto CARL DENHAM roaring into a MEGAPHONE! He is sitting in one of TWO VEHICLES, parked just off the road, on the edge of a clearing. Several CREW MEMBERS from the ship are perched on the vehicles, including PEEK and KURT. MR GINTING, and TWO SUMATRAN GUIDES look nervously around, clutching RIFLES.

DENHAM lowers the megaphone looking very satisfied with himself ...

DENHAM

DENHAM The sound of a wounded warthog ... a little trick I picked up from the Tau Tau people of New Guinea! Keep you're eye to the eyepiece, Herb! We won't be waiting long.

HERB has the camera set up in the middle of the clearing, his lens staring into the thick, dark jungle that lies ahead ... he looks alone and vulnerable.

DENHAM throws a huge lump of BLOODY RAW MEAT into the clearing ... it lands at HERB'S feet ... he swallows nervously. DENHAM settles back into his seat, lighting a LARGE CIGAR.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Tell me Mr Ginting - are there any parts of your country where people still wear ... native costume?

MR GINTING Native costume?

DENHAM Y'know ... traditional ceremonies where the woman ... divest themselves of their undergarments.

DENHAM gestures at his chest ... MR GINTiNG is confused.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Hooters, Mr Ginting. There's nothing the public like to see more than native hooters.

PEEK sniggers. MR GINTING frowns.

MR GINTING We are a very modest and deeply religious people, Mr Denham.

DENHAM (grunting) That's too bad.

A NOISE from the jungle - DENHAM suddenly leaps to his feet.

DENHAM (CONT'D) He's close, boys - Roll camera! Roll sound!

HERB rolls camera ... the WHIRRING MOTOR is the only sound in the clearing - even the BIRDS are suddenly quiet ...BRANCHES SNAPPING ... LEAVES SHAKING -SOMETHING is approaching from inside the dense jungle ...

TENSE FACES! DENHAM ... MR GINTING ... KURT ... HERB wipes a bead of sweat from his brow without taking his eye off the eyepiece ... A GASP is heard from the GROUP as the bushes part and out steps the mighty ...

SUMATRAN TIGER! It warily steps into the clearing, regarding HERB with suspicion. He can barely breath as he pans, following the TIGER'S movements.

DENHAM (CONT'D) (loud megaphone) Looking good Herb! Stand by for the roar ... here we go!

DENHAM lowers his MEGAPHONE and throws a large STONE, hitting the TIGER on the back! The TIGER ROARS!

DENHAM (CONT'D) Boy! Were those teeth in focus, Herb?

HERB (choked whisper) Yeah!

The TIGER sniffs the meat ... REJECTS IT ...

MR GINTING (quiet) He doesn't want the meat ...

He SNARLS AT HERB ...

MR GINTING (CONT'D) (panicked) Man Eater!!!

DENHAM A man eater! Fantastic! (megaphone) Making history, Herb

PEEK For Gods sake! Get him outta there!

DENHAM Just a few more seconds ...

The TIGER suddenly springs on HERB! The cameraman SCREAMS as he topples backwards - CAMERA, TRIPOD and TIGER landing on top of him!

For a moment, all ONLOOKERS are frozen in their VEHICLES ... MR GINTING suddenly raises his RIFLE and fires ...

CUT TO

EXT. SUMATRAN DIG - DAY

BANG! BANG! GUNSHOTS echo across the dig site. EVERYBODY stops - looks around ... LORD DARROW races out of a tent.

AT THAT MOMENT ... The TIGER races out of undergrowth, charging STRAIGHT THROUGH THE CAMP!!

LORD DARROW (yelling) Tiger!!!

CHAOS ERUPTS!

BRIEF IMAGES FLEETING GLIMPSES of the TIGER, racing through the camp - leaping tables, crashing through tents ... PEOPLE are running, diving, grabbing RIFLES. ANN pushes a SUMATRAN MAID clear of the TIGER.

VEHICLES suddenly BURST OUT OF THE TREES and career wildly through the camp! The SUMATRAN? RAN GUIDES are SHOOTING at the fleeing TIGER ... HERB - battered and bleeding - is FILMING from one of the bouncing vehicles! DENHAM is balancing in the front seat with a look of EUPHORIA - like a general leading a CAVALRY CHARGE.

The vehicles do MORE DAMAGE than the TIGER! ANCIENT STATUES are BODE OVER, GUY ROPES snag on the cars -RIPPING TENTS OUT OF THE GROUND, LUNCH TABLES are destroyed. PEOPLE that lept away from the TIGER have to LEAP-- FURTHER to avoid the SPEEDING CARS!

BANG! BANG! The TIGER does a HUGE LEAP as BULLETS whizz by ... RICOCHETING OFF THE BUDDHA in the BG!!! Lumps of ROTTEN STONE fly off in clouds of dust.

The TIGER bounds up the bank beside the BUDDHA and DISAPPEARS into the undergrowth.

LORD DARROW runs at the VEHICLES.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) Stop it! You idiots!

ANN races towards her FATHER as the vehicles SLIDE TO A HALT at the foot of the cliff BELOW THE BUDDHA.

ANN (alarmed) Father!

LORD DARROW These are priceless artifacts! They're ruining the site!

DENHAM (quietly to kurt) Who is this limey asshole?

KURT SHRUGS ... LORD DARROW hurries towards the VEHICLES.

LORD DARROW Out! Out! All of you! We have been issued with an exclusive permit -

ANN (interrupting Darrow) Father ... Father!

THE BUDDHA ... Bullet hits have blown lumps of stone away, revealing a creepy BRONZE STATUE - concealed beneath the thin "Buddha" shaped outer layer. Only a small section is revealed, but it is clear that the BRONZE FIGURE is that of an ANIMAL ...

LORD DARROW (mesmerized) What the ...

LORD DARROW rushes up the slope to the STATUE ... He hits the STONE VENEER with his stick - once, twice, on the THIRD BLOW, the remainder of the "Buddha" shell suddenly CRUMBLES AWAY and falls in a heap on the ground!

Exposed for the first time in nearly 800 years is the STATUE OF A FRIGHTENING ANIMAL ... an APE-LIKE creature -FACE SNARLING with fearsome RAGE ... bristled fur ... taloned hands. It sits atop a pile of REAL HUMAN SKULLS, integrated into the bronze work. At the base of the statue - PANELS OF HIEROGLYPHIC-TYPE INSCRIPTION. An ancient piece of frightening art ... it sends the GROUP into STUNNED SILENCE.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) God Lord ... I don't believe it.

LOW ANGLE ... LORD DARROW turns to face the GROUP, the STATUE filling the frame behind him. The old man's eyes blaze with obsessive intensity.

LORD DARROW (CONT'D) (creepy) Behold ... the Beast God ... KONG!

MR GINTING backs away, TREBLING.

MR GINTING (terrified) Kong.

LORD DARROW (creepy) Worshipped by a savage race ... "Talak e a Kong" The Cult of the Beast God - until now a myth ... a superstition.

The SUMATRANS are all backing away. The EUROPEANS stare at the STATUE - KURT moves closer, studying the HIEROGLYPHICS on a panel that seems to contain a CRUDE MAP. The ATMOSPHERE is mesmerizing. SILENCE ...

DENHAM (loudly) That was great your Lordship! Now, if you wouldn't mind - just repeat that and we'll get it from another angle. Exact same words please!

HERB has been filming LORD DARROW!

LORD DARROW No photography!!! Turn that thing off!

DENHAM climbs out of his VEHICLE ...

DENHAM Hi - Carl Denham. I'm A big admirer of your work, sir. I've loved all your discoveries. I really want to work closely with you on this incredible find. It'll be good for you and good for me.

ANN Look Mr Denham - you're not welcome here. Just pack up your cameras and go.

DENHAM'S face CLOUDS WITH ANGER.

DENHAM I don't take orders from women in trousers. Herb! Get a close-up of the big monkey.

HERB carries the TRIPOD and CAMERA towards the STATUE.

DOUGLAS suddenly rushes forward, pushing HERB away ... In a split second - KURT punches DOUGLAS to the ground, knocking him out!

A GUN COCKS ... ANN has snatched a RIFLE from the CAR. She aims it at KURT ... he backs away.

ANN (softly) Have you got a hearing problem? Get out.

DENHAM'S GROUP climb into their vehicles.

DENHAM You just made a big mistake, lady. This is a public place - I know my rights! Charles Lindburg's lawyer's a personal friend of mine. I'm gonna put you people in litigation hell for the next five years!

CUT TO

INT. VENTURE - DUSK

CLOSE ON A drawing of the MAP from the base of the Kong statue ... It appears to show the position of a SMALT. ISLAND, south west of the Sumatran mainland.

KURT is sketching it from memory ... he refers to his TRANSLATION BOOK. DENHAM and the ship's skipper CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN look on.

KURT (Slowly) "Pulau Tengkorak" - The Island of the Skull ...

DENHAM (excited) What else? Were there directions?

KIURT (pause) Yeah.

KURT looks at them BLANKLY.

DENHAM (frustrated) Well?

KURT (slowly) There were detailed navigational co-ordinates in an ancient Sanskrit alphabet. I didn't have time to translate it all.

ENGLEHORN (tense) Look, I've sailed these waters for twenty-seven years ... there's no island like that around here.

DENHAM (more excited) What a climax to the film - The first white men to set foot on ... (pauses) "Skull Island" (very excited) Twentieth Century man comes face to face with a ... a ... naked stone age tribe!

ENGLEHORN (agitated) I tell you it doesn't exist!

DENHAM We need those co-ordinates -someone's gotta get back there and jot the rest of it down

A cough O.S ... DENHAM'S'S turns and his gaze settles on PEEK standing in the doorway ...

EXT. SUMATRAN DIG - DUSK

CLOSE ON ANN - skillfully producing an accurate PENCIL RUBBING of the HIEROGLYPHICS and MAP on a sheet of TRACING PAPER.

LORD DARROW and DOUGLAS are studying the STATUE OF KONG in the soft twilight ... They talk QUIETLY - out of ANN'S earshot.

LORD DARROW The Beast God cult flourished up until the fifth century. It originated on a remote island and quickly spread to the mainland, where the worshipers were systematically hunted down and killed by the Hindu. No likeness of Kong was allowed to survive. All trace of this culture was eliminated as if it had never existed ...

DOUGLAS (animated) Are you suggesting a pocket still survives on this island?

LORD DARROW Maybe ... but, from what we know of the culture, I wouldn't set foot on the "Island of the Skull" with anything less than full military back-up.

ANN comes running over, EXCITEDLY waving the finished COPY OF THE MAP.

ANN Father It's somewhere south-west of here - we need to inform the museum ... · organize an expedition -

LORD DARROW (interrupts) All in due course, Ann. Our first responsibility is to get these artifacts safely back to London.

DARROW checks the time with an ornately engraved SILVER FOB-WATCH.

BINOCULAR POV ANN with MAP, LORD DARROW and DOUGLAS.

ANN (waving MAP) But, it's here! An undiscovered island!

CLOSE ON RANDELL PEEK, casing the site from a safe distance...

JACK (O.S.) Hey!

JACK is scrambling up the hill towards the GROUP.

ANN Oh God, it's that bloody yank!

LORD DARROW Now now, Ann! Try be to polite.

JACK (angry) Alright old man! You'd better have a good explanation because you've just lost me ten grand's worth of business!

LORD DARROW (confused) I beg your pardon?

JACK I've gotta contract to clear a hundred thousand acres of rainforest by Christmas and my entire work force has just walked out. They're spooked by some weird shit you guys are pulling out of the ground!

LORD DARROW (casual) Oh no! That can't be right ... we've had no problems with our people ...

CUT TO

POV TENT FLAP pulled back to reveal ... LARGE EMPTY TENT, clearly VACATED IN A HURRY.

WIDE SHOT LORD DARROW looks around ... Apart from the HANDFUL of ENGLISH, camp is deserted. ANN looks flustered. JACK stands with his hands on his hips.

ANTHONY - another ARCHAEOLOGIST, runs over to LORD DARROW.

ANTHONY (whispers) They said the wrath of Kong has returned ... "Those in his shadow will be plagued by death".

LORD DARROW (urgent whisper) Call the shipping company, Tony. It's time we started freighting the artifacts home.

JACK Your Lordship! Aren't you forgetting something? I'd appreciate a little talk about compensation.

LORD DARROW What?

ANN He's grubbing for money, father.

JACK (to ANN) I just wanna deal with the boss, ok?

ANN (angry) No, it's not ok! We're not about to be robbed blind by some two-bit hustler on the make!

JACK You - calling me a thief? Well, that's great, coming from a glorified grave robber! You break into the tomb of some dead Egyptian - the poor guy's happily enjoying the afterlife when suddenly his shit gets stolen by a bunch of light fingered limeys!

ANN Tell me, Mr Driscoll - is it a requirement of the forestry business that you have to be as thick as the trees you cut down?

LORD DARROW Ann!

LORD DARROW steps forward - JACK backs away in MOCK HORROR.

JACK (theatrical) Holy God! The mummy walks!

ANN (yelling) How dare you? My father is the British Museum's most respected archeologist!

JACK (yelling) Do they have him on display at the weekends?

CLOSE ON ANN'S MAP, on a table with OTHER SKETCHES. PEEK calmly grabs it and heads away. EVERYONE is distracted by the ARGUMENT that continues ...

ANN (yelling) God, you're so obnoxious! Our work happens to be of great anthropological value!

JACK (yelling) Value? ... Value?

JACK grabs an ancient EARTHENWARE POT off a table of ARTIFACTS ...

JACK (CONT'D) You couldn't get ten cents for this thing! It's cracked!

He tosses the POT over his shoulder, SMASHING it!

BEHIND JACK ...

ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!!! MILITARY VEHICLES roar into the camp ... 100 SUMATRAN SOLDIERS spill out of several TRUCKS - they stream through the site, YELLING and PULING PEOPLE FROM TENTS.

SOLDIERS (yelling) Out of your tents! Out of your tents!

JACK looks around, totally confused.

LORD DARROW What is the meaning of this???

The Sumatran COLONEL IN CHARGE steps up.

COLONEL We are closing you down! No more permit! You go home!

TENTS are being TORN DOWN ... ARTIFACTS swept into SACKS. BOOKS and PAPERS are thrown into a pile and DOUSED WITH PETROL.

LORD DARROW You can' t destroy these things ... They're part of history.

COLONEL Some things better left alone.

WHROOOSH' The FIRE roars into life.

A SUDDEN YELL - RANDELL PEEK is thrown to the ground by TWO SOLDIERS. He is clutching ANN'S MAP!

SOLDIER He was caught trying to escape!

The COLONEL unrolls the MAP ...

ANN (very tense) That's mine.

COLONEL Burn everything.

He hands the map to a SOLDIER 1 ... ANN tries to rush forward, but is RESTRAINED by SOLDIER 2.

LORD DARROW sees SOLDIERS streaming away from the KONG STATUE.

LORD DARROW (distressed) We're shipping that back to England -

COLONEL That won't be necessary.

KABOOM!!! The KONG STATUE is BLOWN INTO A 1000 PIECES!!!

LORD DARROW (quietly) God forgive you.

DARROW sinks to his knees, CLUTCHING HIS CHEST.

ANN (horrified) Father!!!

ANN rushes over as LORD DARROW gently pitches forward onto the ground. She cradles her father's head in her lap.

ANN (CONT'D) (panicked) Somebody help me! Help me!

JACK kneels over LORD DARROW ... shakes his head.

JACK I'm sorry ...

ANN (shocked) No!

ANN bursts into tears ... falls on her FATHER'S BODY, SOBBING with GRIEF. The COLONEL takes her arm.

COLONEL Everyone under our protection. You and your father's body will be escorted to airfield in the morning for plane home. No more permit!

The COLONEL attempts to PULL ANN away from her father's body. JACK roughly shoves the COLONEL away.

JACK Leave her alone for Chrissake!

SOLDIER 2 CLUBS JACK with his RIFLE BUTT! JACK falls to the ground ... SOLDIER 2 snatches LORD DARROW'S FOB-WATCH as a trophy.

SUDDENLY! JACK rockets up, GRABBING SOLDIER 2'S RIFLE. He rams the butt into the COLONEL'S stomach, smashes SOLDIER 2 across the chin ... The FOB WATCH falls to the ground. SOLDIER 1 is by the FIRE, about to burn ANN'S MAP - HE RAISES HIS RIFLE ... In a flash, JACK throws the RIFLE at SOLDIER 1, knocking him into the FIRE! ANN'S MAP flutters to the ground.

CONFUSION ERUPTS! SOLDIERS SHOOT wildly at JACK as he disappears into the darkness ... ANN stands alone by her father's body - ZOMBIE-LIKE.

CLOSE ON The FOB-WATCH ... ANN picks it up. A PIECE OF PAPER blows at her feet - she looks down at THE MAP.

CLOSE ON PEEK watching her.

CUT TO

JACK dodges a flurry of GLOFIRE and leaps into his TRUCK. He guns the engine and ROARS OFF down the JUNGLE TRACK.

EXT. JUNGLE TRACK - NIGHT

CLUNK! SOMEBODY jumps onto the TRAY of his TRUCK before he gains much speed. JACK plants boot and SWERVES VIOLENTLY, trying to THROW THEM OFF. The INTRUDER nearly rolls out - JACK looks into his SIDE MIRROR ...

ANN'S only just clinging to the side, still CLUTCHING THE MAP ... She stares ANGRILY INTO THE MIRROR.

ANN For Godssakes it' s me!

JACK slows enough to allow ANN to clamber into the CAB through the PASSENGER DOOR.

SMASH! A BULLET shatters the REAR WINDOW as TWO SUMATRAN MILITARY CARS speed up behind them'

ANN (CONT'D) They're gaining on us!

The CHASE ACCELERATES out of the jungle, and down a narrow MOUNTAIN ROAD ... A SHEER 300ft DROP on one side. JACK throws his TRUCK around corners with recklessness. The STONY TRACK is barely wide enough for a vehicle -not one sliding around TIGHT CORNERS ... at times ONE WHEEL hangs out in space. ANN clings to her seat.

JACK has gained on the MILITARY VEHICLES as they reach the bottom of the hill, racing on a DIRT ROAD beside a MUDDY RIVER ... JACK looks back - FAILING TO TAKE A CORNER ...

EXT. RIVER - NIGHT

The TRUCK flies off the road, SPLASHING INTO THE RIVER!

JACK and ANN brace themselves as the TRUCK lurches to a halt ... It lies HALF SUBMERGED in the RIVER beside an old WOODEN PIER. The WATER LEVEL is just above the bottom of the TRUCK'S WINDOWS. Within seconds the WATER fills the CAB up to THEIR NECKS.

The FIRST MILITARY VEHICLE roars past ... but the SECOND STOPS. Our old friends - SOLDIERS 1 & 2, get out and approach the PIER.

JACK (whisper) Get out ... Stay under the pier.

BEFORE THEY CAN MOVE A large CROCODILE suddenly LUNGES AT ANN! It's SNAPPING JAWS thrust in through her SIDE WINDOW.

ANN falls back into JACK'S LAP ... The CROC'S shoulders are too wide for the window - it gets wedged, SNAPPING at ANN, inches short of her nose! MORE CROCODILES descend on the TRUCK, CLAWING AT JACK'S WINDOW and the WINDSCREEN - it threatens to break under the strain.

A FLASHLIGHT BEAM plays on the car ... the TWO SOLDIERS approach holding RIFLES.

JACK (CONT'D) (yelling) Shoot them!

MORE CROCS scramble onto the TRAY, snapping through the broken REAR WINDOW! JACK and ANN huddle together, their mouths at water level, TEETH SNAPPING ALL AROUND THEM. JACK can see the TWO SOLDIERS through the SIDE MIRROR .. they're ENJOYING THE SHOW - cracking a private JOKE.

JACK (CONT'D) (yelling) Come here!

The TWO SOLDIERS don't respond.

JACK (CONT'D) (yelling) I said come here! I don't have a will and I've got twenty grand stashed in a Singapore Bank. I want you to have it!

As JACK speaks, he is GASPING FOR AIR and SPITTING OUT WATER ... The TWO SOLDIERS WARILY APPROACH, their rifles trained on JACK.

JACK (CONT'D) I know you guys aren't sadistic, evil scum. I know you're really good boys at heart, and I want you and your families to get some pleasure from my lifetime of hard work.

JACK'S POV The TWO SOLDIERS edge closer along the PIER -totally prepared for any trick JACK might pull ... Behind them - A HUGE FAT CROC has climbed the river bank and is WAITING STEALTHILY onto the pier!!!

JACK (CONT'D) Royal Bank of Singapore ... Ask for Mr Sanyun Khan. For Christsake, don't get him mixed up with Sulkin Khan - the guy works at the next desk and is a total asshole. Won't give you anything!

THE SOLDIERS NOD . The FAT CROC is getting near, but moving VERY SLOWLY.' ANN too is watching the approaching CROC through the MIRROR.

A SNAPPING CROC nips JACK'S shoulder DRAWING BLOOD. He gasps...

JACK (CONT'D) I'll give you the account number. You should write it down ... One ... Seven ... Guys! I'm real worried you're going to forget this! I've got enough stress at the moment - write the damn thing down!

SOLDIER 1 lowers his rifle and pulls a NOTE-PAD out of his pocket - just as ...

THE FAT CROC CHARGES! He covers the last few feet moving at LIGHTENING SPEED. He takes SOLDIER 2 in his JAWS and with a FLICK of his TAIL, sweeps SOLDIER 1 INTO THE WATER! ALL THE CROCS leave the TRUCK and descend on the THRASHING SOLDIER like a PACK OF PIRANHAS.

ANN grabs the floating MAP, pushes the door open ... she and JACK quickly wade to the bank the water behind them a CHURNING MAELSTROM!

The SOLDIER'S VEHICLE ... JACK races up to it and leans in - NO KEYS!

JACK (CONT'D) Damn!

He does retrieve a PISTOL from the back seat. He tucks it into his belt.

CUT TO

EXT. SUMATRAN ROAD - NIGHT

ANN and JACK are walking along a road. PADDY FIELDS on one side, JUNGLE on the other ...the LIGHTS OF PALEMBANG are glowing about 3 miles ahead.

CAR HEADLIGHTS appear behind them. They quickly duck into the UNDERGROWTH.

ANN (excited) It's Dougie's car!!

JACK hurries to the middle of the road, WAVING at the car. It slows down ...

SUDDENLY ACCELERATES, BOWLING JACK!! He rolls across the hood, landing in a heap on the ground.

ANN (CONT'D) (shocked) Jack!

ANN runs over to him ... the CAR stops and RANDELL PEEK hops out!

PEEK Oh God! I didn't see him!

JACK'S EYES FLUTTER OPEN - he looks up to see ...

PEEK suddenly club ANN! She topples over and PEEK snatches the map, an "it's my lucky night" look on his face. JACK tries to get up, but he's too stunned and can only watch as PEEK jumps back in the car and speeds away.

CUT TO

EXT. PALEMBANG HARBOR - DAWN

The "Venture' is STEAMING AWAY from the DOCKS - SMOKE shoots out of it's FUNNEL as the boiler pressure rises ... The ORANGE LIGHT of DAWN fills the sky.

CUT TO

EXT. PALEMBANG DOCKS - DAWN

JACK and ANN run onto the DOCK ... They look filthy, bruised and very tired. ANN watches in despair as the "VENTURE" leaves the HARBOR MOUTH.

ANN (urgent) Where do I charter a boat?

JACK There's nothing fast enough to catch that. Forget it. It's over.

ANN (angry) I not doing this for me, Jack! It's for my father. This is possibly the greatest anthropological discovery of the last two hundred years! It belongs to him! I'm going to that island ... nothing's going to stop me!

JACK glances at a NATIVE DUG-OUT.

JACK You might have some luck with that ... if you paddle as fast as you talk.

JACK turns and walks away, DUCKING INTO THE SHADOWS as a MILITARY VEHICLE cruises past in the distance.

ANN (O.S.) Jack.

JACK turns ... ANN is looking at the OLD 2-SEAT FLOAT-PLANE, beached on the muddy bank. It is a TOTAL WRECK - broken wings, rudder hanging by one hinge, control wires snapped and tangled.

ANN (CONT'D) (hopeful) Can you fly?

JACK Are you kidding?! That heap of junk will never leave the ground!

He turns and carries on walking ...

JACK (CONT'D) Besides, I've given it away. I ain't flown since the war. I ain't ever flying again.

CUT TO

EXT. SUMATRAN COAST - MORNING

The "VENTURE" is a couple of miles off the Sumatran coast, and heading out to sea.

INT. VENTURE BRIDGE -- MORNING

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN is steering the ship. DENHAM is pacing anxiously while KURT studies ANN'S PENCIL RUBBING. He is marking a course on a MODERN MAP.

KURT Here!

DENHAM watches with excitement as KIURT makes a CROSS in the middle of a vast empty ocean.

KURT (CONT'D) It says the island is surrounded by salak-pur ... a fog bank.

DENHAM How many days?

ENGLEHORN (adement) There's no island there. We're wasting our time!

DENHAM (angry) I'm chartering this vessel,Engelhorn - how many days?

ENGLEHORN (sullen) Two... maybe three.

The SOUND of an approaching PLANE!!!

EXT. VENTURE DECK - MORNING

DENHAM and KIURT come out onto the deck, scanning the sky for the plane ...

KURT Mr Denham!

KURT is pointing at the SEA.

DENHAM (confused) What the -

CRASH CUT TO

EXT.

SUMATRAN COAST - MORNING

The OLD FLOAT-PLANE, is speeding along the SURFACE OF THE WATER! The engine is belching BLACK SMOKE, but is still propelling the wreck at a far rate of knots. The floats slow signs of HASTY REPAIR to keep them watertight.

CLOSE ON JACK in the FRONT COCKPIT, with ANN behind him ... SEA SPRAY is showering them. JACK is keeping an eye on the GAUGES.

CRASH CUT TO

JACK (yelling above noise) I'm gonna pull along side. I can't cut the engine - she'll never start again.

EXT. VENTURE/OCEAN - MORNING

Most of the CREW are lining the DECKS, watching with AMUSEMENT as the FLOAT- PLANE pulls up along side. ENGLEHORN has cut the engines.

DENHAM groans when he recognizes ANN.

ANN (yelling) I'm coming onboard! Throw down a ladder!

DENHAM (yelling) You're outta your depth here, Miss Darrow!

ANN (yelling) There's no hard feelings, Mr Denham! I just want to come to the island with you!

DENHAM (yelling) Does this look like the "Queen Mary"?? We don't take passengers! Full steam ahead, Captain Engelhorn!

DENHAM walks away.

JACK (sarcastic) Well, that was certainly worth the effort! Whaddya do for an encore?

ANN suddenly reaches forward, SNATCHING THE PISTOL out of JACK'S belt!

DENHAM and ENGELHORN head toward the BRIDGE ... BANG! BANG! ... GUNSHOTS! They race back to the side ...

BANG! BANG! ANN is PUMPING BULLETS into the plane's FLOATS! It immediately starts SINKING!

ANN (yelling) Are you going to stand there and watch us drown, Gentlemen?

ENGLEHORN (O.S.) (orders) Throw down a ladder ... Quick now!

CLOSE ON ... DENHAM.

DENHAM (muttering) Shit!

CUT TO

EXT. OCEAN - DAY

WIDE SHOT ... The "VENTURE" steaming towards the horizon.

INT. ANN'S CABIN - DAY

ANN is shown into a SMALL, FUNCTIONAL CABIN by KURT.

ANN Thank you.

EXT. VENTURE DECK - DAY

KURT closes ANN'S door ... JACK is holding a BUNDLE OF DRY CLOTHES. Standing outside,

KURT 'Fraid Miss Darrow' s taken the last cabin. I could put you -

JACK (interrupts) I'll take care of myself. Thanks.

JACK heads towards the FRONT OF THE SHIP. He approaches an OPEN DOOR ... A PAIR OF FEET protrude from beneath the door.

JACK suddenly kicks the door! With a SCREAM, RANDELL PEEK drops to the deck, clutching his BLEEDING MOUTH!

JACK (CONT'D) Sorry! I didn't see you there.

JACK walks on.

EXT. STERN DECK/VENTURE - DAY

CLOSE ON A GOLF BALL sitting on a TEE.

WHACK! DENHAM hits the ball OUT TO SEA ... He is aiming at a small raft with a GOLF HOLE & FLAG that is being towed a 100 yards behind the ship! He wears a CAP and PLUS FOURS.

ANN (O.S.) Mr Denham ...

DENHAM glances at ANN as he tees up again. She is wearing a borrowed set of MEN'S CLOTHES.

ANN (CONT'D) Can I see the map? My father spoke of references to a Beast God ...

DENHAM (interrupts briskly) Kong is a myth, nothing but a native superstition, Miss Darrow. All we're going to find on that island are some primitive people in grass skirts. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to reduce my handicap.

DENHAM swings at the ball ...

ANN Have you considered a personality transplant?

DENHAM misses the ball.

EXT. FORE-DECK - DAY

HERB is CLEANING HIS CAMERA in the sunshine - it lies on a blanket IN PIECES. His SHOULDER is still BANDAGED from the TIGER ATTACK. ANN is relaxing beside him.

HERB I know he can be a little crass, but Mr Denham's basically a good guy ... put both my kids through school.

HERB lifts the CAMERA BODY and WINCES.

ANN ANN How's your shoulder?

HERB Shoulder's fine ... It's this -

HERB pulls up his sleeve - ANN flinches at the sight of an UGLY SCAR on his arm.

HERB (CONT'D) (matter-of-fact) Sea Lion up in Nova Scotia. No hospitals ... it was stitched up by an Eskimo housewife using penguin gut. The sinew never really mended.

ANN That's terrible!

HERB (misunderstanding) No, no - we got the shot. Mr Denham won an award for that picture. Personally I'm more proud of "Animal Love in the Rockies" -I got some wonderful footage of a pair of Grizzlies - er, you know ... mating. Excuse my language!

HERB pulls up his TROUSER LEG, revealing AN ARTIFICIAL LIMB!

HERB (CONT'D) Cost me my leg - but as Mr Denham says ... "Pain is temporary, Film is forever"

ANN looks appalled.

EXT. DECK - NIGHT

ANN emerges from the door, walks past a COVERED LIFE BOAT and leans on the RAIL. KURT is hunched on a box, playing a VIOLIN.

It is a HEAVY SEA, and SPRAY mists over ANN, her BLONDE HAIR blows in the wind ... it is a LYRICAL MOMENT.

ANN (to KURT) Do you know "Brahm's Lullaby"?

KURT (shakes head) Can't say I do, Miss Darrow.

ANN When I was little and away from home, father would sing it to me when I got scared ... (singing softly)) "Lullaby and good-night, Go to bed and sleep tight ..."

KURT recognizes the TUNE and JOINS in with his VIOLIN ... ANN continues singing, withdrawing her father's SILVER FOB-WATCH from her jacket.

ANN (CONT'D) (singing softly) "Close your eyes, start to yawn, Pleasant dreams until dawn."

ANN releases her father's WATCH and it disappears into the churning sea ... She wanders away down the deck.

VOMIT SOUNDS ... ANN JUMPS WITH FRIGHT as the LIFEBOAT COVER suddenly lifts up and JACK leans out, THROWING UPi He glances at ANN with BLEARY EYES.

JACK Haven't found my sea-legs yet. I'm not a good sailor ... bur's who's complaining? I'm on a wonderful cruise with first class accommodation ... and a beautiful babe has just walked into my bedroom.

JACK rolls back in the LIFEBOAT ...

JACK (CONT'D) Yeah! Life's looking pretty damn good at the moment.

ANN I don't know what happened to you, Jack ... but I can't believe you were always this much of a bastard.

JACK (shrugs) When this boat finally reaches Jakata, I'll be first off. You'll never see me again ... and believe me - that day cannot come soon enough. I've got no problem with you ignoring me for the rest of the voyage.

ANN turns and walks away ... to the SOUND of the SOULFUL VIOLIN.

INT. ANNE'S CABIN - DAWN

ANN wakes to the SOUND of VOICES and RUNNING FEET.

EXT. DECK - DAWN

ANN emerges from her cabin, hurriedly pulling a SWEATER on. KIURT runs past, heading for the BRIDGE.

KURT (excited) We've arrived!

INT. BRIDGE - DAWN

A SWEEPING PAN of the HORIZON ...

... NOTHING BUT EMPTY SEA.

DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, KURT and ANN are standing BRIDGE, looking in ALL DIRECTIONS.

ENGLEHORN (smug) I guess that answers your questions. There's no island on these co-ordinates - not even a lousy fog-bank.

DENHAM (angry) Well, that was a monumental waste of time! I pay good money, only to be taken on some wild goose chase! (to KURT) I made the mistake of trusting my idiot translator!

JACK arrives in the doorway ... He glances at the CHARTS.

ANN It has to be here! It was on the map!

ENGLEHORN I'm turning this ship around. We're charting a course for Jakata!

ANN No! This is my father's discovery! You can't just abandon the search.

DENHAM I have to apologize, Miss Darrow. It seems we've all been badly misled. Kurt! I want you to take this the right way - you're a genuine moron!

ANN BREAKS DOWN INTO SOBS ... JACK looks at her - MAKES A DECISION ...

JACK We're further south than this.

He's pointing at the CROSS marking the island. ANN looks at him, a flicker of HOPE crosses her face. DENHAM raises his eyebrows ... ENGLEHORN FROWNS.

JACK (CONT'D) I'd guess we're at least half a degree below the charted course. The island's a couple of hundred miles north-west.

ENGLEHORN Impossible!

JACK I know how to navigate, Captain Englehorn. You've made a mistake.

ENGLEHORN (flustered) This is lunacy! He's talking nonsense.

DENHAM (darkly) Steer a course north-west, Captain Englehorn.

EXT. DECK - DAWN

JACK is walking away from the bridge ... ANN runs after him.

ANN Jack!

JACK pauses ...he turns. She wipes the LAST OF HER TEARS AWAY

ANN (CONT'D) I want to thank you.

JACK It's ok.I know what you were feeling.

ANN I can't imagine you crying.

JACK Relax ... it was fifteen years ago. I don't do it now.

JACK turns and walks away.

CUT TO

INT. DENHAM'S CABIN - NIGHT

DENHAM hosting dinner for JACK and ANN. He is in a relaxed, jovial mood. He reaches under the TABLE and produces a GIFT-WRAPPED PRESENT ... he hands it to ANN - she is surprised.

DENHAM It's time to smoke the peace pipe - as we say back in America. (gestures at gift) I bought it in Singapore for the wife, but I'd like you to have it.

ANN holds up a PALE SATIN NIGHTDRESS and QUILTED DRESSING GOWN. JACK raises his eyebrows.

DENHAM (CONT'D) I hope it fits ... Mrs Denham's a big lady.

ANN (being polite) It's ... lovely.

DENHAM Miss Darrow ... I've been thinking. I would very much like to dedicate this motion picture to the memory of your father. It's a great shame he wasn't able to join us on this adventure. Truly a wonderful man.

JACK and ANN exchange a look.

DENHAM (CONT'D) I thought that with your assistance we could have the premiere at the Albert Hall. We'll take out a full page ad in Variety - "The Lord Darrow Benefit screening". We'll invite the King of England - hell, we'll get the whole Royal Family along! It'd be good for them and good for us!

ANN (pause) To be quite honest, Mr Denham ... I find the whole idea to be quite reprehensible.

DENHAM grins and lights a CIGAR ...

DENHAM Thank you! I thought it was quite clever myself!

AT THAT MOMENT The SHIP'S ENGINES SUDDENLY STOP.

DENHAM frowns.

EXT. DECK/VENTURE - NIGHT

DENHAM leads the way onto the deck, followed by JACK and ANN ... ALL THREE STARE IN AWE ...

WIDE SHOT The "VENTURE" sits on a FLAT SEA, DWARFED by nearly vertical TOWERING WALT. OF FOG ... It rises hundreds of feet into the air, lit by an EERIE MOONLIGHT.

INT. BRIDGE - NIGHT

CLOSE ON ENGLEHORN knocks back a GLASS OF SCOTCH. He sits alone in the BRIDGE ... the ship has stopped, the wheel abandoned.

DENHAM, ANN and JACK race into the BRIDGE.

ENGLEHORN I can take you no further, Denham.

Is trembling with fear. KURT arrives on the BRIDGE.

DENHAM Kurt! Take her into the fog. Nice and slowly.

KIURT pushes the lever to "Slow Ahead" and MANS THE WHEEL as the "VENTURE" starts to crawl towards the fog.

ENGLEHORN downs ANOTHER SCOTCH.

ENGLEHORN Seven years ago I picked up a castaway - the skipper of a Norwegian barque.

The GROUP listen to ENGLEHORN in SILENCE.

ENGLEHORN (CONT'D) I have never seen a man so mentally ravaged. He had gone blind, not through any injury -but because his mind could no longer deal with the terrible sights he had witnessed. I sat with him during his last night on earth, listening to his fevered whisperings. He spoke of sailing into a thick fog and of running aground on an uncharted island. He spoke of a huge wall, built by a long forgotten civilization and of a creature - neither man nor beast - that lived behind that wall. Of the thirty crewmen who made it ashore, he was the only one who looked into the eyes of the Beast and survived.

ANN instinctively grasps JACK'S HAND.

ENGLEHORN (CONT'D) If we sail into that fog, it will be the death of us all.

LOW ANGLE DENHAM - the WINDOWS of the bridge behind him.

ENGLEHORN (CONT'D) I'm not a man who easily succumbs to fear, Captain Englehorn.

As DENHAM talks, the FOG swirls over the WINDOWS, encapsulating the "VENTURE" in a MILKY SHROUD.

CUT TO

EXT. FOG BANK - NIGHT

The "VENTURE" glides silently through the fog.

EXT. VENTURE DECKS - NIGHT

MONTAGE ... TENSE FACES ANN ... JACK ... DENHAM ...ENGLEHORN. Nobody talks, just stares ahead into the gloom ... CREW line the front of the boat, looking for rocks ... The PROPELLERS push the ship forward ...The PROW cuts through the water.

ANN There's a light up ahead.

JACK Sun's coming up ... (checks watch) We've been in the fog for six hours.

The FOG now glows a SICKLY YELLOW as the "VENTURE" glides on.

EXT. UNDERWATER - DAWN

The "VENTURE'S" HULL scraps against a CORAL OUTCROP.

EXT. VENTURE DECKS - DAWN

A SAILOR calls from the prow ...

SAILOR (yelling) Eight fathoms!

KURT is manning the wheel ... he glances at DENHAM, who is staring intently ahead.

DENHAM Hold her steady ...

ANN GASPS!

The FOG is suddenly clearing ... within seconds the spectacular sight of S ISLAND materializes in front of them! ... About 7 miles long by 1 mile wide, STEEP CLIFFS rising from the sea, DENSE JUNGLE growth across it's interior. The island has several JAGGED RIDGES, dominated by a tall, sheer MOUNTAIN at the far end.

ANN is looking through BINOCULARS.

ANN (exited) I can see the wall!

JACK takes the BINOCULARS ...

BINOCULAR POV At the closest end, the island forms a NARROW PENINSULA ... jutting above the canopy of TREES, JACK can make out the top of a HUGE STONE WALL., seemingly cutting the peninsula off from the rest of the island. OTHER RUINS are visible ... At the foot of the peninsula is a SANDY BEACH, the only visible LANDING SITE.

DENHAM has been conspicuously SILENT ... he is leaning against the rail, ENTRANCED by the island.

CLOSE ON DENHAM.

DENHAM (quietly) We've hit paydirt ...

CUT TO

EXT. SKULL ISLAND -- DAY

Of the LONGBOATS is rowing towards the island. DENHAM, JACK, ANN, ENGLEHORN, KURT, HERB, PEEK and TWO SAILORS are on board. With the exception of ANN, JACK and HERB, everybody carries RIFLES. The "VENTURE" is moored in the background. HERB is FILMING from the prow.

They row through jagged rocks ... past the WRECK of a wooden coastal schooner - possibly the NORWEGIAN BARQUE, ENGLEHORN referred to. The SKELETAL SHIP is a creepy sight - particularly the row of STRANGE BIRD-LIKE CREATURES perched along a rotten mainspar.

The BOAT rounds an OUTCROP of rocks, and lines up for the shore ... An EERIE PHENOMENA suddenly occurs - The distant MOUNTAIN, a mid range RIDGE LINE and foreground ROCKS all line up - providing an abstract, but distinct image of a HUMAN SKULL ... visible only from that one position.

ANN (captivated) Skull Island ...

CUT TO

EXT. BEACH - DAY

The BOAT is washed onto the beach. HERB jumps out, CAMERA & TRIPOD on his shoulder. KURT jostles PEEK who is struggling with his TAPE RECORDER.

PEEK (angry) Watch the tape recorder! You wanna buy me a new one?

DENHAM Let me go first ... Roll camera!

HERB films as DENHAM wades ashore, playing to the camera.

DENHAM (CONT'D) (to cameras) This is a historic moment as Carl Denham becomes the first white man to set foot on virgin soil!

ANN bounds excitedly up the beach.

ANN Look!

Runs towards the edge of the JUNGLE ... STONE STRUCTURES become visible, half buried in VINE STREWN JUNGLE. The style of stonework is unusual - As advanced as the INCAS or EGYPTIANS, but with flowing GAUDI-like lines and the strange mixture of STONE, BRONZE and BONE seen earlier.

ANN heads towards an ARCHWAY, set into a cliff. It is clearly the ENTRANCE to a tunnel. She is so excited, like a little girl at a picnic ... JACK realizes she's unstoppable and runs after her, calling back to the others.

JACK Everybody stay close!

KURT and PEEK follow JACK, but DENHAM no intention of compromising his film.

DENHAM Get a shot of me discovering the ruins, Herb!

HERB sets up.

INT. TUNNEL/CRYPT - DAY

ANN is leading JACK, KURT and PEEK into the tunnel. It is man-made, and ORNATELY DECORATED. LIGHT FILTERS in through cracks in the roof and occasional areas where STONES have fallen in.

The TUNNEL suddenly widens out to a large CHAMBER ... The GROUP collectively GASP at the sight of over a hundred MUMMIES lining the walls! They are all neatly arranged in alcoves and are dressed in some kind of CEREMONIAL clothing ... A HUGE STATUE of KONG stands sentry at the far end of the chamber - which clearly carries on through another archway. The place has the atmosphere of a Cathedral.

ANN picks up a SMALL. BRONZE FIGURINE of KONG ...

ANN (exited) It's the same image - Kong!

JACK Leave it, Ann.

OLD DRIED FLOWERS adorn the MUMMIES, arranged in garlands ... JACK frowns as he approaches one MUMMY, decorated with BRIGHTER THAN USUAL flowers ... he touches them.

JACK (CONT'D) These are fresh ...

EXT. BEACH/JUNGLE - DAY

DENHAM is onto his third take of a shot which involves him pulling vines away from a statue and reacting in terribly theatrical manner.

HERB'S VIEWFINDER POV DENHAM pulls vines away and REACTS ... he suddenly looks past CAMERA and REACTS with GENUINE ALARM as SPEARS enter HERB'S SHOT! They are pointing at DENHAM.

CLOSE ON HERB, his eye to the eyepiece as we sense FIGURES gathering BEHIND HIM.

DENHAM (tense) Keep rolling, Herb.

ENGLEHORN and the TWO SAILORS close in behind DENHAM, RIFLES at the ready.

WIDER A steadily increasing GROUP of SKULL ISLAND NATIVES are emerging from the thick undergrowth between the ruins. DENHAM'S EYES flick left and right as he becomes aware that his small party is becoming surrounded.

The SKULL ISLAND NATIVES are similar to Solomon Islanders Their skins are very dark, their features broad - but that is where the Melonesian likeness stops ... Like the architecture, their dress, head-wear and weapons suggest an INCA or EGYPTIAN level of culture, but with a fierceness, or even violence suggested in their design. This is not afro and grass skirt territory - these people are SCARY ... we will refer to them as "NATIVES" ...

The NATIVES have their WEAPONS poised ... a TENSE MOMENT, it could go either way. DENHAM offers his hand to the LEAD NATIVE.

DENHAM (CONT'D) Hi, Carl Denham ... how's it going? Do you boys mind if we do a little filming?

The LEAD NATIVE raises a knife ... DENHAM blanches ... fingers TIGHTEN on TRIGGERS ...

The LEAD NATIVE produces a leather GOURD and stabs it -MILKY LIQUID flows out. He takes a mouthful and offers it to DENHAM.

ENGLEHORN (tense) Take a drink, Denham.

DENHAM drinks a mouthful and passes it to ENGLEHORN and the SAILORS. DENHAM wipes his lips, relieved at this gesture of friendliness. He clamps a hand on the LEAD NATIVE'S shoulder.

DENHAM Sir ... How would you like to star in a major motion picture? (belches) ... I can offer you some net points!

CUT TO

INT. TUNNELS/CRYPT - DAY

JACK, ANN, PEEK and KURT are in the MUMMY chamber when the DRUMS START ... accompanied by a LOW MOANING, almost TRANCE-like.

ANN leads the way further up the tunnel complex - towards the SOUND.

PEEK This is crazy! We gotta go back to the ship - get more guys!

The OTHERS ignore him and continue their WARY journey ...

INT. SKULL CHAMBER - DAY

JACK, ANN, KURT, followed by PEEK - too scared to head back by himself - walk into a large chamber, about the size of a squash court. DAYLIGHT FLOODS IN through openings carved in the representation of the EYES, NOSE and MOUTH of a SKULL ... The MOUTH being the doorway which leads straight into the heart of the NATIVE CITY. The RITUALISTIC SOUNDS are very LOUD.

The GROUP hurry across the chamber and peer out Of the doorway, careful to remain concealed ... They stare in WONDERMENT at the sight ahead ...

EXT. NATIVE CITY -- DAY

SPECTACULAR RUINS surround an open square ... It is FILLED with NATIVES - in the midst of a WEIRD RITUALISTIC CEREMONY ... A YOUNG WOMAN sits bedecked in flowers atop AN ALTAR in the center of the square ...

... DWARFING ALL ELSE is the WALL. It rises directly from the square, towering 5 stories into the air. A STONE structure, with ORNATE CARVINGS and decorated with HUGE TUSK- like BONES and BRONZE KONG figures. In the center of the wall is an ENORMOUS 40 foot WOODEN GATE, strongly built and very old. From the vines and weeds that grow from cracks, it has clearly not been used for many years. The wall is not vertical on this side - it slopes like the pyramids, allowing quick access to the top.

JACK frowns ... DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and the TWO SAILORS are TAKING PART in the CEREMONY!! They are totally out of it - DENHAM is stripped down to his BOXER SHORTS and GARTERED SOCKS! He is in a frenzied dance with 2 NATIVE GIRLS, drinking greedily from the GOURD, milky fluid spilling down his chest ... ENGLEHORN is on his knees in some kind of FERVOR, MAIDENS smearing paint over his bare chest, a WITCH- DOCTOR piercing his nose with a ring! HERB and the TWO SAILORS are in similar states of DRUG INDUCED DELIRIUM.

PEEK Holy shit!

The NATIVES suddenly drop to their knees, all facing the YOUNG WOMAN who remains STRANGELY SERENE. They start CHANTING softly ... "KONG ... KONG ... KONG"

ANN (whispering) She looks like a bride ... Is it a wedding?

KURT It's a sacrificial ceremony. They're gonna kill the girl.

ANN looks at him ... HORRIFIED.

JACK (sudden urgency) She's not the only one!

From JACK'S position he can see YOUNG NATIVE MEN armed with SPIKED CLUBS quickly closing in on DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and the TWO SAILORS - who are still off their faces, oblivious to their own impending deaths.

JACK turns to PEEK.

JACK (CONT'D) Give me your gun!

PEEK (worried) What for?

JACK (yelling) Give it to me!

JACK wrenches the RIFLE out of PEEK'S grasp ...

TOO LATE! SAILOR 1 is clubbed to the ground] JACK targets ANOTHER NATIVE about to kill ENGLEHORN ...

BANG! The NATIVE is shot off his feet! ... The CEREMONY SUDDENLY GOES QUIET! Without the incessant noise, we can clearly hear DENHAM SINGING a MUSIC HALL TUNE.

JACK steps out into the SQUARE, SWINGING the RIFLE from SIDE TO SIDE ... The LOUD GUNSHOT has stunned the NATIVES, but JACK knows they haven't got much time.

JACK (CONT'D) (urgent) We're heading back to the ship. Grab them!

KURT and PEEK step into the square ... followed by ANN.

The NATIVES GASP! They stare at her ... She looks around nervously, GOLDEN HAIR swirling in the SUNLIGHT. NATIVES resume their chant "KONG ... KONG ... KONG" - except this time it's DIRECTED AT ANN!

ANN, KURT and PEEK quickly steer DENHAM, ENGLEHORN, HERB and SAILOR 2 back through the RUINED CITY towards the beach. They have to herd them like sheep ... DENHAM is staring at his fingers like someone who has never seen a hand before ... ENGLEHORN is GIGGLING at some private joke.

A NATIVE starts rising ... JACK fires into the air, and they back away EN MASS. PEEK puts his hands over his ears as over 100 NATIVES suddenly emit a strange PIERCING SCREECH like a pack of frightened monkeys.

JACK (CONT'D) (yelling) Go ... Go!

ANN pushes DENHAM, drags ENGLEHORN by the hand ... KURT has LIFTED HERB over his shoulder ...

>>>

-/ King-Kong.
Copyright 2005-2017. ! ! homeenglish@mail.ru