With just seven weeks remaining until Peter Jackson’s big budget remake of King Kong is due to premiere, the director has dumped Howard Shore’s score for the film and hired James Newton Howard (The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins, The Interpreter, The Village, Signs, The Fugitive, Waterworld) to take over the project.
In a statement Jackson said, “During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realise that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of King Kong. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film.”
Shore won three Oscars for his work on Jackson’s omni-successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, winning best original score for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King, as well as best original song for The Return of the Kings’s “Into the West,” which he shared with co-writer Fran Walsh and singer Annie Lennox.
Shore’s ouster is a substantial subtraction from the Lord of the King Kong nature of the ape remake, which still boasts Jackson’s Rings writing team, effects company, cinematographer, and even “special effects muse.” Andy Serkis, who served as human model for computer-generated Gollum in Rings, wears similar shoes for the computer-generated Kong.
Shore is one of Hollywoods most successful composers with credits including A History of Violence, The Aviator, Crash, Gangs of New York, Silence of the Lambs, Ed Wood, and The Fly among many others.
More on the Kong production here